These little Lemon Meringue Tarts are so adorable and bite sized, so it’s great to serve at parties. This recipe from A Table For Two (Billy Law) uses Meyer Lemons which I believe are sweeter, but fret not, your common supermarket lemons can also be used!
Mini Lemon Meringue Tarts (Recipe by Billy Law)
Makes: 20-24 mini tarts
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Passive Time: 2 hours
125g chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
30g caster sugar
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
pinch of salt
60ml chilled water
zest of 2 lemons
230ml lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
3 egg yolks
240ml heavy cream
115g caster sugar
3 egg whites
150g caster sugar
1. To make the pastry, put all the ingredients, except the water, into a food processor and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs.
2. Slowly pour water in a steady stream while still pulsing, until it comes together and forms a rough dough.
3. Place the dough out onto a floured surface and gently gather all loose crumbs together to form a smooth firm dough. Flatten the dough into an inch thick , wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
4. To make the lemon curd, add lemon zest, juice and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium high heat to the boiling point and sugar has dissolved, then remove from heat.
5. Whisk yolk together in a mixing bowl, then slowly pour the hot mixture in a stream into the yolk while keep whisking until combined. Add the heavy cream to the mixture, stir and then pour it back into the saucepan.
6. Place saucepan over medium heat, keep stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens, it will take about 15 minutes. Test it by coating the back of the wooden spoon with the curd, and draw a line with your finger, if the line stays clean then the curd is thick enough and is ready. Pour the curd into a bowl and let it cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator until ready to be used.
7. Roll the chilled pastry on a floured surface to about 2mm thick. Use a 3-inch ring cutter, cut dough into small round discs then line the tin, press down firmly with fingers. Place the tin in the refrigerator for 20 minutes and pre heat oven to 200°C.
8. Blind bake the tart cases for 15-20 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, remove tart cases from the tin and let it rest on a wire rack.
9. Fill a piping bag with lemon curd, then pipe into each tart case and let it set in the refrigerator.
10. To make the meringue, add sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the sugar syrup and have the egg white inside the bowl of an electric stand mixer on standby.
11. Once the temperature of the sugar syrup reaches 115°C, start whisking the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks.
12. When the sugar syrup reaches 121°C, remove from heat and let the boiling bubbles settle a little bit, then gently and slowly pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the mixing bowl into the egg white. Make sure the sugar syrup doesn’t catch on the whisk and crystallised. Keep whisking the meringue until the bowl is cool to touch and the meringue is now smooth, satiny and glossy. Fill a piping bag with the meringue.
13. Pipe the meringue onto the top of the lemon curd until it is completely covered. Use a kitchen blowtorch to light scorch the meringue all over.
I love lemons and when I make something new, if there is a way to add lemons to it I will. I made Lemon Macarons with Lemon Curd and they turned out quite well if I don’t say so myself. I remember making macarons again and again but never could get those damned feet until I switched to the Italian Meringue method. This was my only success with French Meringue. Check out the recipe from Tartelette Blog with the Lemon Curd recipe from Taste.com.au.
Lemon Macarons (Tartelette Blog) with Lemon Curd
French Meringue Macarons
Makes 50 to 60 shells, for 25 to 30 filled macarons.
2¾ cups (8.8 ounces/250 grams) almond flour
2¾ cups (12.4 ounces/350 grams)
1 cup egg whites (from 7 or 8 eggs),
at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons powdered egg whites, if weather is humid
¾ cup (5.3 ounces/150 grams) superfine granulated sugar
5 to 7 drops gel paste food coloring (optional) (I used 2 teaspoons lemon zest instead)
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (325°F for a non-convection oven) 150°C, and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Blend the almond flour with the powdered sugar in your food processor to make a fine powder (or sift together, discarding any large crumbs and adding a bit more almond flour and powdered sugar as needed to compensate). Then sift the mixture through a strainer until it is as fine as you can get it. This keeps crumbs from forming on the macaron tops as they bake.
3. With the wire whip attachment on the electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt and the powdered egg whites (if you are using them), starting slowly and then increasing speed as the whites start to rise. Add the granulated sugar and the food coloring. Beat until the egg whites form stiff peaks and your meringue is firm and shiny.
4. Pour the beaten egg whites onto your almond flour mixture and gently fold them in, using a rubber spatula. Move your spatula from the bottom of the bowl to the edges with one hand, using your other hand to rotate the bowl. Now slap the sides of the bowl until the batter falls in a wide ribbon when you raise your spatula. When you can’t see any crumbs of almond flour and the mixture is shiny and flowing, you are ready to start piping.
The French have a special word—macaronner—to describe the physical action of mixing all the ingredients for macarons. This has to be done by hand. You cannot do it with your mixer—you must be able to feel the consistency of the macaron batter.
5. Fit your pastry bag with a number 8 tip and fill with batter. Start by squeezing out a small amount of mix onto a parchment-lined baking sheet to form a 2½-inch circle. Be sure to leave 1 inch of space between macarons so they will not touch each other while they bake.
If the peak that forms on the top of the macaron does not disappear after piping, it means the batter could have been beaten a little more. Tap the baking sheet on the tabletop, making sure to hold the parchment paper in place with your thumbs.
Let the piped macarons rest for 15 minutes.
6. Bake for 14 minutes at 300°F/ 150°C. After the first 5 minutes, open the oven door briefly to let the steam out.
Let the macarons cool completely on a rack before taking them off the parchment paper. Press the bottom of a cooled baked macaron shell with your finger; it should be soft. If the bottom of the shell is hard, reduce the baking time for the rest of your macarons from 14 minutes to 13 minutes.
Using a pastry bag requires some practice. It may seem awkward at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it.
