Lemon Meringue Tart

serves 8-10

For the Tart Dough

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

9 Tablespoons (4 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes

1 extra large egg

For the Filling

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup water

1/2 cup whole milk

3 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

6 extra large egg yolks (reserving 4 of the whites for the meringue)

2 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the Meringue

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

1/3 cup water

4 extra large egg whites, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup superfine sugar

For the Tart Dough

In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt.  Pulse until combined.  Scatter the butter pieces over the flour.   Process in short bursts until the butter is the size of peas.  Add the egg and process in long pulses, about 5-7 seconds until the dough has started to clump.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and dump the dough onto the surface.  Using the plastic wrap and the back of your hands, gently press the dough into a disk.  Wrap tightly with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375º F.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  If refrigerated overnight, let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle, flouring the dough and surface as necessary to keep the dough from sticking.  Roll up the dough around the rolling pin and gently unroll it over an 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Fit the dough into the edge of the pan.  Roll the rolling pin over the top of the pan to remove the excess dough.  Place the tart onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or place in the freezer for 15 minutes.  

Line the tart pan with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove the weights and foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Place on a rack to cool completely. 

For the Filling

Position an oven rack in the upper-third of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan, whisking until everything is blended well and no yolk streaks remain.  Place the mixture over medium heat, then cook for one minute, stirring constantly.  The filling should be thick.  Pour the filling into the pie crust and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface.  Prepare the meringue immediately.

For the Meringue

In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch and sugar.  Gradually stir in the water to make a smooth, runny paste.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring briskly all the while, then boil for 15 seconds.  Remove from the heat and cover with a lid.

In a the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the whites until foamy.  Add the vanilla and cream of tartar and beat on medium speed until soft and definite peaks form.  With the motor running, very gradually add the sugar.  Beat on high speed until the peaks are very stiff and glossy, but not dry.  Reduce the speed to low and beat in the cornstarch paste 1 tablespoon at a time.  Once incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 10 seconds.  Remove the plastic wrap from the filling and immediately spread the meringue over the hot filling, anchoring it to the edge of the crust at all points.  Bake for 20 minutes until the meringue has set and is lightly browned.  Let cool completely on a rack, then refrigerate.  The pie can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Serve cold or at room temperature.  Enjoy!

Printed from thegalleygourmet.net