Lemon Meringue Tart
Sweet crust pastry:
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 7 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon peel
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into Tbsp-size pieces, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 egg whites, room temperature
For the pastry, sift the flour onto a work surface and make a well in the center. Mix the sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and salt in the well using your fingertips until the sugar and salt dissolve. Smash the butter with a rolling pin to soften and break into pieces. Work the pieces into the sugar mixture, using your fingertips. With a pastry cutter, cut the flour into the sugar mixture until well blended. Gather into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of 1/8 inch. Fit into a 9” 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly butter a square of foil and set the buttered side down in the tart shell. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until the pastry is set, for about 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights. Return the tart shell to the oven and bake for six to eight minutes, or until brown.
For the filling, whisk the sugar, lemon juice, eggs, egg yolks and lemon peel in the top of a non-aluminum double boiler set over boiling water until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, for about 10 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter, one Tbsp at a time, completely incorporating each before adding the next. Pour the filling to the crust and cool to room temperature.
For the meringue, preheat the broiler. Whisk the sugar and egg whites in a stainless steel bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water until a slowly dissolving ribbon forms when the whisk is lifted from the pot, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and beat with an electric mixer until cool and stiff. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe into concentric circles (beginning in the middle of the tart), covering the top completely. Broil until the meringue is lightly browned, about one minute. Serve immediately. Serves 8.
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