Makes 6 tarts
Lemon Curd Filling
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon rind
- 1 cup (250mls) fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup (250mls) thickened cream
- 3 cups plain flour
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 280g cold butter, chopped
- 2 egg yolks
- 3-4 tablespoons iced cold water
- 2/3 cup caster sugar
- 100mls water
- 3 egg whites
- pinch of cream of tartar
To make lemon curd filling
Place lemon rind, juice and sugar into a small saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils. Remove from heat. Place egg yolks into a mixing bowl; mix with a balloon whisk until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into egg yolks beating until well combined. Mix in cream.
Transfer to a medium saucepan, stir constantly over a low- medium heat until mixture thickens and coats the back of spoon, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold and thick, about 2 hours.
To make pastry
Place flour, sugar and butter into a food processor. Process until mixture resembles course breadcrumbs. Add egg yolks and enough water to form a soft dough. Transfer to a floured work surface and lightly knead until smooth. Divide dough into 3, flatten into disks and wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerator for 1 hour.
Working in batches, roll dough between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper. Line 6 x 12 x 2 cm loose base tart tins with pastry. Place onto a baking tray, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200C. Line each pastry case with a round of oiled baking paper; fill each with baking beads, rice or beans. Blind bake tart cases for 10-12 minutes. Carefully remove paper and beads and bake a further 5 minutes or until pastry is golden. Allow to cool in tins.
Spread lemon filling into cooled pastry cases. Spoon the meringue over lemon filling, making sure to cover lemon filling. Place under a hot grill until lightly golden, about 30-60 seconds or caramelize meringue using a kitchen blowtorch. Refrigerate before serving.
To make Italian meringue
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stirring constantly over a low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium; brush down sides of saucepan with a clean wet pastry brush to remove any sugar crystals. Do not stir. Cook syrup until it reaches 115C (soft ball stage) on a sugar thermometer, about 6 minutes. Whilst syrup is cooking, place egg whites and cream of tartar in a large clean mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat egg whites until soft peaks form. When sugar syrup to reaches 121C (hard ball stage) slowly add it in a steady stream to the egg white mixture, whilst beating with an electric mixer. Beat until thick and glossy. Spoon meringue over lemon curd filling.
Recipe, styling and photography by China Squirrel