Short and sweet rings true for these little tarts. The shortbread crust is quick and easy to make, and the tartness of the lemon curd pairs well with the sweetness of the meringue, making it a tangy and distinctly palate pleasing treat.
For 12 mini tarts
For the crust:
- 1 cup room temperature butter, salted or unsalted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups all purpose flour or pastry flour
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt if using unsalted butter
Optional: Berries such as small strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.
To make the process a little bit easier I highly recommend making the lemon curd at least a day in advanced. Lemon curd needs time to set in the fridge. It will thicken up as it gets colder so don’t worry if at first it seems a little runny.
For the Meringue:
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 300° F.
Using a mixer or whisk, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add flour and salt and mix well. Press the dough into mini tart pans and place them on a baking sheet. If the dough seems too soft, put it in the fridge for 15-30 min.
Bake the mini tart shells for 10-15 minutes or until golden like sugar cookies. Allow the mini tart shells to cool completely on a cooling rack before removing them from the tart pans.
Meringue using double boiler method:
- Fill a sauce pot with a couple of inches of water and bring to a simmer.
- In the mixer bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Place the bowl on top of the pot of simmering water.
- Whisk the egg whites continuously until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture feels warm and smooth between your fingers. This takes a little arm muscle.
- Remove the bowl from the pot and attach to the stand mixer to whisk the egg whites on high speed until it becomes stiff peaks, about 5-7 minutes. A hand mixer also works.
- I highly recommend transferring the meringue to a piping bag only right before use. It helps to rewhip the meringue as it may lose some of its volume and shine if it sits too long in a bowl or piping bag.
To assemble the mini-tarts:
Spoon lemon curd into the cooled mini-tart shells. Top with berries if you would like. I like to leave some room for the meringue.
Pipe meringue using any tip of your choice. Use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue. This is my favorite part!