This Lemon Meringue Tart is tangy and sweet. Buttery crust filled with creamy lemon filling and topped with sweet meringue. Detailed step-by-step instructions and video provided to help you master this recipe. Plus instructions for making Lemon Meringue Tartlets.
Make the crust in a food processor: Place flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a food processor and pulse 4-5 times until coarse meal forms. Add egg yolk and pulse 2 times. Add one tablespoon water at the time and pulse 1-2 times after every tablespoon. Stop pulsing when the dough starts to clump. Watch the step-by-step photos and the video to see the required consistency.
If you don't have a food processor, then make the crust with a pastry cutter or two forks instead: In this case mix together flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Then add butter and cut it into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal with pea-sized butter flakes. Then add egg yolk, and water little by little until the texture starts to clump.
Form crust into a 1 - 1.5-inch thick disc without kneading. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 4 days.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough disc into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie dish. Press into the bottom and the sides of the pan and trim off any excess crust. Peak a few times. Freeze for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
Line chilled crust with parchment paper and push it lightly against the bottom and the sides of your crust. Make sure that the parchment paper covers the edges of your crust completely to prevent it from heavy browning. Then heavy it down with baking beans (or beans or rice). Also, make sure that your baking beans push against the sides as well to prevent them from sinking down to the bottom. Transfer to the preheated oven and place a piece of parchment paper underneath the baking pan. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 20 minutes. Then remove the paper and the baking beans and let cool completely.
In a medium bowl whisk egg yolks and cornstarch to combine. Set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan bring water, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and zest over medium-high heat to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring constantly.
Turn heat down to medium-low. Stir about 1/2 cup of the hot liquid into the egg yolks to slowly warm it. Then pour warmed egg mixture slowly into the saucepan, whisking constantly.
Cook until filling is thick and looks like pudding, for about 5-6 minutes. It needs to be thick that it plops from a spoon or the filling won't set in the crust. Turn temperature down or remove the pan from the heat for a few seconds that it doesn't burn, if necessary. Whisk continuously.
Remove from heat and stir in butter little by little until smooth and fully combined for about 1-2 minutes. Pour through a mesh strainer and transfer to the crust. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
Fill a saucepan 2 inches high with water and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl (preferably glass) and set over the saucepan. The bowl should not touch the water.
Whisk continuously for 3-5 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved. The meringue should be warm to touch.
Remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on high speed until shiny, glossy, and stiff peaks form, for about 5-7 minutes.
Transfer to a piping bag and pipe or spoon meringue on top of chilled Lemon Tart. Store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days.