Lemon Meringue Tarts
1 ½ cups pecans
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
10 extra-large egg yolks(reserve the egg whites for the meringue)
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 2 lemons
2 TBSP unsalted butter
10 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
To make the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Arrange the pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast them 7-9 minutes, until golden. Coarsely chop your nuts.
With your fingers, butter eight 4 3/8 inch, 1 cup capacity mini tart pans.
In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar.
Add flour and salt on low speed until combined.
Form dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.
Chill 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Divide into 8 equal pieces and press into the pans. Press it all the way up to the top edge of the pans.
Flour hands if sticky.
Bake 20 minutes.
Cool before filling with lemon curd.
To make the curd:
Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in the top of a double boiler.
Add the butter to the egg yolk mixture and whisk until melted and smooth.
Cook about 40 minutes, stirring about every 15 minutes until thick.
Transfer to a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap onto the surface of the curd. Chill at least 4 hours but can also keep for 3 days.
Making the meringue:
Set a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water.
Pour in the egg whites and sugar.
Whisk constantly to melt sugar.
Once melted, whip it in a mixer with a whisk on low speed for 5 minutes.
Then increase to high for 5 minutes longer, until the meringue is stiff and shiny.
Spoon the chilled lemon curd into the crusts.
Pile the meringue on top of the curd.
Style the meringue with your fingers to make spikes. Broil tops or use a kitchen torch!
adapted from the pastry queen