School was over. Kids are off to their summer holiday. Just two weeks in, we are experiencing a burning heat wave. How burning? Like I wake up in the morning, brush my teeth and I am already sweaty. This hot! Yesterday the thermometer on our patio was pointing at 37C at 3pm. I have no idea how we are going to do with this for the next two months.
Being said that, my husband is a California kind of guy. He enjoys it! He tells everyone that he prefers this than gloomy and rainy fall/winter in Vancouver. Well, I would prefer so too! Except it makes cooking really challenging. Just the thought of having my oven on at 350F in my 30C kitchen already makes me sweaty. Because I’ve done that, and half of my body was melted.
What I do is, instead of giving up cooking at all (NO! Not my style!), I plan a little bit. I try to schedule all the oven-baking in the early morning. For example, I prepared and lined these tartlets shells in the muffin pan, store in the freezer. Next morning, before I brushed my teeth, I turned on the oven to bake them. Let them cool, fill with lemon curd and top with meringue. Yes, kitchen torch might sound a bit too fire-y. But at least you won’t get melted.
Ingredients (12 tartlets):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 3 lemons
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon water
In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt.
Cream butter and powdered sugar in a bowl of a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just incorporated.
Gather dough and form a dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to chill.
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a regular-sized muffin pan.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 5-inch rounds. Line the prepared pans with the dough circles. Use a small kitchen knife to trim the excess and to score the tops of the tartlets.
Place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before baking for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden.
Remove from oven and let the tart shells cool a few minutes before inverting and transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
To prepare lemon curd, mix lemon zest and sugar with a fork.
In a large bowl, cream the butter. Add the sugar mixture and beat together. Add the eggs, lemon juice and salt and mix together until thoroughly combined.
Pour the mixture into a pan and cook over low heat while stirring constantly for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the curd starts to thicken and coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove from heat. Push the lemon curd through the sieve and into a bowl to make it super smooth. Spoon the lemon curd into the cooled shortbread tartlet crusts, and place them in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
To prepare meringue, in a large heatproof bowl, combine sugar and egg whites. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on high speed until foamy for 1 minute. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Beat on high speed until the mixture is hot to touch and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in water, and continue whipping for another 10 minutes until stiff and glossy peaks form.
Transfer meringue to a piping bag attached to a large round tip. Pipe meringue on each tartlet. Use a kitchen torch to lightly brown the frosting.
Keep the tartlets in the refrigerator. Serve in the same day.
I really need to make these on a friday night and they will be served saturday, if they stay in the fridge and bring them to room temperature before serving will that affect anything?
Hi Robyn, yes you can do that! I would suggest that you make the meringue and toast it on Saturday if you could. )
Would you be able to make these in mini muffin tins?
Hi Katie, yes! And such a great idea you have! Mini bit-size tartlets. So adorable! I would make a thinner crust though to hold a little more filling.
These tarts are so adorable! I want to make them for a friend’s bday but have a few questions. The directions say to spoon the curd into the lined muffin pan. Do you mean lined with the tart shells? Also, can you brown the meringue under the broiler instead of using a kitchen torch? Thanks so much! I hope mine turn out as cute as yours!!
Hi Faye, you are right. The lemon curd should go inside the cooled shortbread tartlet crusts (already updated the blog post to avoid further confusion, thanks for the heads up). You can definitely brown the meringue under the broiler. But keep your eyes close to the oven during those few minutes. Hope you and your friend will enjoy the recipe. :)
I would love to try these! But I have a question about the 5-inch rounds. Are you patting the rounds onto the sides of each individual muffin? Also, after each tartlet is cooled, you put it back into the pan?
Hi Melissa, yes, I pat/line the dough rounds onto the bottoms and sides of each muffin hole. After they are cooled from baking, you flip the pan over to let the tartlet crusts fall out. :)
Shortbread and lemon together is the most perfect dessert combination! I wish i could have one now! Yummmmm!
Thanks guys! I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as you enjoy your wonderful summer! Cheers!
LOVE LOVE LOVE these, want to eat one right now!!! Fanny sorry to hear you are melting in Vancouver :( thank heavens you so quick to think how can I make these and not turn into a puddle!! :)
Hope all is good for you and your family. I am following you on FB now, my name is Flooella Mae Gooten, long story but it is a name my husband and his father used to call the girls when they were little.
I feel you! I can’t stand hot weather. Just like you said, it is too hard to cook during hot days. I like the idea of preparing ahead and baking in the morning. Gotta do that next time. :) By the way, these tartlets are gorgeous! Sounds so good! That meringue looks like Froster Freeze ice cream.
I’m totally in love with these, and that meringue on top is absolutely perfect. I’m feeling the heat right there with you!
These tartlets look so cute and delicious! And great idea for baking around the heat!
I don’t know if these could be any cuter. Or tastier-sounding. Very nice job!
Oh these tartlets are amazing. I love anything that comes in a miniature size, especially when they have such an intense taste like lemon. Well done!
Perfert creation there! The tartlets look really delicious!
Adorable! Look really chic and delicious too!