Lemon Meringue Tart

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Very French and very excellent – a true crowd pleaser! And I have to ask you please, pleaaaase to make the lemon curd rather than buy the ready made stuff – this is so much tastier!!

I tried out a different shortcrust pastry in this recipe, one with less sugar and less butter since the rest of the tart is already so rich, however you can also use the one from my Poached Pear and Almond Tart recipe, it’ll work just as well!

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For the Pastry:

120g Dove’s farm gluten free plain flour

30g chickpea flour

1/2tsp Xanthan gum

Pinch salt

55g butter, diced small

1 egg

2 tbsp water

For the Lemon Curd:

120g lemon juice

1 lemon, zest

150g caster sugar

150-180g egg

30g butter, diced small

For the Italian Meringue:

100g egg white

200g caster sugar

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Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Start by making the dough: mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the butter, cut up into cubes. Rub it between your fingers until you get a sandy texture. Add the whisked egg mix it through before adding the water until you get a nice, smooth dough. Knead a little to distribute everything nicely, then roll out between two sheets of parchment paper.

Grease a baking tin and line it with the dough. Cut off the excess pastry. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough casing and fill with baking beans. Blind bake your tart for 10′ or until the sides start to colour, then remove the beans and put back in the oven for 10′ or until the base of the tart is golden brown.

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While the tart is baking, make your curd. Whisk together the lemon juice, zest and sugar over a Bain-Marie until the sugar is dissolved. Still over the Bain-Marie, add the eggs and whisk until just incorporated before switching to a maryse. Make cross motions in the curd with your maryse and keep doing so until the curd thickens and reaches about 82°C (you can plop a thermometer in there if you’re not too sure). Just be careful with this step because heating the curd too quickly will make the eggs curdle and you’ll get an omelette. Better be slow and take your time on a low heat to get the perfect curd. If you do get a few scrambled egg bits, just pass your curd through a fine sieve and it’ll be fine. Take the curd off the bain-marie and while it’s still warm, gradually drop in the butter in nobs and mix it through with your maryse until fully melted through. Keep in the fridge to set.

Now you can move to your Italian meringue. Bring the sugar with a little water to the boil and start whisking the egg whites vigorously when the sugar reaches about 106°C. When the sugar reaches 118°C, pour it into the egg whites while still whisking – if using a kitchen aid, put the speed on low so you don’t get splattered and burnt with hot sugar. Once all the sugar syrup is in, put the speed back on high and whisk until the meringue has cooled down to room temperature.

Once your tart case is ready, fill it with the lemon curd, followed by the meringue. If you have a blow torch, by all means fir the meringue tips a little flame and they’ll be all lovely and golden. You can also do so under a grill. I have neither – and that’s fine too!

Enjoy!

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