Those of you who have been following my daily posts have probably already seen my Easter Sunday Supper without the Ham. This morning, I began to worry about the menu. (I’m one of those people who is constantly tweaking and fine-tuning right up until the last possible moment). My immediate concerns revolved around the dessert selection.
If the Lemon Buttercream Tea Cakes turn out to be the big hit with my extended family as I suspect they will be, would that be enough? The recipe only makes a dozen 2-inch individual cakes. Yet I did not want to double it. Twenty-four little cakes might be too many.
While I was pleased with the Serve-Yourself Angle Food Cake with Fresh Berry Buffet, I was still in a panic. After all, I had a reputation to uphold in my family of always serving up over the top desserts with plenty at the end of the evening so that Dad could pack up a goodie-bag and snack on my desserts for the rest of the week.
I remember growing up, one of Dad’s favorite pies was Lemon Meringue. Not too sweet, not too tart – Dad’s Lemon Meringue was delicious. On the other hand, an entire pie would not go with the overall presentation of the table. Yet I knew I had to add something – to compliment the little tea cakes and look pretty on the buffet table. Something that people could serve themselves easily. Think . . . tartlets! The answer was tartlets. That’s when I decided to pull something out of a multi-recipe posting to be a feature presentation, front and center, to add to my Easter Table. While the original Lemon Tartlets offered as part of Traveling Dinner Party – Part 9 – Desserts and Sweets were dusted with powdered sugar, topping the tartlets with meringue would more closely resembled the pie of my childhood.
Lemon Meringue Tartlets
Ingredients – Tartlet Shell
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg white
1 1/4 cups flour
Preheat over to 325 degrees. Spray 2 mini muffin pans with cooking spray.
In mixer bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg white; blend well. add flour; mix just until well blended. Divide into 24 pieces and drop into muffin cups. Press into tart shells.
Ingredients – Lemon Filling
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon butter melted & cooled
2 teaspoon lemon zest
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
For filling, lightly whisk eggs. Whisk in sugar and butter, lemon zest and juice. Mix well. Pour filling evenly into tart shells.
Bake 20-22 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Remove pan to cooling rack for 5 mins.
Remove from pan and cool completely. Store tightly covered in refrigerator.
Before serving, make Meringue.
Ingredients – Meringue
4 Egg Whites
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
Beat together ingredients for meringue topping with an electric mixer until firm peaks form.
Pipe or spoon Meringue on top of Lemon Tartlets. (If using a spoon, pull Meringue upward using the back of the spoon to create decorative “peaks”) Using a kitchen torch, lightly “brown” Meringue.
Note: If you do not have a kitchen torch, place tartlets on a baking sheet under the broiler, about 4 or 5 inches from heat source. Prop door open to draw heat across the tartlets until lightly brown. This will only take a minute or two, so watch them carefully!
Looking for a few short-cuts? Instead of making everything from scratch, use Pillsbury Pie Crust. With a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut circles and press into mini-muffin pan. You could also substitute the from scratch filling with Jell-O Lemon Pudding and Pie filling. Bake the shells first, then fill with cooled pie filling. Just don’t forget the Meringue topping!