Lemon Meringue, is there a better combination? The tangy lemon curd coupled with the pillowy sweet swiss meringue is so so delicious. I love how fresh it tastes compared to a traditional lemon meringue pie which would be baked. And how the swiss meringue just melts in your mouth!
I’ve wanted to create a tart with swiss meringue squiggles (yep, technical term!) down the front for ages now, after seeing some amazing creations on Instagram. I save SO many tart pictures on Instagram its ridiculous, but I just love the contrast of the meringue swirls against the structured tart. I’d actually planned to blow-torch the meringue once piped, but long story short my blow-torch stopped working – convenient I know! But I’m actually pretty glad! The combination of crisp white meringue against yellow lemon curd works so well. And it keeps the meringue super soft and almost marshmallowy.
This pastry is my go-to recipe for shortcrust and used in almost every tart recipe on my blog! I hardly ever make a sweet shortcrust for desserts, the filling is usually sweet enough that I just don’t think additional sugar in the pastry is necessary. It holds up really well with hardly any shrinkage in the oven, and is pretty forgiving when using scraps to patch any holes or tears with!
I was so happy with how this curd turned out, which I think was down to two reasons. I moved flat in the last few months, and I now have a really cute greengrocers 5 minutes from home. They have an amazing range of fruit and veg which I’m definitely going to explore more of, but they also had an abundance of Spanish lemons. It’s so true with baking that the better the ingredients you buy, the better your final baked result is. The lemons made the curd SO tangy and vibrant. I’ll definitely be going back there for my future baking needs.
The other reason I think it turned out so well is that I sieved it three times. This may seem a lot, but its worth it to create a super smooth and luscious curd.
I decided to make a Swiss meringue, partly because its my favourite to make but also because it meant I wouldn’t have to bake the tart. With a French meringue you must bake it before eating, as to create it you are simply whisking the egg whites and sugar together not heating anything. For Italian meringue you can eat it without baking, but you will need to pour 118C sugar syrup into your egg whites which adds a slight danger element.
For Swiss meringue you almost combine the two methods above, as you heat the egg whites and sugar together over a bain-marie until the sugar is dissolved and then whisk off the heat until the desired texture is achieved. You could then bake the meringue, however for this recipe you’ll want to heat the egg white/sugar mixture until it reaches 60C on a food thermometer. This will make it safe to eat, hooray!
I would definitely recommend investing in a food thermometer if you’re looking at making meringue even a few times, they’re not expensive and make it sooo much easier to work with.
I really love how this lemon meringue tart turned out, so please let me know if you give it a try! 🙂
Lemon Curd and Swiss Meringue Tart
- 225 g plain flour
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 120 g unsalted butter diced
- 2 tbsp ice-cold water
- 2 lemons
- 120 ml lemon juice roughly three lemons
- 120 g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 175 g unsalted butter diced
- 3 large egg whites
- 240 g caster sugar
- For the pastry: Mix the flour, caster sugar and salt together into a bowl. Add the diced butter, rubbing in with your hands until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the water 1tbsp at a time until the dough starts to come together. Turn out onto a lightly floured worktop, and knead until it comes together to form a uniform dough. Don't handle it too much. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and put in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Once chilled, roll the pastry out on a floured work surface into a rectangle about 2-3mm thick. Line the tin with the pastry and then pop back in the fridge for 30 minutes until firm. Then pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 4.
- Once the pastry is firm, line it with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Then bake for 20 minutes. Once the pastry is baked, remove from the oven and remove the beans and baking paper. Then return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes until the pastry is dry. Leave to cool completely.
- For the curd: Place the diced butter into a medium heat-proof bowl and set aside. Then using a vegetable peeler, peel the coloured zest from the lemons in strips leaving the white pith behind.
- Combine the zest, lemon juice, sugar and eggs in a medium saucepan and place over a medium heat whisking constantly. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then remove from the heat and using a sieve strain over the butter. Ensure the zest is removed and discarded.
- Using two bowls, sieve the mixture back and forth three times ensuring the curd is smooth.
- Pour the curd into the cooled tart shell and spread evenly. Then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. You can leave the tart in the fridge overnight at this stage.
- For the swiss meringue: Combine the egg whites and sugar in a large greasefree heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Whisk every now and then to ensure you don't cook the eggs, and heat until you reach 60C on a food thermometer. Then remove from the heat and using an electric whisk, whisk until you reach stiff peaks.
- Put the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 104 piping tip and pipe two 'squiggles' down each side of the tart lengthways.