Lemon Curd Tartlets

Lemon Curd Tarlets
Lemon Curd Tarlets

These darlings of the dessert table are perfect two-bite sweets. They are very easy to make, and the signature meringue topping doesn’t have to be piped on—just spoon it.

Lemon Curd Tartlets

Yield: 12 tartlets

  • Lemon curd, freshly prepared, 1 lb 2 oz
  • Tartlet shells, pre-baked, 12 each
  • Swiss meringue, 10 oz
  1. Divide the warm lemon curd evenly among the tartlet shells. Chill for 1 hour, or until the curd sets.
  2. Divide the meringue amount the tartlets, mounding it on top of each one. Smooth the meringue using a palette knife, then create a pattern of parallel lines across the tartlet.
  3. Brown the meringue using a torch or under a salamander.

Note: The lemon curd can be cooled before filling the shells, but it will fill the tartlet more easily and create a smoother top if it is used while still warm.
Lemon Curd

Yield: 2 lb 2 oz

  • Butter, cubed, 1 lb 5 oz
  • Sugar, 1 lb 2 oz
  • Lemon juice, 18 fl oz
  • Lemon zest, 1 1/4 oz
  • Egg yolks, 1 lb 2 oz
  1. Combine 10.5 oz of the butter, 9 oz of the sugar and the lemon juice and zest and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring gently to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Meanwhile, blend the yolks with the remaining 9 oz sugar. Temper by gradually adding about one-third of the lemon juice mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return the tempered egg mixture to the saucepan. Continue cooking, stirring constantly with the whisk, until the mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Stir in the remaining butter.
  4. Strain the curd into a large shallow container or bowl. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the curd. Cool over an ice water bath.
  5. Store the curd, covered, under refrigeration.

Tartlet Shells

Yield: 12 shells

  • 1-2-3 cookie dough, 1 lb 4 oz (recipe follows)
  • Egg wash as needed (recipe follows)
  1. Roll out the dough 1/8 in thick. Using a 4-in cutter, cut 12 rounds.
  2. Assemble on a parchment-lined sheet pan if using rings. Fit the rounds into 3-in tartlet rings or pans, pressing the dough into place against the sides of the rings or tartlet pans. Smooth and trim the top edges.
  3. Place the shells under refrigeration or in the freezer until very firm. Line the frozen shells with foil or parchment and fill with pie weights or dry beans.
  4. Bake at 375°F until the shells have just begun to brown, about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil or parchment and weights. Lightly brush the pastry with egg wash. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes longer.

1-2-3 Cookie Dough

Yield: 6 lbs

  • Sugar, 1 lb
  • Vanilla extract, 1 tbsp
  • Cake flour, sifted, 3 lb
  • Butter, soft, 2 lb
  • Eggs, at room temperature, 8 oz
  1. Cream together the sugar and butter with the paddle attachment, starting on low speed and increasing to medium speed, scraping own the bowl periodically, until smooth and light in color, about 5 minutes.
  2. Combine the vanilla and eggs and add them gradually, scraping down the bowl and blending until smooth after each addition. Turn off the mixer and add the flour all at once. Mix on low speed until just blended. Do not over mix.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Scale the dough as desired. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling.

Egg Wash

Yield: 16 fl oz

  • Eggs, 8 oz
  • Milk, 8 fl oz
  • Salt, Pinch

Combine the eggs, milk, and salt using a wire whip.
Swiss Meringue

Yield: 1lb 5 oz

  • Egg whites, 8 oz
  • Vanilla extract, 1 tsp
  • Salt, pinch
  • Sugar, 1 lb
  1. Place the egg whites, vanilla, salt and sugar in the mixer bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.
  2. Place the bowl over barely simmering water and slowly stir the mixture until it reaches between 115 and 165°F, depending on use.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the mixer and whip on high speed with the whip attachment until the meringue is the desired consistency.