Mini or individual lemon meringue pie, turns the classic British dessert into individual tarts topped with blow-torched Italian meringue.
This recipe makes four individual tarts, and you can all of the individual elements and cook this over two days if required.
Individual Lemon Meringue Tartlets
As a child Lemon Meringue pie was always a special treat. As a result, it still very much feels that way today.
My version breaks down a classic lemon meringue pie recipe and turns it into individual mini tarts. But by all means, you could turn this into a large pie should you wish.
I am often frustrated by dessert recipes I find online because they are huge. Often developed for 6-8 people and rarely for four and heaven forbid for two.
This is why I often opt for simple desserts like poached pears as they are so much easier to make for smaller numbers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make these in advance?
You can but I would build the pies just before serving.
The pastry can be made 4-5 days in advance and will be fine in the fridge, you can even freeze it. You can bake the pastry tartlets and they will be fine in an airtight container for a couple of days.
The lemon “custard” will be fine in the fridge for 2-3 days in an airtight container.
The Italian meringue should be fine for up to a day or two.
Do I have to use a piping bag to add the meringue?
No not at all, I like the way that it looks, but you can spoon it on and then create some peaks with a fork if you prefer not to go through the hassle.
Can I use regular meringue and not Italian meringue?
Yes, but you will need to bake the pies with the meringue on rather than just grilling or using a blow torch.
This is because the hot sugar cooks an Italian meringue, a more traditional meringue for needs cooking. You can place it on top of the pies and cook them for the same time amount of as I suggest for the lemon custard.
Do I need a sugar thermometer?
To make an Italian meringue yes. The temperature of the sugar is essential in getting this right.
These individual lemon meringue pies require nothing on the side of them, they are perfect little tartlets.
They are a bit fancy and ideal for a dinner party or a date night dessert.
The sweet and sharp flavours are ideal served after something a little rich.
They are also great after a fish course, my pan-fried halibut with clams and samphire would be a perfect example.
I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- Food processor.
- Stand mixer.
- Cling film.
- Rolling pin.
- Kitchen knife.
- Four 10cm or 4″ tart cases.
- 15cm or 6″ saucepans.
- Sugar thermometer.
- Blow torch (optional), you can also slide the completed pies under the grill.
- Piping bag and nozzles (optional), you can spoon on the meringue and make peaks with a fork.
Lemon meringue pie was a real treat when I was growing up and still is one of my favourite desserts, these mini individual pies are designed for the smaller family or greedy couple... My wife and I are the latter 😉
For the Pastry:
- 225g (1¾ Cups) Plain Flour
- 175g (¾ Cup) Butter
- 50g (½ Cup) Icing Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
For the Lemon Custard:
- 3 Egg Yolks
- 125g (½ Cup + 2 Tbsp) Sugar
- 3 Lemons, Zest and Juice
- 35g (¼ Cup) Cornflour, Cornstarch in the US
- 225ml (1 Cup minus 1 Tbsp) Water
For the Meringue:
- 175g (¾ Cup + 2 Tbsp) Sugar
- 90ml (⅓ Cup + 1 Tbsp) Water
- 3 Egg Whites
- Place the flour and the butter for the pastry in a food processor and pulse until you arrive at a wet sand/breadcrumb texture.
- Add in the egg and powdered sugar and blitz until a ball is formed, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
- After the pastry has chilled roll out to 3mm-4mm thick on a floured work surface.
- Cut out a circle wide enough to fill your four tart cases with lots of overhang.
- Line the tart cases (10cm or 4") using a spare bit of pastry to push into the corners without stretching the pastry too much.The place them in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
- Heat the oven to 180°C or 350°F, then line the pie cases with baking parchment and pour in some baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and beans and bake for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before trimming the excess pastry and turning the oven down to 170°C or 340°F
- Bring the 225ml of water to the boil on the stove and whilst it is coming to temperature whisk together the cornflour, lemon zest and lemon juice.
- When your water is boiling reduce the heat and whisk in the cornflour and lemon mix until it begins to thicken, this should take 2-3 minutes.
- When this is done whisk together the egg yolks and sugar for the lemon custard and pour in a little of the hot lemon mix to loosen.
- Now pour the loose egg mix into the lemon and cornflour mix and keep on whisking for 3-4 minutes.
- Decant this lemon mixture into your pie cases and bake for 15 minutes or until set.
- Finally, we are going to make an Italian meringue, put 90ml of water and 180g of sugar in a pan, and bring it to a rolling boil, or softball as it is known. You will need a sugar thermometer for this and cook until it reaches 117°C or 240°F.
- Whilst this is happening whisk your egg whites in a stand mixer.
- Once your sugar syrup reaches temperature pour it into the egg whites as they are being whisked and continue to whisk on high until they cool.
- Place the cooled meringue into a piping bag and decorate your tarts.
- Place the pies under the grill (broiler) to caramelise or use a blow torch, I prefer the latter.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 871Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 265mgSodium: 313mgCarbohydrates: 130gFiber: 3gSugar: 84gProtein: 12g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.