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Mile High Lemon-Lime Tarts

These tangy tarts are so fancy looking they are great for any special occasion or just because you want an awesome dessert! With a crispy crust and tangy filling  and the pièces de résistance, lots and lots of mile high meringue.  What an indulgent treat they are, I make them for my sweet hearts birthday, he’s not much of a cake eater but love lemon meringue pie.

 

What you need:

  • 8 tart individual tart pans with removable bottoms
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350° f

For the Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups pecans o sliced almonds
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted at room temperature plus 2 tablespoons for greasing the tart pans
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°f.  Arrange the pecans or almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake for 7 to 9 minutes until lightly toasted.  You will smell the aromatic nuts that’s how you know they are ready. (for the almonds, only toast 5 to 7 minutes). Finely chop the nuts with a knife or a food processor.

With a pastry brush grease the pans and set aside. Using a mixer (food processor) fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed until fluffy. About 3 to 5 minutes add the vanilla, flour, and salt on low until incorporated.  Add the nut meal mix on low until it forms a dough ball and remove from bowl. It will be sticky, place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap cover and shape into a round disk chill for 30 minutes.

When the dough has chilled preheat the oven to 350° f.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator, divide the disk by cutting like a pie into 8 equal portions.  Press each piece into a prepared tart pan. If the dough is sticking to your hands just dust your fingers with a little flour as often as necessary.DSC_0013

Place the tart tins on a baking sheet and bake the crusts for 18 to 20 minutes they will turn golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool at least 30 minutes. Don’t worry if the tart shells aren’t perfect you’re going to fill them with curd so no one will ever know. (At this point the tart shells can be cooled and stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days).

 

Lemon-Lime Curd:

  • 10 extra-large or jumbo eggs yolks (be sure to reserve the egg whites at room temperature for the meringue)

 

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (now this is where you can decide whether to us key lime or regular lime I have used both and they are equally as good so you decided)
  • Zest of both 2 limes and 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

To make the curd whisk the egg yolks, sugar, lemon and lime juice and zest in a stainless steel or glass bowl over a pan of simmering water (double broiler style). Whisk together cook over heat for about 40 minutes stirring lightly about every 15 minutes until it starts to thicken.  Add the butter and whisk until melted. The curd should be thick and resembling the consistency of loose custard.  Transfer the warm curd to a bowl cover with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or up to 3 days.

 

Meringue:

  • 10 egg whites at room temperature (reserved)
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar

This is a Swiss meringue that I’ve made many times it turns out great and can be made on days that most meringue would fall flat on.  You’re just making a very big batch for this recipe.

In a stainless steel bowl over simmering water or a double broiler method.  Heat egg white’s mixture whisking the whole time until all the sugar granulates a melted.  The whites will start to get fluffy and if you dip a teaspoon into the mixture and whip your finger over the back you will feel if there is any sugar that hasn’t melted yet.  when all the sugar is melted remove from heat and pour into the bowl of a mixer.  Whip until the whites are shiny and fully whipped leaving a trail from the whisk.

Spoon the meringue onto each tart pile it high and make curls or a smooth mount then shape the way you want then toast the meringue with a kitchen torch. If toasting in the oven remove all the racks but the bottom, then toast being careful to watch for just the right amount of caramelization. If you have a pastry bag you can pipe the meringue onto each tart.  Then toast with a kitchen torch or place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven. Oven toasting at 350°f watch the tops toasting until meringue is brown and perfectly toasted.

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Enjoy,

I’m on the hunt for who I’ve not yet become…

Lury

 

 

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