Lemon Meringue Tarts | Bake the Book

Deborah Jones

These highly delightful lemon tarts from The Bouchon Bakery cookbook let everyone at the table have their own dessert. Pile the meringue high or low; the sweet tart dough, lightly spongy madeleine layer, and tart lemon filling combine texture and taste in a marvelous way.

Tips: Just like the crepe cake, these tarts are time-intensive. Follow this guide for best results:

Day 1: Make and refrigerate the pâte sucrée dough. Make and freeze the madeleine layer. Prepare and refrigerate lemon curd overnight.

Day 2: Assemble the tarts. Prepare tart shells (bake dough). Add madeleine layer. Add curd. Make meringue. Top with meringue.

Tweaks: Sebastian Rouxel, Keller's pastry chef, developed the tart dough specifically to be sweet, light, and the tiniest bit earthy, hence the use of powdered (not granulated) sugar, and almond meal. He also uses a technique to put the dough together called "fraiser"—i.e smearing the dough with the palm of your hand to incorporate the butter. You aren't smearing the whole dough every time; rather, the aim is to gather unincorporated areas of flour and meal into the butter with each pass of your hand. There are Youtube tutorials for this, if you'd like to explore the technique.

Speaking of dough, the recipe calls for one half of the pâte sucrée recipe. We prefer making the entire recipe in the original ratios and simply cutting the end result in half to use, rather than halving the recipe. Thus, the original measurements are given.

And just as with the last recipe—a Vitamix is not imperative, and pastry bags and tips can be approximated with plastic bags and scissors.

As always with our Bake the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Bounchon Bakery to give away.