Lemon Meringue Tartlets

Spicy ginger nut cases, filled with a zesty lemon curd, and finished with a swirl of melt-in-your-mouth meringue. These lemon meringue tartlets are the perfect dessert to enjoy on a sunshine filled day.

The recipe only requires a few ingredients, most of which you probably have already. The case is simply crushed biscuits and a little melted butter (no pastry making skills required). The cases are filled with a homemade lemon curd – trust me it’s super easy and tastes 10 times better than shop bought. The meringue will take you no more than 10 minutes to whip up, and if you’re like me and find homemade meringue a little scary, check out this helpful video tutorial from BBC Good Food.

Lemon meringue tartlets

Ingredients (makes 4 lemon meringue tartlets)

For the base:
150g ginger nut biscuits
75g unsalted butter

For the lemon curd:
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
Juice of 6 lemons
50ml water
2 tablespoons cornflour
175g caster sugar
3 large egg yolks
25g unsalted butter

For the meringue:
3 large egg whites
175g caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour

Method

Prepare 4 loose based individual tart tins by lightly greasing the sides and base with a little butter.

Start with the biscuit base. In a microwave-safe bowl melt the butter in 20 second increments until liquid. Crush the ginger nut biscuits to fine crumbs, using a rolling pin or food processor. Mix with the melted butter. Divide the mixture between the tins, pressing it into the base and sides. Place in the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes.

Now move on to the lemon curd. In a small saucepan combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, water, sugar, cornflour and egg yolks (remember to reserve the egg whites for your meringue). Gently heat over a low setting, stirring continuously, until the curd starts to thicken. Be patient as this could take 10-15 minutes. Stir in the butter to make a thick, glossy lemon curd. You can test the mixture by spooning a little on a kitchen towel or plate, it should hold its shape.

Spoon a layer of the lemon curd over the biscuit base and leave to cool and set. Keep your leftover curd in a sealed jar in the fridge and use within 1-2 weeks.

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C.

Move onto the meringue. Use an electric whisk to whisk the egg whites in a large, clean bowl until stiff. They should look a similar consistency to whipped cream and be thick, bright white and glossy. Mix in the sugar a spoonful at a time. Fold in the cornflour. Spoon or pipe the meringue on top of the lemon curd.

Bake the tartlets in the oven for 15 minutes, until the meringue tops have lightly browned. Leave to cool completely before removing the tarts from the tin.

Summer berry Pavlova Tart

A homemade shortcrust pastry tart filled with a fresh cream, crushed meringues and topped with sweet summer berries.

Please don’t be put off by making your own pastry, it’s incredibly simple and the added lemon zest will top any shop bought pastry. Follow the steps careful and have a read of my top tips.

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Here are my homemade pastry top tips:

  • Before making your pastry chill your mixing bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes and rinse your hands with cold water. This will help the butter stay cold resulting in delicate, flaky pastry every time.
  • Try to be confident and bring the pastry together as quickly as you can – don’t knead it too much or the heat from your hands will melt the butter.
  • Don’t be tempted to skip the blind baking step, otherwise your tart shell will shrink.

Ingredients (makes a 9inch tart)

For the tart
250g plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
50g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large free-range eggs, beaten
Splash of milk
Zest of 1 lemon
Butter for greasing the tart

For the filling
4 small meringue nests, roughly broken
250g double cream
125g crème fraiche
30g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

For the topping
600g mixed summer berries
A little icing sugar, for dusting

Method

Start with the pastry. Mix the flour and icing sugar in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub it into the dry ingredients using your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs. Now stir in the lemon zest. Add the egg and a splash of milk, just enough to bring the dough together, and knead it into a ball. Wrap the dough in cling film and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Whilst the dough chills, pre-heat your oven to 180°C/350F and grease your tart tin with a little butter.

Take the dough out of the fridge. Sprinkle a clean work surface and a rolling pin with a little flour. Roll the dough out so it is about 5cm larger than the tin and half a centimetre in thickness. Drape the dough over your rolling pin and lay it across the tart tin. Trim off any extra bits and use your fingers to press the dough into the corners and sides of the tin. 

Prick the tart all over with a fork and line with baking paper. Fill the tart with baking beans or rice and bake it blind for 10 minutes. Take the tart out of the oven and lift out the baking paper and beans. Bake for a further 10 minutes until firm and golden. Leave to cool completely.

Now make the filling. Whip the double cream, creme fraiche, icing sugar and vanilla essence together with an electric whisk until soft peaks form (this will take about 5 minutes). Crush the meringue nests and stir into the filling.

Spoon the filling into the tart case. Top with mixed berries and dust over a little icing sugar. Keep your tart in the fridge until ready to serve. It is best eaten within 1-2 days.