Lemon Lavender Meringue Tart with Thyme Shortcrust Pastry
Delicious lemon curd is topped with a lavender meringue, torched to toasty perfection. Then, it all sits atop a light, thyme-scented shortcrust pastry.
Keyword lavender, lemon, lemon meringue tart, meringue, pastry, shortcrust, tart, thyme
Prep Time 1hour
Cook Time 1hour
Resting Time (Inactive) 5hours
Total Time 7hours
Thyme Shortcrust Pastry
1½tbspchopped fresh thyme
1cupbutter, cold and cubed
2lemons-worth of zest
½cupbutter, cut into large pieces
6ozwhite chocolate, finely chopped
¼tspcream of tartar
¾-1½tbspground lavender (to taste)
Thyme Shortcrust Pastry
In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and finely chopped thyme. Pulse the ingredients until they're evenly combined.
Add the butter and the egg yolks, and mix again, just until everything comes together. It should resemble the texture of wet sand. Drizzle in up to 4 tbsp of cold water, only adding as much as it takes for the dough to hold together (check out the visual cue in the second video of my pie-basics post to know when your dough is properly hydrated: https://lexisrose.com/perfect-pie-crust/ ).
Dump the pastry dough onto a sheet of plastic, kneading it together just until it holds. Then, wrap it in the plastic and chill for at least one hour, or up to two days in the refrigerator.
When you're ready to bake the tart, preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll out the dough to ⅛" and transfer it carefully to an 11-inch round tart pan. I like to roll on a silicone baking mat, but you can just flour your work surface, or roll in between two layers of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to remove the excess from the edges. Pierce the crust all over and freeze for 30 minutes.
Remove the tart from the freezer and lay a piece of parchment paper inside. Then, pour some baking beans or pie weights on top. Pay special attention to the edges, helping support them (to prevent falling) while baking. Bake the tart shell for 18-20 minutes, or until just starting to become golden.
Remove the shell and the parchment paper from the oven, and brush the pastry quickly with a thin layer of the egg wash (your egg white mixed with remaining water.) Pop it back in the oven for just a few minutes, until it has a nice golden finish. Then, let it cool.
In a small saucepan, stir together the egg yolks, sugar, corn starch, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat, whisking for about 8-10 minutes, until it begins to thicken.
To the pan, add the butter and stir it in to melt. Continue stirring the mixture for about 5-8 more minutes, until it has nicely thickened.
Remove from the heat, and stir in the chopped white chocolate until it melts. Then, pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any imperfections or lumps.
Spoon or pour the mixture into the cooled tart shell, and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours, or up to 1 day. However, a tart is best served on the day it's baked, otherwise, it can become a bit soggy. Our egg wash on the tart shell will create a small barrier, preventing the moisture from the curd from leaching into the shell too quickly.
Set up your double boiler and bring the water in the pan to a boil. Combine the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the bowl, and whisk constantly until it just reaches 160°F — take care not to overheat it, though.
Pour the mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer (if it isn't in there already) and beat it on medium-high, then high, for about 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
Add the lavender and gently mix to incorporate.
Place the meringue in a piping bag and cover your chilled tart with it. Alternatively, you can just spoon the meringue on and smooth it with a spatula.
Carefully use your kitchen torch to brown the meringue, holding it back farther at first, until you get the hang of it. Alternatively, put the tart under the broiler for a minute or so — watch it extremely carefully, because it goes from undone to charred in a matter of seconds. Serve immediately. Though not ideal, you can store leftovers in the refrigerator for one to two days.
Lemon Lavender Meringue Tart with Thyme Shortcrust Pastry https://lexisrose.com/lemon-lavender-meringue-tart-thmye-shortcrust-pastry/