One day recently, a large bag of Meyer lemons appeared on the counter top. They certainly were not put there by me. There are people in my house (who would also not be me) that love lemon-meringue-anything more than chocolate. I am actually unclear on how that could possibly be true.
I even Googled it and found there are others like that out there – a genuine lemon-loving posse. Apparently one of the posse gifted us with the lemons.
Even I’m not immune to the perfume of those pretty little lemons. Creating this tart was almost kind of fun and although I would not walk a mile to find a lemon (though I would for chocolate) it turned out to be pretty darn tasty. For lemon. If you are one of the lemon-tribe then this thing might make you pretty happy.
It involves that tasty (and dairy-free) almond coconut crust which seems to really go with lemon quite nicely. Then instead of that icky lemon gooey pudding stuff, the filling is almost the same as the stuff you would make for lemon squares, but bigger on the tarty lemon flavor.
And the top is crazy meringue. Nothing annoys me more than a meringue pie that is raw egg fluff in the center. I want to taste that caramel-like meringue flavor all the way through but I also enjoy that mile-high pile. And guess what? If you prepare the meringue the same way you would if you were making the beginnings of a fabulous Swiss Meringue Buttercream, then the thing will brown up in the oven and be cooked all the way through tasting every bit as it should – like toasty caramel-like meringue.
It looks a little like a giant mushroom in an elfin forest. I might have piled too much meringue on top of a tiny tart. I recommend the 8-inch springform pan which will make your meringue look a little less like a mushroom on steroids and a little more refined like a tart.
Also, these can be happily prepared in a mini muffin tin, making one-bite lemon meringue tart indulgences for the entire lemon-loving posse. Just roll little balls of dough like for the coconut almond tarts. Add a tablespoon of filling, bake and then top with a piping of meringue. Bake again to brown the meringue. Cool and there you have it.
If you guys want more lemon stuff, let me know because I’m happy to oblige. I know I get stuck on the other not-lemon stuff. You know, chocolate. But, I’m happy to take a walk on the citrus side, especially in Meyer lemon season.
Happy almost spring.
|Meyer Lemon Meringue Tart, Gluten Free||
- 260 grams Canteen blend flour (2 cups)
- 120 grams almond flour (1 cup)
- 60 grams unsweetened flaked coconut (1/2 cup)
- 50 grams granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 170 grams shortening (Spectrum solid vegetable) (14 tablespoons)
- 30 grams coconut oil (Spectrum extra virgin solid) (2 tablespoons)
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 300 grams granulated sugar (1½ cups)
- 3 tablespoons lemon zest (4-6 Meyer Lemons)
- 6 extra-large eggs
- 130 grams Canteen flour blend, sifted (1 cup)
- 175 grams (Meyer) lemon juice (about 1 scant cup)
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 extra large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 200 grams granulated sugar (1 cup)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a food processor pulse together flour, almond flour and flake coconut until the mixture is finely ground. Add sugar and salt and pulse again. Add shortening and coconut oil and pulse until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add eggs and pulse until mixture turns into a ragged dough ball. Turn mixture onto plastic wrap and remove blade (carefully). Knead dough lightly until it comes together. Divide dough in thirds. Set aside one-third for another use. Place two-thirds of the dough in an 8 inch springform pan. Use clean fingers to press dough flat on the bottom and up the sides about half way to three-quarters to the top. Freeze pan for 30 minutes.
- While dough is chilling in the freezer, preheat oven to 350. Place springform pan on a baking sheets and blind bake for 15-20 minutes or until it is almost golden brown. Cool on a rack while preparing the filling.
- Mix sugar with zest and let sit for 15 minutes to infuse the flavors. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, flour, lemon juice and vanilla extracts. Whisk in lemon/sugar. Pour filling over the crust, carefully and slowly so the crust does not break, and through a strainer to catch all the lemon zest and citrus pieces.Bake (oven should still be at 350°F) 30-35 minutes or until the filling is set and does not wiggle in the center. Place pan on a rack and cool while preparing the meringue.
- In a stand mixer bowl, whisk together egg white, cream of tartar, sugar and salt. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water (think double boiler) and cook, stirring, over medium low heat until the mixture becomes frothy, turns somewhat clear and the temperature on an instant-read digital thermometer is 160°F. Immediately move the bowl and place it on the stand mixer. Using the whip attachment beat the mixture on medium low speed and as it begins to turn frothy, turn mixer to high and whip the whites until they form shiny white peaks. Add the vanilla and whip just to incorporate.
- Using a silicone or offset spatula, pile the meringue on top of the tart all the way to the edges of the crust building up the center (think giant mushroom cap). Place the tart back into the 350°F oven and bake for 10-14 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown. Because you already cooked the inside of the meringue in the double boiler, it can be a mile-high pile and it will have great flavor.
- Cool the tart completely on a rack before removing the springform collar. Use a small offset spatula or paring knife to release the edge of the crust, remove the springform collar and place the tart on a serving plate. Store in the refrigerator, and serve cold or at room temperature.