Sweet tart pastry dough
- 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
- 1 large egg, separated
- 1-1/2 to 2 tbsp ice water
- 1 large egg and 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- Finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 2 large unwaxed lemons
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling
- 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
For pastry dough:
1 Process flour, salt, confectioners’ sugar and butter in a food processor fitted with a metal blade until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and resemble fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk and ice water and process again until the dough forms a ball and leaves the side of the bowl. Add extra water if the dough seems crumbly or dry.
2 Form the dough into a ball, pressing it gently to get rid of cracks, wrap in foil, and chill for 1 hour. Remove dough from the refrigerator and let it soften for 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature before rolling out. Roll out dough fairly thinly onto a lightly floured surface. Press dough into tart pan and trim off excess pastry.
3 To pre-bake the tart shell, take long thin strips of foil and fold them over the edge of the tart to protect and support the sides of the pastry shell. Prick the base of the shell with a fork. Chill for 30 to 40 minutes in the refrigerator.
4 Bake the tart shell in a preheated 375°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until crust is lightly browned. Beat egg white with a fork and set aside. Remove the foil strips and brush the tart shell with egg white. Return shell to oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until pastry is golden and crisp. Let the tart shell cool in the pan before removing.
For lemon filling and meringue
1 Lower the oven to 325°F.
2 To make the filling, put the egg, egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and beat until slightly thickened and a paler yellow. Beat in the lemon zest, butter, cream and finally the lemon juice. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until the filling is barely set in the centre. Do not let it overbake.
3 To make the meringue, put the egg whites and cream of tartar in a grease-free bowl and, using an electric whisk, whisk until frothy and stiff peaks form. Whisk in 1/4 cup sugar until the meringue is thick and glossy. Fold in the other 1/4 cup sugar and the lemon zest using a metal spoon.
4 Pile the meringue onto the tart, swirling and peaking as you go. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon sugar and return the tart to the oven for 30 minutes, until the meringue is browned and crisp on the outside. Serve just warm or cold.
Makes one 9" tart.