I adore lemon curd, and after chatting to a friend at the party on Saturday and eating the lemon mud cake, we started talking about how much we loved lemon tarts. Now, I’ve never made a lemon tart before, but I had a heap of lemons that I needed to use, so thought, why not step things up a notch and make mini lemon meringue pies??! (I’m not a sharer… so I decided against making one large pie :-) )
First things first and I got set to make my pastry. Having never made pastry before, I wasn’t sure how I’d go, but it was really quite simple.
I sifted 1.5 cups plain flour and 2 tablespoons icing sugar and then added 125g unsalted butter and the seeds from 2 vanilla pods and mixed the butter with my fingers to make fine breadcrumbs.
I then cooled some water with some ice and added 1/4 cup to my mixture (obviously taking the ice cubes out ) and mixed everything together.
After mixing everything up, I rolled the pastry between two sheets of baking paper and grabbed my circle cutter to cut out rounds to fit my tins.
It was then time to get out our tins – I have these baker’s secret tins with removeable bases…..makes things so easy to remove the pastry.
It was ‘wear your footy jumper’ day at the gym creche.
You might be wondering where Molly was? Well… she had the hugest tantrum after I dressed her in her footy jumper because it wasn’t ‘pretty’ and she was in the background screaming her head off
‘Pweeetttyyy…. No no Pwettttttty’
I had to restrain her in the highchair again
Next up I put my ear muffs on and lined the tins with the pastry and put a circle of baking paper over the top with some baking beans. Baking beans add weight to the pastry to keep it to the shape of the tin. If you didn’t have some weight for the first part of the cooking, the pastry would puff up and then you wouldn’t be able to fill your tarts.
I baked it in the oven on about 180 degrees for 10-15mins and then removed the beans and baking paper and baked for another 10-15mins until golden brown.
It was then time to make my lemon curd, so I got out my lemons and went to work grating the zest.
I only needed 3 teaspoons for the curd, but grated it all up for another recipe (for another day!).
Next I needed 185ml of lemon juice
Whisk this up over a medium heat with:
1/4 cup cornflour
1/4 cup plain flour; and
1 cup of castor sugar
Once it thickens up, reduce the heat and whisk for another minute. Turn off the heat and whisk in 40g unsalted butter, 6 egg yolks and spoon the curd into the pastry tarts.
Next it was time to heat the oven to 220 degrees (fan forced) and wipe my mixing bowl and whisk attachment with alcohol in preparation for making the meringue.
I started with 6 egg whites and once they had reached soft peaks I added in 1.5cups of castor sugar and kept beating until they were glossy and thick. Finally I added 1/2 teaspoon cornflour and gave it another quick mix before transferring the mixture to my piping bag (any excuse to get this out ) and piping the meringue onto the tarts.
Time to put them in the oven for about 5 minutes (until they start to turn brown). And then set aside to cool down.
I couldn’t wait and had to break one apart straight away to try
(The lemon curd shouldn’t ooze out if they have been left to set and cool down, but obviously I’m too impatient!)
Thanks to www.bakingwithfrench.blogspot.com for the recipe and inspiration!