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Lemon Meringue Tartlets

Lemon Meringue Tartlets

Ingredients:

Rich Short Dough:
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, soft
1¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
14 large egg yolks
6 cups cake flour, sifted

Lemon Curd:
½ cup (1 stick) butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing tartlet pans
2/3 cup sugar
½ cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
7 large egg yolks

Meringue:
2 large egg whites
2/3 cup sugar


Directions:

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest on medium speed, scraping down the bowl as needed, until the mixture is smooth an light in color, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the egg yolks gradually, scraping down the bowl and blending until smooth after each addition. Add the flour all at once and mix on low speed just until blended.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into recipe-ready amounts as desired. Wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a least 1 hour before rolling. The dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 1 week or frozen for later use.

For the tartlet shells: Grease 24 2-inch tartlet pans, place on sheet pan and set aside. Roll out the dough on the work surface to a 1/8-in thickness and cut out twenty-four 2¼-in round using a cookie cutter. Line the tart pans with the dough rounds. Prick the dough with a fork and refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 10 minutes.

Bake the tartlet shells in a preheated 350°F oven until very light golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool the tart shells completely in the pans, remove, and place on a sheet pan. For the lemon curd, combine half the butter, half the sugar, and the lemon juice and zest in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring gently to dissolve the sugar, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend the egg yolks with the remaining sugar in a medium heat-safe bowl. Temper by gradually adding one-third of the lemon juice mixture, whisking constantly. Return the tempered egg mixture to the sauce pan. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and come to a simmer, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the remaining butter.

Strain the curd into a shallow container or bowl. Cool the curd over an ice bath, stirring constantly, until it reaches room temperature.

Spoon or pipe 2 tsp of lemon curd into each tartlet shell. (The curd should just come to the top of the shell without overflowing.) Cover the tartlets with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

For the meringue, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat them on high speed until frothy and gradually beat in the sugar. Beat the meringue on high speed until medium peaks form, about 8 minutes. Pipe or dollop the meringue on top of the tartlets and brown the tops of the tartlets using a torch or under the broiler. Serve immediately.


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