Lemon meringue tartlets with raspberry jam on buttery puff pastry are simply irresistible. Bright and airy with a lemon curd filling, these mini tarts are perfect for baby showers, brunch, or Mother’s day!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
If you adore lemon meringue pie but not all the work that comes with it, mini lemon meringue tarts are just the thing!
Puff pastry shells are a quick and simple shortcut that looks fancy and impressive. When really, it’s as easy as unfold, cut, and bake!
- Beautiful & sophisticated
- Made with puff pastry instead of pie crust
- A burst of raspberry and lemon flavor in every bite
Tart lemons, sweet raspberries, crispy puff pastry, and dreamy light meringue create a simple spring dessert.
Serve these raspberry lemon meringue tartlets at any celebration or party to impress your guests!
Key Ingredient Notes:
Today’s mini dessert consists of 4 main components: puff pastry shells, lemon curd, raspberry sauce and French meringue!
- Puff pastry – Puff pastry is a flaky pastry made from laminated dough, where cold butter is folded into the dough countless times to create thin layers of butter and dough. When the pastry is baked, hot air escapes and creates light and flaky layers.
- Lemon curd – Yes, it’s no mistake! My lemon curd recipe calls for whole eggs! You’ll still enjoy rich and creamy curd with rich flavor!
- Raspberry sauce or jelly – You can use either homemade seedless raspberry sauce, or a store-bought raspberry jelly.
- French meringue topping is everything when it comes to lemon pie, amIright? Make the meringue right before serving your tartlets for the best presentation.
How to make this recipe:
Mini lemon meringue tarts are easier than they seem. Follow these step-by-step instructions for a foolproof treat!
Prepare the tart shells:
- Carefully unfold puff pastry sheets and cut each sheet into 6 rectangles. Arrange them on the baking sheets.
- About a 1/4 inch from the edge, score the pastry to create a border. The border will rise in the oven and create a raised edge to hold the filling.
- Brush the heavy cream over the edges.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the pastry is golden and puffy. It shouldn’t be wet or doughy looking.
The puff pastry needs to stay cold for light and flaky layers. If you don’t plan to bake them immediately, refrigerate until ready to bake.
Make the lemon curd filling:
Lemon curd can be made up to 2 weeks in advance. Simple refrigerate in an airtight container.
Here is how to make lemon curd from scratch. This complete tutorial includes step by step photos, lots of tips and video demo.
Make the meringue:
If you ever have trouble with making meringue, read my meringue 101 guide for all the tips for success!
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch.
- In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until foamy. While the egg whites whip, carefully add one tablespoon of sugar at a time to them. This allows the sugar to dissolve without deflating the egg whites. Whip until stiff peaks form, then transfer to a piping bag with a decorative tip.
Stiff peaks stand straight up without collapsing. The meringue should look thick and glossy.
Assemble the lemon meringue tarts:
- Once cooled, flatten the inside of puff pastry with a fork to make room for filling.
- Spread one tablespoon of raspberry sauce into each tart shell. Then pipe the lemon curd filling onto the raspberry jam. Piping the filling is quicker and less messy than using a spoon.
- Pipe dollops of meringue over the filling.
- Broil for 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown. Don’t walk away from the oven. Keep a watchful eye on the tarts so they don’t burn.
Tips for Success:
- For best results, thaw frozen puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight. It’ll be pliable, but not soft or melted. Warm puff pastry won’t bake into flaky layers.
- Puff pastry is the best when it’s freshly baked. Enjoy the tartlets immediately after assembling.
- When making the lemon curd, stir, stir, and stir some more! It’s important to stir the entire time you cook the lemon curd so it doesn’t burn.
- For meringue, room temperature egg whites whip better. If you have time, leave them out for at least 30 minutes.
- Be careful not to get any bit of egg yolk in your egg whites when separating. This will prevent the egg whites from whipping properly.
- Don’t rush the meringue-making process. Gradually adding the sugar creates a stable meringue less prone to weeping.
- Beat egg whites to stiff peaks, but don’t overwhip them. Overwhipped meringue begins to separate and look dry instead of glossy.
- Homemade lemon curd lasts for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. I like to make it a few days ahead for less prep and dishes.
- Raspberry sauce can also be made in advance. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- Store the puff pastry sheets in the freezer. Transfer them to the refrigerator the day before you plan to use them.
- It’s best to serve puff pastry desserts the same day you make them!
- Store leftover lemon curd in a sealed or airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- Store any leftover lemon meringue tartlets in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for up to 2 days.
Refrigeration encourages the French meringue to weep so it’s best to let them sit at room temperature until ready to serve.
Yes! I prefer homemade lemon curd because it’s perfectly sweet yet tangy. Store-bought versions tend to be a little too sweet. If you’re on a time crunch, make the lemon curd ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use.
Raspberry Lemon Meringue Tartlets
For tart shells:
- 2 puff pastry sheets thawed, Note 1
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
For lemon curd filling:
- 3 large eggs Note 2
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (240ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons (70g) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4 egg whites Note 3
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 8 oz (240ml) seedless raspberry sauce (or jelly) Note 4
To prepare the tartlet shells:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or silicone mat.
- Cut each puff pastry sheet into 6 rectangles. Arrange them on prepared baking sheets.
- Using a sharp knife, score the pastry about ¼ inch from the edges to create a border. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
- Brush on cream over the edges.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the crusts are puffed and golden.
- Cool completely on wire racks. Once cooled, flatten the inside of puff pastry with a fork to make room for filling.
To make the lemon curd filling:
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest for a minute.
- Turn on the heat to low and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 170°F (75°C), 8-10 minutes. The mixture will be thick and it'll leave a trail if you run a finger on back of spoon dipped in curd.
- Remove from heat. Place a mesh sieve over a bowl and run the curd through it. It makes the curd silky smooth!
- Then cover the curd with plastic wrap, making sure it touches entire surface. This prevents forming an unappealing film over the curd. Let the curd cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Add butter and stir until the butter is fully incorporated.
- Transfer the lemon curd filling into a pastry bag, or a ziploc bag with one corner cut. Refrigerate it until ready to use. (TIP: I find it’s easier to pipe the filling, as it thickens quickly as it cools.)
To make the meringue:
- In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch.
- In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat egg whites until foamy. Then slowly add sugar mixture one tablespoon at a time and continue to beat on medium high speed until hard peaks form.
- Transfer the meringue into a pastry bag, fitted with decorative tip. (I used Wilton 1M piping tip.)
To assemble the tartlets:
- Spread about 1 tablespoon of raspberry sauce in each tartlet shell. Pipe the lemon curd filling over the raspberry sauce. And then top with meringue.
- Broil the tartlets for 3-4 minutes (position the rack in the middle), or until nice and browned. Keep a close eye on it.
Tips & Notes:
– Store the puff pastry sheets in the freezer. Transfer them to the refrigerator the day before you plan to use them.
– It’s best to serve puff pastry desserts the same day you make them!
– Store leftover lemon curd in a sealed or airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
– Store any leftover lemon meringue tartlets in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for up to 2 days.
This recipe was originally published on April 13, 2017.
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