October 13, 2013

Raspberry & Lemon Curd Italian Meringue Tart

Lemon Meringue Pie is probably one of my all time favourite dessert pies. 

When I used to make it back in my Uni days though, the filling would be one large part condensed milk and while the meringue was easy to make, doing the old fashioned way (i.e. whipped stiff peak egg whites + gradual pour of sugar method), I always found that the resulting meringue would weep within a few hours and then the next day, the pie would look a bit worse for wear in the fridge.

The Italian meringue method I used for this tart however, yielded a much sturdier peak with no meringue tears in sight. And these days, while I do like my pies and cakes, I lean towards more balanced tasting desserts, and adding in some divine summer fruit like Raspberry gives just the right tarty balance to this tart ;) I followed a recipe from the recent Spring/Summer issue of the Donna Hay magazine, but used my large rectangular fluted tart tin (you can use 6 round fluted tart tins if you wish), and also piped out the meringue like little gnome heads!

There are a few steps to this recipe, including prep time , baking time, and refrigeration time, so be sure to read through all the steps first before figuring out whether you have time to make this! Of course you can make the short crust pastry and lemon curd ahead of time (like a night or two before) and then just make the meringue the day of, and assemble it altogether before taking it to a friend's place or serving to your loved ones!
As my tart tin was quite a shallow tin, I had a whole jar of lemon curd left to devour for the week after! Not bad ey? :)


adapted from Donna Hay Spring/Summer 2013 magazine

  • Short crust pastry 70 mins (40 mins of this is refrigeration time, 20 mins of this is bake time)
  • Lemon Curd filling 50 mins (30 mins of this is having the lemon curd & raspberry filling set in the pastry case, fridge)
  • Italian Meringue & Piping (40 mins)
Short Crust Pastry
  • 225 gm or 1.5 Cups Plain White Flour
  • 125 gm Chilled Unsalted Butter, cut into small cubes
  • 80 gm or 0.5 Cup Icing Sugar (aka confectioner's sugar), plus extra for dusting
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 TBSP Iced Water
Lemon Curd & Raspberries
  • 430 ml or 1.75 Cups of Milk (skim or whole is fine)
  • 220 gm or 1 Cup Caster (aka Super fine) sugar
  • 50 gm or 0.33 Cup Cornflour (aka Corn Starch
  • 80 gm Unsalted Butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 TBSP Finely grated Lemon Zest
  • 125 ml or 0.5 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 6 Egg Yolks
  • 1 Cup of Frozen Raspberries thawed + punnet of Fresh Raspberries
Italian Meringue
  • 80 ml or 1/3 Cup Water
  • 330 gm or 1.5 Cups of Caster (aka Super fine) sugar
  • 3 Egg whites, a room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (or substitute with lemon juice if you don't have any)
  • 5 inch X 14 inch fluted tart tin (with liftable centre)
  • Standing Mixer
  • Small saucepan x 1,  Medium saucepan x 1
  • Whisk
  • Measuring cups and Scales
  • Palette knife / Spatula
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Rolling Pin & Board
  • Kitchen blowtorch
Short Crust Pastry

(1) Place the flour, butter and icing sugar in a food processor (I used my KitchenAid standing mixer with the whisk attachment), and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
(2) Whilst the motor is running, add the egg yolks and cold water, and watch as the breadcrumbs come together like a dough.
(3) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface (floured with plain flour or icing sugar) and gently bring it together to form a ball then flatten it to a disc. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins (or 20 mins in the freezer), or until firm.
(4) Preheat oven to 160 Degrees Celsius (325 Degrees Fahrenheit). Take your dough out of the fridge and wait for 5-10 mins until the dough is roll-able to about 1.5mm thickness. Place this dough onto your greased tart tin, press down into the tin and the fluted edges and then trim off all the excess dough sitting over the edge. Place this in the fridge to firm up for 8 minutes.
(5) Line a piece of baking paper on top of this pastry case and place pastry weights on top (I didn't have any, and just filled the case with lentil beans, you can also use rice!). Blind bake for 10 minutes, then remove the baking paper and weights and further bake another 10 minutes until the pastry is slightly golden. Leave to cool then remove the pastry case out of the tin onto a baking rack or tray

Lemon Curd & Raspberry Filling

(1) Place 1 cup of the milk into a medium saucepan, and place the sugar as well. Place over high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
(2) In a separate mixing bowl, place the cornflour and the remaining milk and whisk together. Then add this cornflour mixture to the milk mixture.
(3) Reduce heat to medium, add butter to the saucepan mixture and whisk until melted and combined.
(4) Add lemon juice, zest and egg yolks and continue cooking and whisking until the mixture is thickened like a custard texture, then take off heat.
(5) Crush the raspberries and spread over the cooled pastry case.
(6) While lemon curd mixture is hot, pour it over the raspberries and smooth the surface with a palette knife.
(7) Place the filled pastry case in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Italian Meringue Topping

(1) Place the Water and sugar in a small saucepan over high heat. Place a candy thermometer in the saucepan and bring the mixture to the boil, cook 6-10 minutes until the thermometer reads 121 Degrees Celsius (or 250 Degrees Fahrenheit)
(2) Meanwhile place the egg whites and cream of tartar (or lemon juice) in an electric mixer/standing mixer and whisk until soft peaks form.
(3) Whilst the motor is running on the electric mixer, add the sugar syrup in a thin steady stream into the egg whites. Continue to whisk until the mixing bowl feels cool (be careful because the metal bowl can get really hot!).
(4) Spoon the glossy mixture onto the pie(s) (or pipe them out like I did) over the lemon curd and using a kitchen blow torch, lightly torch the surfaces until golden flecks form.

Serve this tart with more fresh raspberries and mint leaves. Or like I did, with another swipe of scorched meringue on the plate :)


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