French pastry chefs are famous for their “Lemon meringue tart”.
Every one has his own recipe, especially for the lemon filling. In addition to lemon juice and eggs, they can use starch, gelati sheets, a lot of butter or white chocolate….
But everyone wants to achieve the same goal: a soft and velvety batter with a strong lemon flavor.
generally it is combined with a billowy meringue, which can be flamed with a torch, or not.
I decided to add small French meringues … just to get the right combination of textures.
I read so many recipes,by the most famous Italian and French pastry chef, to get the so-called perfect lemon cream … ..and to realize my first lemon meringue tarts I chose the recipe by a great master of Italian pastry Emmanuele Forcone.
But in the future, do not miss the recipes by the great French pastry chefs.
Pate sucrée by C. Felder
- 2 cups (250 g) pastry flour
- a generous ¼ cup (30 g) almond meal
- ½ cup + 2.5 Tbs (150 g) soft unsalted butter
- ¾ cup (95 g) icing sugar
- 1 large whole egg (60 g – 2 generous oz)
- zest from 1 lemon
- a pinch of salt
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp (183 g) whole fat milk
- 3 medium egg yolks (52 g – scant 2 oz)
- ¼ cup (52 g) superfine granulated sugar
- 2 tsp (6 g) rice starch
- 2 tsp (6 g) cornstarch
- ¼ cup + 1.5 tbsp (70 g) lemon juice, sifted
- ¼ cup + 1 tbsp + 1 tsp (70 g) superfine granulated sugar
- 1 large whole egg (60 g - generous 2 oz)
- 1 gelatin sheet (2 g) 0.45%
- prepared pastry cream (about 1 cup)
- a generous ½ tsp (10 g) soft unsalted butter
- 3.5 tbsp (50 g) water
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp (140 g) superfine granulated sugar (1st)
- 1/3 cup (82,5 g) egg whites, room temperature
- 1 tbsp + 2 ¼ tsp (27,5 g) superfine granulated sugar (2nd)
- 1/3 cup (80 g) egg whites, room temperature
- ¾ cup + 2 tsp (160 g) superfine granulated sugar, divided
Pate sucrée by C. Felder
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, put butter, sifted icing sugar, almond meal, lemon zest, salt and mix to combine.
Add whole egg and mix to combine.
Then add the sifted flour and mix just to combine.
With your hands shape the dough into a ball, flatten into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours (best overnight).
In a heavy saucepan, pour the milk and bring to a boil over medium heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with sugar, rice starch and cornstarch.
When the milk comes to a boil, drizzle it into the bowl in a thin stream while mixing.
Sift the mixture, return to the saucepan, and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat, pour the cream on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface.
Refrigerate until chilled before using.
Soak gelatin sheet in cold water.
Lightly beat egg with sugar, add lemon juice, stirring constantly and bring to 180F - 82°C, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat, add butter and wringed gelatin.
Blend until well combined.
Add pastry cream and blend the mixture for 2 minutes.
To line the pastry rings
Brush the interior of your rings with butter (3 inches - 7 cm.) and place on a baking tray with baking paper
(I used microperforated round tart rings, microperforated tray and Silpat non-stick mat).
Roll the dough gently until you have an even 3mm thickness
Gently ease the dough into the sides of the ring, use your fingertips to press the pastry into the edges and up the wall of the tin.
Using the knife, remove the over hanging pastry.
Prick the base with a fork and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Baking and dressing
Heat fan oven to 320 F - 160°C.
(While the oven is heating, I put the tart shells in the freezer).
Bake the tart shell for 15 minutes and let completely cool.
Brush the base and edges with melted cocoa butter (or melted chocolate) and let cool.
Pour the lemon filling into a pastry bag and pipe the filling inside and refrigerate until set.
Brush the surface with neutral glaze (optional)
Stir 1st sugar and water in a saucepan.
Cook on medium-high heat until the syrup is 250 F - 121°C.
When the syrup is 245 F - 118°C whisk the egg whites and 2nd sugar, slowly adding the syrup to egg white mixture.
Whisk on high speed until thick and chilled.
Heat fan oven to 190F-90°C.
Whip egg whites with half the sugar, adding it a little at a time, until glossy.
With a rubber spatula add the remaining sugar, mixing well until incorporated.
Pipe the meringue on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 3 hours.
Let coll in the oven, door ajar, overnight.
Garnish the small tarts with italian meringue, use a blowtorch to caramelise the meringue until browned.
Add some small french meringues and serve.