Pies are lovely but sometimes I like to make little tartlets. Folks just love having their own miniature pie. I haven’t tried this shrink job before on a lemon meringue pie. But today I did it. This is my take on my mom’s bastardized version of an old Betty Crocker recipe and (of course) made gluten free with my favorite crust. It has no gelatin for you gel haters! I make it with the lesser amount of sugar in the filling but you can double it if you are a sweet freak. The Meyer lemons in these tartlets are sweeter than regular lemons so they really don’t need all that much sugar compared to regular garden variety lemons.
I used Meyer lemons for this recipe since I had some my brother sent me. These tartlets have a really delicate lemon flavor – so try it if you can get a couple. Don’t worry; regular lemons work just fine. It can be slightly difficult to find Meyer lemons and a bit pricey too. I saw them at Giant this week, might be worth it…
My mom always added a touch of corn syrup to replace some of the reduced out sugar and because it makes the texture of this pie creamier and more delicate. In this tartlet form you can leave out the corn syrup…the resulting lemon custard kinda needs to be firmer in this tiny format.
Tip: Don’t make this on a very humid day or the meringue will weep and bead on the top. It will taste fine but the look will suffer from the humidity.
Store any leftovers in the fridge. It probably won’t keep more than two days but frankly these tartlets will be eaten if you have anyone else in the house!
Lemon Meringue Tartlets
1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe) [King Arthur plain mix]
2 tbsp sweet rice flour
1 Tbps. granulated sugar
½ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks
1 lg egg
2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice
Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.
Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer. Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal. Add egg and juice. Mix until it comes together into big chunks. Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes. Then roll it out and line 7-8 tartlet pan with it. Make sure you get the crust nice and thin; this crust can be tough to get the center as thin as the edges. Prick it all over with a fork to keep it from bubbling out and bake the empty crust at 350 for 9-10 minutes until light brown. Let cool.
1/3 to 2/3 cup sugar
1/3 plus 1 tbsp. corn starch
1 ½ cup water
3 eggs, separated; yolks for filling, save whites for meringue
1-2 tsp. lemon zest
½ cup fresh lemon juice
2-3 tbsp. clear corn syrup (optional but it does make it extra creamy)
3 tbsp. butter cut in small chunks
Start oven heating to 400 degrees for browning the topped tartlets.
Mix the sugar and corn starch in a heavy bottomed medium sized saucepan. Add the water, stirring. Heat until it boils, stirring constantly, boil one minute, take off heat. Beat yolks briefly in a small mixing bowl, then add the hot stuff slowly to it; half the hot mixture, stirring constantly. Then dump it all back into the saucepan, bring to a boil, stir like a crazy person so it doesn’t scorch. Boil 1 minute at medium heat. Remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice and zest and then stir in the butter. Let it melt as you stir. Glug in some corn syrup. Let it stand in the hot pan while you make the meringue. Then use a big spoon to pour the hot lemon filling into the mini pie crusts. Top while still hot with the meringue you just beat up. I put it on very carefully in 2-3 spoonfuls and spread it gently to keep it from overflowing the filling. There should be enough filling for eight flat bottomed tartlets or seven deep dish ones. Make sure you get the meringue all the way across the top and along every single edge. No cracks, no gaps. Bake it 10-11 minutes until light brown. Cool to room temperature and then chill for 1-2 hours before serving. This short chill time is one benefit of tartlets; they cool much faster than a big pie does. Enjoy!
three egg whites, room temperature
¼ tsp. cream of tarter
sprinkle of salt
6 tbsp. granulated sugar (or 8-10 tbsp.)
Beat the whites, sea salt and the cream of tarter until it is past the foamy stage, add the sugar half a tbsp. at a time beating on high until the whites are stiff and glossy. This will take several minutes.
If you add one or two extra egg whites add another ¼ tsp. cream of tarter and add 2 tbsp. sugar for each extra white. I do think for the tartlets that an extra egg white would make the topping thicker. Up to you bakers!
Brown Rice Flour Mix (Same as King Arthur All purpose blend)
2 c brown rice flour
2/3 c potato starch
1/3 c tapioca flour