Mini Lemon Meringue Pies
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Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

I know this post has been a long time in the making (Ankit I can almost see you nodding your head... well, get out those fire-crackers you've been saving up!) but I've FINALLY managed to post what's officially my 100th recipe!
Figured I might make it something celebration worthy... so here's my relatively simple and definitely OH-so worth it mini lemon meringue pie recipe... guaranteed to get you some ooohs and aaahs of appreciation!

Nirmala Prem

Ingredients

6-serving
  1. 3/4 cup butter cold , cubed
  2. 2 cups all purpose flour
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/4 teaspoon sugar granulated
  5. 1/3 cup ice water
  6. 2 cups water
  7. 1 cup sugar granulated
  8. 1/2 cup corn starch
  9. 5 numbers egg yolks , beaten
  10. 1/4 cup butter
  11. 3/4 cup lemon juice , fresh squeezed
  12. 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  13. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  14. 5 numbers egg whites (at room temperature)
  15. 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  16. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  17. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  18. 3/4 cup sugar granulated

Method

180 mins
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    To make the crust, first ensure that all the ingredients are as cold as possible.

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    Start off by combining the butter, flour, sugar and salt in either a food processor (pulsing) or a large bowl using a pastry cutter (OR you could use your hands).

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    Process until the mixture resembles coarse meal and starts clumping together.

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    Sprinkle with the cold water and let rest 30 seconds or so.

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    Process again in small pulses just until the dough begins to stick together in large clumps and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

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    Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and bring together to form a log shape (DO NOT KNEAD!).

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    Divide the log into 6 equal parts, and shape each part into a small disc shape. Lightly flour each disc and wrap in cling.

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    Chill the discs for at least 20 minutes.

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    When sufficiently rested, place the discs on a lightly floured work surface (allow the discs to warm slightly to room temp if they are too firm to roll) and roll out to 6 inch in dia.

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    Line six small tart pans with the dough, trimming away any excess.

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    Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line the crusts with foil and place pie weights or dried beans to weigh it down. Bake blind for 20 to 25 minutes.

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    Carefully remove the weights and foil, and bake again for another 10 to 15 minutes till golden. Cool completely before filling.

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    To make the filling, bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan (emphasis on large... coz there's a whole lotta whisking involved!).

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    Remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes. While it's resting, whisk together the sugar and corn starch. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking it till fully dissolved.

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    Return the saucepan to the heat, and continue whisking it till the mixture reaches a boil. It will be VERY thick.

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    Add one cup of this hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks (to temper them) and whisk thoroughly (we don't want scrambled eggs!).

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    Add this yolk mixture back into the saucepan and whisk vigorously (I know, I know... you'll have biceps of steel by the time you're done with this recipe!) till the mixture comes to a boil.

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    Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated.

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    Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined.

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    Pour the lemon curd into the prepared crusts while still warm. Cover with cling film (touching the surface of the lemon curd) to prevent any skin from forming, and cool to room temperature.

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    For the meringues, preheat the oven to 375 °F. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites together with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract till soft peaks form.

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    Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stuff, glossy peaks.

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    Pile the meringue onto the cooled tarts, bringing it all the way to the egg of the tart shell to seal it completely. You can add decorative swirls or peaks.

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    Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, till golden.

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    Cool on a rack, if desired, and remove from the tart tins before serving.

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    Best served within 6 hours of preparation so as to avoid the crust going soggy.

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