Making Lemon Curd and Tarts

My mother’s birthday was this past Friday and my cousin kindly offered to host a dinner in her honor on Saturday evening. I was put in charge of providing dessert. Yay!!!! Yay!!! I was so excited.

I planned on making more chocolate cake alla pioneer woman (but this time I was going to add chocolate dipped strawberries to garnish) and I was also going to make some lemon tarts with meringue.

chocolate cake

Small Chocolate cake and mini chocolate cake

On Friday afternoon I made lemon curd, using a recipe I found online. Here is the link to the recipe I used. It’s super tasty!

It was less thick than I thought it would be. But, I’ve never made lemon curd before and had nothing to compare it to.

On Friday night, while my lemon curd quietly sat in the refrigerator, my cousin called to say his water heater broke and he would need to cancel Saturday’s dinner. My poor cousin. My POOR LEMON CURD!!! Well, I couldn’t leave the poor tasty lemon curd sitting in the refrigerator without purpose. On Saturday, I spent my morning helping the lemon curd fulfill its destiny!!!!! (I’m a hero)

I had never made tarts before. It just so happens to be great fun (either that or I was in an especially good mood that day)!!!!! Since it was a Saturday and my husband was home, I thought it would be nice if he helped me capture the moment by taking the photos. It turns out, when you ask your biggest fan to take pictures of you doing something, you end up with 470 images capturing what you did for about an hour of your day. And one video.  Here’s about 5% of them.

Rolling out Tart Dough

I took my dough out of the refrigerator and my rolling pin out of the freezer (I find it easier to roll out dough when the rolling pin is cold). And, I rolled out my dough. Fun!

Once it was about 1/8 inch thick I put it in the tin.

Tart dough in tin

Pressed the dough into the tin, making a smooth bottom.

cutting tart dough

used the palm of my hand to cut the dough

After pressing in the sides of the dough, I discovered long nails are terrible for tart making. GROSS!!!! so, I cut them.Shaping tart doughI found it much easier to shape the dough with short nails. And less gross.

tart dough hight

I made sure the dough extended a little bit past the edge of the tin (it shrinks when it bakes)

fork marks in tart crust neatly pierced the bottom with a fork

Repeated all of that 7 more times

cutting parchment paper

Placed tarts in the freezer for 15 minutes and cut parchment paper while waiting

Parchment circles

I made little parchment circles

parchment paper and pie weights

Lined the tarts with parchment and filled with pie weights and beans

Baked for about 15 minutes. So fun!!!

Took the pie weights out and continued baking for another 10 minutes. You bored yet?

boiled water while tarts finished baking

Making Meringue

I started the meringue once the tarts were out and cooling on a rack. I whisked egg whites and sugar over simmering water till about 160 degrees

Making meringue for tarts

Transferred bowl to the mixer and whipped on high

Placed completely cooled tarts on a baking sheet lined with parchment/ my brand new silpat (I’m excited about this purchase). And filled each with two spoons full of lemon curd.

Piped meringue on top

Tried desperately to pipe my meringue as neatly and as high as the photo in the book. No such luck, but I made due.

I think I whipped the meringue too long and that may have contributed to my difficulties. Let me explain what happened. The book said to whip the meringue till stiff peaks formed and the meringue was cool. Stiff peaks formed but since the bowl hadn’t cooled completely I thought maybe I needed to keep whipping it. Now I’m thinking I may have been mistaken and should have trusted myself a little more.

Lemon Meringue Tartlets

Lemon Meringue Tartlets

I think they turned out ok in the end. They definitely tasted better than ok. The tart recipe is from the book Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours


2 comments on “Making Lemon Curd and Tarts

  1. tarts are so intricately delicious. maybe it’s because we know all the work that went into it?! beautiful job!

  2. What a great post. Beautiful photos and great info.

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