For me, a lemon meringue tart is the quintessential summertime dessert. When you take your first bite, soft and fluffy meringue clouds float to the roof of your mouth followed by the sweet yet tart, creamy lemon curd. Finally, the flakey gluten free crust melts in your mouth and it's a perfectly refreshing dessert for a warm summer's day. I like to enjoy a small slice with an ice coffee. It's also a favorite with my family. What is your favorite summertime treat?
This amazing photo was taken by the great Joanie Schwarz :)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups gluten free baking mix (I prefer Bisquick gluten free baking mix)
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 lemons at room temperature
4 egg yolks at room temperature (reserve whites for meringue)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
Pinch of kosher salt
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
For the tart shell:
Mix the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until combined. Add vanilla. In a medium sized bowl, sift the flour and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the sugar and butter mixture. Mix until the dough starts to come together. If the dough is dry, add 1 tablespoon at a time of ice water until it starts to take shape.
Place the dough on a surface with GF flour. Shape into a flat disk and dump into a 9 inch round tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough with your fingers until it is shaped evenly in the pan. Make sure the edge is flat and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Using a piece of parchment paper, place it on top of the tart shell. Fill it with pie weights, rice or beans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and filler and prick the tart all over with a fork. Bake again for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool to room temperature.
For the lemon curd:
Remove the zest of the lemons with a vegetable peeler, avoiding the white pith.
Squeeze the lemons to get 1/2 cup of the juice and set aside. In a food processor with a steel blade, process the zest and sugar for 2-4 minutes until very fine.
In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter with the sugar and lemon zest. Add the eggs slowly and add the lemon juice until combined. Pour into a medium saucepan and cook on low heat until thickened. 8-10 minutes. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove from heat and pour the lemon curd into the tart shell. Allow the lemon curd to set a room temperature.
For the meringue:
Place the eggs whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with a whisk attachment. With a wire whisk gently break up the cream of tartar. Then, using a low speed, beat the eggs whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. 2-3 minutes.
Pour the meringue on top of the lemon curd and that it touches the edge of the crust. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the meringue is golden.