This Meyer Lemon Meringue Tart is a close cousin to the Lemon Meringue Pie, the main difference being a crispy crunchy cookie like tart crust instead of a tender, flaky pie crust. The tart crust is much more sturdy and stays crisp, even after sitting in the fridge overnight or for a day or two. Making the tart crust is so incredibly easy: just stir a few ingredients together in a bowl until a dough forms then press the dough into and up the sides of a tart pan, bake until deep golden brown. How easy is that? The filling is my go-to lemon meringue filling because it smooth and silky and tastes fantastic.
It also holds its shape when cutting slices which is a major bonus. I used a more mildly flavored Meyer Lemon for this tart as they are currently in season here in Northern California and a little less tart that a traditional lemon. The Meringue is an Italian meringue that marries well with the filling and doesn't weep as much as other meringues i've tried. Here is how you can make your own:
Start by spraying the bottom of a 9" tart pan with removable bottom with Pam for Baking. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and adjust oven rack to lowest position.
Crust (adapted from America's Test Kitchen):
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
5 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons melted butter
In a medium bowl mix together all ingredients until a dough forms. Press dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place pan on a wire rack set into a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes rotating once and continue baking until crust is a deep golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Lemon Filling by Not So Humble Pie blog:
You can find the entire fantastic recipe for the filling here at Not So Humble Pie blog. I used Meyer Lemons instead of regular lemons.
In a medium heavy bottom sauce pan combine all the ingredients for the filling except the boiling water and whisk until starch has dissolved and the mixture is combined.
Whisk in the boiling water and place the sauce pan over medium high heat until it boils then turn the heat down to medium low and cook for an additional minute stirring gently. At this point I like to immediately pour and press the hot filling thru a sieve into the cooled tart crust. You have to move very quickly before the filling starts to set up. I like the smooth silky texture of the strained filling but you don't have to do this if you don't want to. Set the filled tart aside in the fridge to cool while you make the meringue.
Italian Meringue (adapted from Cook's Illustrated):
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites (reserved from the filling)
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine water and sugar in small saucepan and bring to rolling boil over medium high heat. Once syrup is boiling cook for 4 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat egg whites on medium low speed for 1 minute. Add salt and cream of tartar and gradually increase speed of mixer to medium high for around 2 minutes or soft peak stage. With mixer running slowly pour hot syrup down the side of the mixing bowl into whites. Add vanilla and beat until meringue has cooled and is very thick and shiny 9-12 minutes. You can then mound the meringue over the lemon filling or scoop into a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe onto filling. To brown the meringue I use a culinary torch or you can bake the pie in a 400 degree oven until the meringue turns golden brown. Cool pie before serving.