February 21, 2014 8:13 pm

The Paris baker: lemon meringue tart

Its slippery top layer can make the classic lemon meringue pie tough to master. Here is a simple but flavourful cheat . . .

We are all familiar with lemon meringue pie, the origins of which are unsure – some say America, others Spain or Switzerland.

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It is so well known that we can all claim it but it is a little tricky to get right, the main problem being the meringue slipping off the lemon cream.

An easier option is to make a really good lemon curd and a perfect meringue, and then combine the two to make a light, lemony, fluffy tart. While it may lack the visual splendour of the classic pie, it is still great and very simple. As the lemon meringue is quite sweet, I prefer to use a savoury pastry, which is also firmer to hold the filling.

Rose Carrarini is co-owner of Rose Bakery in Paris

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Lemon meringue tart

lemon meringue tart©Kate Fichard

Pastry

220g plain flour

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

140g cold butter, diced

About 4 tbs yoghurt

. . .

Lemon curd

5 egg yolks

2 whole eggs

65g caster sugar

120ml lemon juice

50g butter

. . .

Meringue

4 egg whites

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

50g caster sugar

● Start the day before by making and rolling out the pastry base and preparing the lemon curd.

● In a bowl, weigh out the flour and add the sugar, salt and butter. Work with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Bring it all together with the yoghurt to form a firm dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 mins.

● Butter a 23cm tart tin (or individual cases) with a removable bottom. Roll out the dough into a circle big enough to cover the tin and sides. Cover with clingfilm and chill overnight.

● To make the curd, put all the ingredients except the butter in a bowl. Place over a saucepan of steaming water and stir continuously until the mixture thickens. When it is really thick, mix in the butter. Take off the heat and pass through a strainer into another bowl. Cover with clingfilm and chill overnight.

● The following day, bake the tart blind in a preheated 180C oven for 30 mins until light brown. Leave to cool. Then make the meringue. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the cream of tartar, then slowly add the sugar until the peaks are stiff but remain smooth. Then take out curd and fold the meringue gently into it.

● Pour this mixture into the tart base and smooth the top. Bake in a 170C oven until golden and firm to the touch. When cool, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.

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