Prepare the bag (if it hasn’t been used before) by cutting about 2 inches off the narrow end—just enough so that when you insert a number 8 decorating tip, about a third of the tip extends outside the bag. Push the tip firmly in place and spoon in your filling, leaving enough room at the top to twist the bag shut. It is best to fill the bag with half of the batter at a time, that way it is not too heavy. To make it easier to fill your pastry bag, place it upright in an empty jar or other straight-sided container. This will help steady the bag while you fill it with batter.
Squeezing the bag slowly, pipe each macaron shell out in a single dollop. Lift the bag quickly to finish.
Lemon Curd (Taste.com.au)
2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar (Half sugar to 80g)
1/3 cup (80g) chilled unsalted butter
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1. Whisk whole eggs, yolks and sugar in a saucepan until smooth, then place pan over a low heat.
2. Add the butter, juice and zest and whisk continuously until thickened. Strain through a sieve into a sterilised jar. Lemon curd keeps, covered, in the fridge for 2 weeks.
This was the first time I made macarons and they came out with feet! I don’t know what happened with the proportions for the shell because I recall reducing the icing sugar to half but it ended up extremely sweet anyway! Maybe I didn’t reduce the sugar at all haha. I loved the lemon curd, it was perfectly sweet and sour with that lemon aftertaste tang. Lovely.
Lemons. So useful in so many ways, a good cold remedy but also enjoyable as a refreshing drink or in sweets. I’ve seen Lemon Syrup cakes made previously and when I tasted it I was amazed at how moist it was. It wasn’t very light, it’s actually quite dense as a cake but because of the syrup that oozes through the cake it changes how everything tastes. Yes, lemons can do this.
There were plentiful of recipes out there for Lemon Syrup Cakes but none for cupcakes. Of course cupcakes are just mini cakes but I wasn’t sure of how many cupcakes one batch would make. Alas, I just tried one cake recipe and I made a mix of mini cupcakes and small cupcakes, not those normal sized cupcakes you commonly see.
I found a recipe by Donna Hay, I was hesitant to try it at first because she only knows how to make things look nice to sell magazines and books. However as it turned out, it was a delight. Check out the recipe and my impressions below!
Coconut and Lemon Syrup Cupcakes (Donna Hay)
Makes: Roughly 12-18 average sized cupcakes
(But I can’t be certain as it depends on the size of your cupcake cups)
1/2 cup (100g) caster (superfine) sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
1½ cups (120g) dessicated coconut
1½ cups (225g) self-raising (self-rising) flour
¾ cup (185ml) milk
1 cup (100g) caster (superfine) sugar
¾ cup (185ml) water
2 tablespoons lemon juice (add more to your liking)
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (355ºF).
2. Beat the butter, sugar and lemon rind in an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the eggs and beat well.
3. Mix through the coconut, flour and milk with a wooden spoon until smooth.
4. Place muffin/cupcake paper into the pans. Pour mixture into pans and bake for 25-35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Leave to cool.
5. To make the lemon syrup, combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until dissolved. If you like your syrup to be more “lemony” keep adding tablespoons full of juice until you get your desired flavour. I basically used a whole lemon’s juice but some may prefer just a touch of it.
7. If pouring is too difficult or slides off (top of cakes may be too crispy), use a brush instead and gently tab over it until it soaks in slightly.
This recipe is quite easy to make. I had a slight hiccup when the batter looked all kinds of wrong, with the batter separating from the butter. I’m not sure if it was the acidic nature of the lemon rind or not or if I beat the mixture too long but it turned out reasonably well so maybe it was all for the best!
The coconut in the cake gives it such a pleasant texture and bite to it, we used coconut flakes which are chunkier than desiccated coconut but it was still good.
If you reduce the sugar in the lemon syrup as I did you can either reduce the water too or just wait it out and simmer it for longer. I mistakenly poured in the entire 185 mls when I halved the sugar to 100g but it just meant it took a bit longer for it to get thick.
Since my cakes were crispy on top, the syrup just slid right off if you tried pouring it on top. Instead a brush works wonders and can the cake seems to actually absorb more of the syrup. The syrup gives the cupcakes this amazing gloss, I loved it.
I was so pleased with the end result, packed full of lemon flavour. Not too sweet, just right. Would definitely make it again. Good job Donna Hay.
Le Petit Gateau is a small well known patisserie on Lt. Collins St in Melbourne.
As I’ve mentioned before, their macarons are really good but what they are known for is their delicious cakes. Their Praline Mud Cake is a definite must try so please go visit this shop when you have the chance, and despite their need to increase prices nearly every year, I think it’s still worth it.
Their Crisp Lemon Tart is only available in one size, unlike the other cakes. I’ve always had a liking for lemon because of it’s sour, acidic taste and combined with sweet desserts, it’s the perfect combination.
I actually bought this for my birthday because of my love of lemons. If you were old enough to watch Rugrats as a child, I will always remember this one part where they made lemonade and it made their face all scrunchy. Haha.
Back to the tart though. The pastry is unbelievably good. It’s just so delicate, but filled with flavour and the lemon curd is both sweet and tangy. Just how I like it! It is covered with a nice glaze of some sort, but I’m no expert as to what that’s called but it adds another layer to it.
One thing that might be of concern is that you can’t save it in the fridge! Or my fridge just adds too much moisture to it and makes the pastry too wet and the bite and crunch of the base disappears. So it’s unfortunate I couldn’t savour the taste for many days.
Overall, it’s one of the best lemon tarts out there and Le Petit Gateau just make top quality, delicious products that everyone with even a slight sweet tooth will love.
458 Little Collins St
Tel: 03 9944 8893
Monday to Friday, 7:30am-5pm
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