Sometimes you want just a little nibble of something sweet. I get that feeling a lot. And when that nagging feeling hits me, I must fulfill my desire - quickly. Admittedly, I'm not proud of my lack of willpower. Luckily, it doesn't take much to sate my cravings. A square of chocolate, a few spoonfuls of yogurt, some sweet-spicy nuts... or a special treat like these one-bite lemon meringue tartelettes.
As you know, I made lemon curd recently. A friend stopped by over the weekend while I was writing up the post, and said he had never tried lemon curd. "How do you eat it?" he wondered. My initial thought was, other than right out of the jar with a spoon? Realizing this probably isn't how most people eat lemon curd (or do you?), I offered some suggestions: on toast or biscuits, swirled into buttercream for a luscious lemon frosting, as filling for layer cake or topping for cheesecake, or made into a tart. And what could be cuter, or easier to eat, than tarts in miniature form?
The moment the words came out of my mouth, that nagging feeling started creeping in. You should make some lemon tartelettes right now, a little voice whispered in my ear. Okay, so maybe the voice was just in my head. But I listened to it. That little voice has really great ideas.
Lemon Meringue Tartelettes
The inspiration for the crust came from Smitten Kitchen's Quiche Lorraine crust, with a little sugar added. These tartelettes are so quick and easy to make, and are simply delicious with a cup of hot tea. With some lemon curd on hand and a few basic ingredients from your pantry, you'll be able to satisfy your sweet tooth any time you like.
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons corn starch
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
3 eggs, divided
1/2 jar lemon curd - more or less (jar = 1/2 pint)
small pinch cream of tartar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Chill a clean, medium bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Preheat oven to 350° F.
Meanwhile, make the crust: combine flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse briefly to combine. Add butter and pulse briefly to form tiny bits. Add one egg and pulse to blend. If the dough seems dry, add water a few drops at a time until dough holds together when pinched between your fingers.
Add spoonfuls of dough to the cups of a mini muffin pan - approximately one tablespoon each. Using a wooden mini tart press or an inverted, closed bottle, press the dough into the muffin cups to form the tartelette crusts. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove from the fridge/freezer, place in the preheated oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool completely. Can be made a day ahead.
Make the meringue: Separate the remaining two eggs. Reserve yolks for another use. In the chilled bowl, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Remove meringue to a pastry bag or, if you're like me, a plastic zip bag with the corner cut off. Set aside.
Turn on your oven's broiler. A few at a time, place cooled pastry crusts on a sheet pan, and fill 3/4 full with lemon curd, about a teaspoon each. Pipe the meringue on top of the curd, covering it completely. Place under the broiler for 30-90 seconds until lightly brown, watching carefully to avoid burning the meringue. (Alternatively, use a kitchen blow torch.) Cool slightly, then refrigerate. Chill thoroughly before serving.
Makes 22 bite-sized tartelettes.