tarte-citron1Lemon meringue tart the way I like it

So they say that meringue on your lemons is no longer in vogue. I say smoof.  Meringue may be a little too sweet, a little too puffy, a little too creamy… is your mouth watering yet?  Vogue or not, it has its place.  Just a dab is the perfect counter to the dense acidity of a good lemon cream.

WARNING: THIS TART IS STILL IN THE PROCESS OF PERFECTION…  More than a year ago, I posted a lemon meringue tart, following the recipe of the first dessert that I made for this goofy French guy who somehow convinced me to move with him to France. (Ok, so maybe it didn’t take too much convincing…)  As you might notice, pastry school has changed my style, and I would say it’s for the best.


A slice of lemon meringue pie

This tart was made with an oven-baked lemon custard which is quite nice even without the meringue.  For the record, I have since enjoyed a recipe cooked by the double-boiler method.  The result is a very dense and extra creamy custard. The only hazard: it’s a little more tricky to pull off, and you could end up with a yucky lemon omelette in the place of a creamy lemon custard if you don’t watch out.

On a side note, I’m off for adventures in Lithuania for the next few weeks, so I’ll be back in a month or so.

Recipe for a lemon meringue tart with a creamier custard:

18 cm tart

Pâte sucrée (Sweet shortcrust pastry)

-125 g flour
-50 g powdered sugar
-50 g butter (just a little softened)
-half an egg
-a pinch of salt
Note: I recommend doubling this recipe and freezing half of it so you can just use a whole egg. To use the frozen pastry, just place in the fridge to defrost a day in advance.

Cream together the powdered sugar, butter, and salt. You can do this with your hands. Have a spatula ready to clean your hands of dough.

When you have a smooth cream, add the egg and mix together. It’s normal that the egg doesn’t mix well with the butter and sugar cream, but do your best. It helps to have the egg at about the same temperature as the cream.

When your egg is well mixed with your butter and sugar, add the flour and mix with your hands just until you have a homogenous dough.  Pastry chefs use a technique called “fraser.”  This simply means that you take the lump of dough and squash it against the countertop using the base of your hand, until the flour is mixed in. The trick is to avoid working the dough too much, which will give you a dough that shrinks in the oven.

Flatten the dough a little, taking care that the edges don’t start to crack. Wrap in plastic wrap and refridgerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Remove dough and roll into a circle, again watching out not to crack the edges. Roll the dough onto your rolling pin and push into your tart tin. If you are making a tart with an oven baked custard, you can fill with custard and cook. If you are making a tart with a double-boiled custard, place a layer of waxed paper in the tart and fill with baking beans. Then cook for about 30 minutes at 180°C or 350°F.

Lemon Custard

18 cm tart

-60 g fresh squeezed lemon juice
-73 g sugar
-120 g eggs (about 2 large eggs or 3 small eggs)
– 60 g butter (unsalted)

Place the lemon juice, sugar, and eggs in a double boiler and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, or until it has reached 83°C. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool!

When it is still just a little warm, add the butter in small pieces, stirring until incorporated. Now you can pour into your pre-cooked pastry crust and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before decorating with meringue and serving.

Recipe for italian meringue

Recipe for oven baked lemon custard



  1. Pingback: TARTE AU CITRON MERINGUÉE « the sour plum

  2. OMG, Monica, that lemon meringue pie is a show stopper! I love how you topped and plated it, and your meringue work is spectacular! You are one talented lady!

  3. Oh yes, I love your version! Much better than the traditional British lemon meringue pie, which is far too sweet for me…

  4. Pingback: KIWI & COCONUT CRUST TART « the sour plum

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