Holidays/ Pies, Tarts and Crumbles

Lemon Amaretti Meringue Tarts

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It’s March 14th. 3/14. Which means it’s Pi Day. Which means we all get an excuse (as if we needed one) to make all the pies, tarts, quiches and galettes we can eat!

I haven’t posted a pie recipe since those adorable mini peach tartlets back in September, so I thought I’d come back with a bang with these lemon amaretti meringue tarts from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. Amaretti cookies, in case you didn’t know, taste like little bites of almondy heaven. Here, they’re ground and thrown into the crust along with some amaretto liqueur, then the whole thing gets topped with a bright and sunny lemon curd and finished with a gorgeous Swiss meringue. And hey, I finally got to use that blowtorch I got for the holidays this year! Playing with fire is always a plus in my book.

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To start, you’ll want to make the crust. Stir together some flour, almond meal, and a couple tablespoons of crushed amaretti cookies in a small bowl. Then, in the bowl of an electric mixer, toss some soft butter with some powdered sugar just to coat it, then beat to combine. Add in an egg yolk, then slowly stir in the flour mixture. Last comes a touch of cream and a bit of amaretto liqueur. Dump the sticky dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap it, pressing into a somewhat disk-shaped thing before sticking it in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

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Once the dough has chilled, divide it into 8 equal portions and flatten each into a small disk on a floured surface. Chill for another 15 minutes, then roll each disk into a circle about 1/8 inch thick.

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Place the circles in 4 inch tart pans, trimming any excess dough. Prick the bottoms of the crusts with a fork, then chill for 30 minutes while you preheat an oven to 375 F.

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Bake the crusts for around 18 minutes, or until they’re golden like this!

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While your crusts cool, you can make the curd. Start by stirring together some lemon zest and juice, then letting it sit for 10 minutes so the zest can soften. Then whisk together 2 eggs, 7 yolks, and some sugar.DSC_0024Add in the lemon mixture, then set this bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir this with a spatula until it thickens…

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Like this! You’re looking for a loose pudding consistency (this took about 10 minutes for me). Once you’ve achieved this, take the curd off the heat and stir in some butter. Press plastic wrap to the surface of the curd and set aside while you make the meringue (last step, promise!)

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For the meringue, whisk together 7 egg whites with some sugar, then set the bowl over a pan of simmering water (sound familiar?). Whisk this constantly over the heat until the sugar is dissolved and a thermometer reads 140 F. Then, use an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to beat on high speed until the mixture starts to thicken. Add in a bit of cream of tarter, then continue to beat until you almost have stiff peaks. Add in a bit of amaretto liqueur and beat until it’s all mixed in.

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Aaand now we’re ready for assembly! Start by dividing the curd amongst your tarts…

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Then swirl on some of the meringue and fire up that blowtorch! You can also stick these under the broiler to achieve the same effect (but why wouldn’t you want to use this as an excuse to go buy yourself a blowtorch?)

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Ta da! Oh, and notice that costume change from the first photo? Just thought I’d show off this adorable apron I got for my birthday.

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Enjoy these, you guys, and enjoy your Pi Day!

Lemon Amaretti Meringue Tarts

Makes 4-8 tarts, depending on pan size (4″ is suggested)

from crumbsandnibbles.com, originally from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup finely ground blanched almonds (almond meal/flour)
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground amaretti cookies
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, softened but still cold
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur

For the curd:

  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 3-5 lemons)
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 large egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the meringue:

  • 7 large egg whites
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon amaretto liqueur

Directions:

For the crust:

  1. Stir together flour, almond meal, and crushed amaretti cookies in a small bowl. Then, in the bowl of an electric mixer, toss butter with powdered sugar just to coat, then beat to combine. Add in the egg yolk, then slowly stir in the flour mixture. Stir in the cream and amaretto liqueur, then dump the sticky dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap it, pressing into a disk before sticking it in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  2. Once the dough has chilled, divide it into 8 equal portions and flatten each into a small disk on a floured surface. Chill for another 15 minutes, then roll each disk into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Place the circles in 4 inch tart pans, trimming any excess dough. Prick the bottoms of the crusts with a fork, then chill for 30 minutes while you preheat an oven to 375 F. Bake the crusts for around 18 minutes or until they’re golden. Set aside to cool.

For the curd:

  1. Start by stirring together the lemon zest and juice, then let it sit for 10 minutes so the zest can soften.
  2. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks and sugar, then add in the lemon mixture. Set this bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir constantly with a spatula until it thickens to a pudding-like consistency, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the butter and press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface of the curd. Set aside to cool.

For the meringue:

  1. Whisk together the egg whites and sugar, then set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk this constantly over the heat until the sugar is dissolved and a thermometer reads 140 F. Then, use an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to beat on high speed until the mixture starts to thicken. Add in the cream of tarter, then continue to beat until you almost have stiff peaks. Add the amaretto liqueur and beat until it’s all mixed in.

To assemble:

  1. Spoon the curd into the tart shells and swirl on lots of meringue (you’ll have extra). Finish by blowtorching the tops or cooking under a broiler.

Happy nibbling!

 

 

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Emma
    March 29, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    They look perfect!

  • Reply
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