Lemon Meringue Tartlets

A buttery shortbread crust, the zesty freshness of lemon curd and a cloud-like swirl of toasted meringue.

  • Author: Claire Coffey
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Refrigeration: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French


Units Scale

Shortbread crust:

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Lemon curd filling:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature


  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


Lemon curd:

  1. Whisk together the granulated sugar, lemon juice, zest and egg yolks.
  2. Place over a pot of simmering water. Whisking occasionally, cook until thickened (about 10 minutes).
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Cube the butter into 1/2" pieces and stir into the warm lemon curd.
  5. Pour into a bowl or jar, press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface and allow to cool to room temperature.

Shortbread crust:

  1. Cream the butter and granulated sugar on medium until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
  2. Add the egg, salt and vanilla extract with the mixer on low, mixing until just combined.
  3. Add the flour and continue beating on low-medium until the dough pulls away from the sides and forms a cohesive ball.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4" thick.
  6. Cut out circles of dough slightly larger than the tartlet pans.
  7. Press the dough into pans, working it across the bottom and up the sides. Use a small paring knife to trim the excess from the edges.
  8. Prick the bottom of each tart generously with a fork. Top with aluminum foil and pie weights (or uncooked rice).
  9. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Remove the foil/weights, and continue cooking for 5-10 more minutes or until no longer shiny.
  10. Let the shells cool completely before removing them from their pans.
  11. Fill the cooled tart shells with lemon curd until 3/4 of the way full.
  12. Refrigerate until firm (about 2-3 hours or overnight).


  1. Whisk together the egg whites and sugar.
  2. Place over a pot of boiling water and cook until the sugar dissolves (3-5 minutes) and the mixture is hot (A candy thermometer should register about 160F).
  3. Remove from the heat and whip on high until light, fluffy and cool to the touch (4-8 minutes).
  4. Add the vanilla extract and whip on low until just combined.
  5. Spoon the meringue into a piping bag with a large, round tip (I used an Ateco 809) and pipe a generous dollop onto each tart.
  6. Use the back of a teaspoon to spread the meringue to the edges and to create a spiraled groove.
  7. Toast using a chef's torch.


  • Softening refrigerated butter: Cut butter into ½ tablespoon squares. Place on a plate and microwave in 5-second increments until softened.
  • Bringing cold eggs to room temperature quickly: If you need to bring your eggs to room temperature quickly for this recipe, place them in a bowl of hot tap water for 5 minutes.
  • Extra thick lemon curd: If you want an extra thick curd, substitute one egg yolk for a whole egg.
  • Start with a perfectly clean bowl for the meringue: Grease can ruin meringue, so be sure to thoroughly clean whatever utensils you will use with warm, soapy water.
  • Avoid using plastic bowls or utensils as they tend to develop a greasy coating over time that's difficult to remove; instead, opt for glass, metal, or ceramic.
  • Storage: Can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Keywords: lemon meringue tart, lemon meringue tartlets, mini lemon meringue tarts