Lemon Meringue Tarts

August 15: National Lemon Meringue Pie Day

We have not been as lucky with lemons lately when we have failed at making a lemon meringue pie (the filling was too runny and the meringue was overbrowned). So we tried to make the best of the situation and bake mini pies (tarts) using phyllo cups and lemon curd. The filling was too sweet when paired with a supposedly crispy-turned-soggy shell. Determined to overcome these Food Flops, we tried again to make mini lemon meringue tarts using a different crust (from our Pecan Tassies recipe). They turned out terrific for our tea time gathering! And now we can post our version of lemon meringue tarts for National Lemon Meringue Pie Day.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • lemon curd
  • 2 egg whites
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup sugar, granulated white 

Directions

Make the mini pie/tart crust by mixing the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the flour to make a soft dough. Roll into a ball, cover with a plastic wrap and chill it for at least an hour to harden. Then divide the dough into 24 one-inch balls.

Flatten, press and shape the crusts in the wells of an ungreased muffin pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Fill the crusts with a teaspoonful of lemon curd. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar until foamy. Continue beating the egg whites and gradually add the sugar until stiff peaks form.

Fill a piping bag with a star tip (we used Tip 1M) and squeeze a little meringue on top of the lemon curd. Bake in the preheated oven at 350 degrees F for about 5-7 minutes, being careful not to overbrown the meringue. Remove from the oven (be careful as the lemon curd is hot and liquefied). Use a toothpick to remove the tarts from the pan when cooled. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate any leftovers. Bring to room temperature when ready to serve.

Notes

  • See our Food Flops page for a photo of our runny lemon meringue pie and other culinary catastrophies.

Lemon Cream Pie

Lemon Cream Pie

November 29: National Lemon Cream Pie Day

Islander loves the lemon fresh taste in cakes. So naturally she likes them in pies, too. Although pumpkin, pecan, apple and sweet potato pies are popular during the current season, lemon cream pie is a nice alternative. The sweet-tart citrus flavor, smooth velvety texture and fluffy whipped cream topping bring to mind sunny and warm days. Make someone’s upcoming holidays happy with a pie and make lemon cream pie on National Lemon Cream Pie Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

For the lemon pie

  • ¾ cup fresh lemon juice (5-6 lemons)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pie crust (we used a graham cracker crust)

Directions

Juice the lemons and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar. Stir in the sour cream. Add the lemon juice.

Lemon Cream Pie

Mix in the salt and blend well. Pour into the pie crust. Place on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. The middle of the filling will still jiggle slightly. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely. Prepare the cream topping.

Lemon Cream Pie

For the whipped cream topping

  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • lemon peel curls (optional garnish)

Directions

In a mixing bowl, whip the cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of the lemon cream pie. Or fill a pastry bag with a decorating tip and pipe designs on top of the pie. Garnish with lemon peel curls (optional). Chill the pie for at least another hour before slicing and serving.

Lemon Cream Pie

Notes

  • If using a frozen pre-made pie shell, bake it in the oven according to the directions on the package until golden brown. Cool before filling.
  • Do not worry if the lemon filling cracks during baking. They will be covered in cream and still taste delicious.
  • The cream topping ingredients yield a generous amount. Feel free to half the recipe to cover/decorate the lemon cream pie.