Dessert recipes

Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

With lemons still in abundance this season, what more do we need to get started for a luscious lemony dessert?
Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

Nina L. Palmer

What’s better than pie? Imagine a tangy layer of lemon cream topped with a sweet and fluffy meringue, all on a golden crust… Let us introduce you to the mini lemon meringue pies! With lemons still in abundance this season, what more do we need to get started for a luscious lemony dessert? You can make this recipe as one large pie: Use a nine-inch pie pan and half of the pie dough recipe; freeze the remaining for a later use.

Ingredients list for the lemon meringue pie

Makes 4-6

For the pastry:

  • 2 1/2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (150g) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (30g) of powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup (60g) icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup (30g) ground almonds
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 whole egg
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For the lemon cream:

  • Juice  and zest of 3 organic lemons
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup (200g) caster sugar
  • 0.4 cup (100g) of butter

For the meringue:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup (150g) powdered sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons (50ml) water

Directions

The almond pastry:

1. Mix together flour, powdered sugar, icing sugar, almond powder and salt.
2. Add the butter in small pieces and work with your fingertips to obtain a coarse sand texture.
3. Add the egg and mix well.
4. Form a ball and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for a few hours (the ideal is to make the dough the day before).
5. Spread the dough on a slightly floured surface or between two sheets of parchment paper. Line the bottom of  your mini tart pans with the dough, prick with a fork and cover with parchment paper and baking beads.
6. Bake at 360°F (180°C) for 30 minutes. Ten minutes before the end of cooking, remove the paper and beads. Remove from oven and set aside.

The lemon cream:

1. Wash and collect zest of lemons using a fine grater. Mix the zest with sugar with your fingertips and let steep for 5 minutes. Then add the lemon juice and beaten eggs.
2. Pour into a saucepan and allow to thicken over low heat, whisking constantly. It takes about 15 minutes.
3. When the lemon curd is smooth, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before adding the butter cut in pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool before refrigerating. The lemon cream can also be done the day before.

The meringue:

1. In a saucepan boil the water and sugar for 5 minutes. The syrup should reach approximately 250°F (120°C).
2. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until stiff. When the syrup is ready, pour very slowly over foamy egg whites while whisking.
3. Whisk for ten minutes until cool. The meringue should be stiff and shiny.

Putting the tarts together:

1. Spread the lemon cream over the bottom of the pie shells, smooth with a spatula.
2. Pour the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe on top of the pie.
3. Broil the top of the meringue with a small creme-brulee torch or very briefly under the broiler. Keep cool until ready to serve.

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Mini Lemon Meringue Pies