When a slice of lemon meringue pie seems like just a little too much, consider this tart as an alternative. The same buttery crust is filled with an intense meyer lemon curd and topped with just enough bruleed meringue, making it a moderate and elegant way to enjoy the bright flavor of Meyer lemon.
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- Yield:serves 6 to 8
- Active time: 1 hour
- Total time:6 hours
- One half recipe Easy Pie Dough, shaped and chilled in a tart mold or ring
- 1 cup juice and 3 tablespoons zest from 6 to 8 medium Meyer lemons
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 egg yolks, 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 egg whites
- Optional:candied lemon peel
Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. When oven is ready, line chilled tart shell with foil or parchment paper and fill with weights (I reuse dried beans for this), and bake on the lowest rack of the oven for 15 minutes. Remove weights and liner, turn tart, and bake until the bottom crust is a golden brown (or slightly lighter, if you prefer that style), about 10 minutes. Remove pie shell from oven and allow to cool completely.
Fill one quarter of a large pot with water and bring the water to a simmer. Place a bowl over the top to make sure that it fits without touching the water. Set bowl on counter and add lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch, egg yolks and egg, 1 cup sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Place the bowl back over the pot of simmering water and whisk for until the mixture thickens to the consistency of pudding, 15-20 minutes. Whisk in the butter until it completely dissolves into the curd. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into the cooled tart shell and chill for at least 4 hours.
When the tart has chilled, bring a saucepan filled 1/4 with water to a simmer. Add the egg whites and remaining 1/2 cup sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk on medium speed until soft peaks begin to form. Remove bowl from stand mixer and set over the simmering water. Whisk by hand until the mixture reaches 140°F as registered on an instant read thermometer. Carefully return the bowl to the stand mixer and whisk the meringue on high speed until it becomes thick and glossy and holds firm peaks. Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a fluted tip and pipe designs onto the chilled tart. Preheat the oven on broil setting. Once the broiler is hot, place the tart directly under it and watch carefully for the meringue to brown. Once is has, remove the tart from the oven and chill until you are ready to serve. If you wish, decorate the tart with candied lemon zest.