This delightful classic creates a perfect balance of sweet and tart flavours. Consisting of a buttery pastry crust filled with tangy lemon curd and topped with fluffy, toasted meringues, this dessert is a perfect way to finish a spring evening.
For the Tart Crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons ice water
For the Lemon Filling:
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons corn flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2-3 lemons)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the Meringue:
1 large egg white
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt for the tart crust. Add the cold, cubed butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and ice water. Gradually add this mixture to the food processor while pulsing, just until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overmix.
Remove the dough from the food processor and press it into the bottom and up the sides of your Pillivuyt (Quiche) dish to create the tart shell. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the crust. This will prevent it from puffing up during baking.
Place the dish with the crust in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to chill.
While the crust is chilling, prepare the lemon filling. In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, corn flour, and salt. Gradually add the water, whisking constantly. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly pour a small amount of the hot sugar mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly to temper them. Then, pour the tempered yolks back into the saucepan with the remaining sugar mixture. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove the lemon filling from the heat and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and butter until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Pour the lemon filling into the chilled tart crust.
In a clean, dry mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. Mix in the vanilla extract.
Spoon dollops of meringue decoratively over the lemon filling in the Pillivuyt dish.
Bake the lemon meringue tart in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned.
Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool completely before serving.
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