500g shortcrust pastry
50g White sugar
2 Extra large eggs
10ml Lemon zest
60ml Lemon juice
30g Butter, cubed
15ml Corn flour, mixed with 15ml water
2 Extra large egg whites
½ Cup castor sugar
2/8 Cream of tartar
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
2. Spray two 12 hole mini muffin tins with cooking spray. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about a 2mm thickness.
3. Use a 6cm cutter and cut 24 pastry rounds. Firmly press the pastry rounds into the base and up the sides of the tins. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and let them sit in the freezer for at least 30 min.
4. For the filling: Start whisking the egg yolks and sugar until smooth and combined. Add the lemon zest, juice and butter. Place over a low heat and stir continuously until the butter has melted.
5. Stir in the corn flour mixture until thickened.
6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool.
7. Bake the pastry shells for 10-12 minutes, or until golden. Leave them to cool in the tins for 2-3 minutes and then remove the shells from the tins and place onto a wire rack to cool.
8. For the Meringue: Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat the mixture until it is thick and silky. REMEMBER: Do not rush the beating process!
9. To assemble the tarts, fill the pastry cups with a teaspoonful of the lemon filing. Then pipe or spoon the meringue on top and bake for about 10 minutes. Bake until the meringue is just starting to get a light golden colour on top.
Meringue is a basic staple to top any creamy filled tart or enjoyed on its own in the form of a sweet, chewy marshmallow like biscuit. It often looks like marshmallow fluff that has been lightly baked; this is the look you want to achieve with a meringue.
The sweet foam is made from combining two simple ingredients: sugar and egg whites. The two ingredients are beaten together to form a silky foam that can hold its shape when put into a mould. Brush up on these 6 tips and tricks to make sure your meringue is as good as those you see in a bakery!
Tip 1: Use old eggs
For a meringue, fresh eggs are not better. Older eggs become fluffier and form a higher peak when beaten. A quick trick to test if your eggs is perfect for meringue is to place it in a glass of water. If the egg stands up on its end, it’s a winner! If it floats, it is too old and if it lies on its side it is too fresh.
SEE ALSO: Breakfast Yoghurt Popsicles
Tip 2: Room temperature eggs
Always bring your eggs to room temperature before bake with them. Let the eggs sit out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before cracking and separating them. This tip makes beating the eggs easier.
Tip 3: Use clean utensils
Use a glass or metal bowl to whip your egg whites. The film found of plastic bowls can prevent eggs from foaming. Also, make sure your bowls and utensils don’t have any fat or grease on them, just a drop of oil can prevent the egg whites from foaming.
SEE ALSO: Peanut Butter And Chocolate Brownie
Tip 4: The secret ingredient
To get the best out of your beaten egg whites, add 1/8 of a teaspoon of cream of tartar for every egg white you use. Add this to the egg whites BEFORE beating! The acid in the cream of tartar helps stabalise the egg whites.
Psst! If you do not have any cream of tartar, simply use ½ a teaspoon of lemon juice for every egg white!
Tip 5: Do not rush it
When beating the egg whites, do not rush into adding the sugar. The slower you add the sugar the better it will dissolve and help form those silky peaks you are looking for. Try adding one tablespoon at a time. This will help avoid a gritty texture.
SEE ALSO: Baking With Chocolate
Tip 6: Check the weather
You may not think it, but the weather can affect your meringue! On a humid or rainy day, the egg whites can absorb the moisture in the air causing a sticky mixture.
Now that you know everything about making a perfect meringue, try our lemon meringue pie using these tips and tricks!
Mini Lemon Meringue tarts:
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