These Lemon Raspberry Meringue Tarts are seriously good. The combination of sweet meringue, tart lemon curd, and fresh raspberries surrounded by buttery flaky puff pastry is on point and delicious. No need for a spoon or fork with these lovely packets of goodness, unless you want to impress your friends with your self- control. Enjoy these for special occasions or because you're in the mood for a yummy lemon tart.
I had a lot of fun making these tarts. There's a certain excitement that comes when your bakes turn out as imagined. When your puff pastry rises in the oven to over 3 times its original height, when your lemon curd is creamy and tart and the combination of all the flavors work beautifully.
HOW TO MAKE THESE LEMON RASPBERRY TARTS
These lemon raspberry tarts are made of four components:
- Puff Pastry
- Lemon Curd
- Swiss Meringue
- Fresh Raspberries
Before starting this recipe please read through the entire recipe and make sure you have all the ingredients on hand. The puff pastry can be made up to a month in advance and frozen. The lemon curd can be made a week in advance and refrigerated or if you are freezing it, it can be made several months in advance. The Swiss Meringue is made the same day the tarts are assembled and buy the raspberries one or two days before assembling and serving the tarts.
HOW TO MAKE PUFF PASTRY
The recipe for the Puff Pastry is from the book The Art of French Pastry. If you don't want to make your own puff pastry I recommend the Dufour brand of puff pastry because it is all butter, a single sheet is about 14 ounces, which is what you will need for this recipe and it is thick enough for this dessert.
The details for making the puff pastry are in the recipe, but I want to emphasize a few things.
- Make sure all ingredients are cold. In the recipe I've called out the initial temperatures for the dough (detrempe) and the butter block.
- The first time making puff pastry, follow all the directions as written. The more often you make puff pastry the quicker you will become at certain steps.
- It's better to make puff pastry on a cool day, so the butter doesn't get too soft when rolling out the pastry.
- If you're able to get it, use European butter. The higher fat content makes a difference in flavor.
- Follow the times for refrigerator the dough. Chilling is necessary to ensure the butter does not get too soft and to allow the dough to rest in between folds.
- If the dough does not easily roll out it has been overworked. Return it to the refrigerator and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
HOW TO MAKE LEMON CURD
Fruit curd is a creamy fruit spread that tastes good on almost anything. Lemon curd is a classic - tart and creamy and the basis for this delicious mini tart. It's great by itself and pairs well with other fruits. This lemon curd has just 5 ingredients:
- Fresh Lemon Juice
- Lemon Zest
- Egg Yolks and Whole Eggs
- Unsalted Butter
- Granulated Sugar
I combine all the ingredients together in a 3 or 4-quart stainless steel saucepan and whisk over medium-low heat until it reaches a temperature of 185 degrees. Lemon curd takes about 20 minutes to make and then is chilled for about 2 hours. Curd is good in the refrigerator for 2 weeks and can be frozen for up to a year. If you like lemon curd, check out my recipes for other Fruit Curds.
HOW TO MAKE SWISS MERINGUE
Swiss Meringue Buttercream is one of my favorite buttercream's to make and eat because it's easy to make, stable (meaning it has a relatively high melted point for a buttercream) and taste so good. For this recipe we're making just the Swiss Meringue which has just three ingredients:
- Egg Whites
- Granulated Sugar
- Kosher Salt
The egg whites and sugar are whisked together in the bowl of a stand mixer over a simmering water bath until the mixture reaches a temperature of 160 degrees F. The egg whites are then whipped on medium-high speed until the mixture has cooled and there are stiff peaks. The meringue is then piped on top of the filled tart shells.
HOW TO ASSEMBLE THE TARTS
Assembling the tarts is the fun part. While there are rules and formulae that you must or should follow when making pastry there is a lot of room for creativity once you learn the "rules." For assembling the tarts, you will need the following:
- Paring knife with a sharp tip
- 2 pastry bags - one for the lemon curd and one for the Swiss meringue
- 1 piping tip
If you made the dent in the puff pastry circles before baking there will be circle clearly outlined on top of the tart shell. Use the paring knife to carefully cut along this line and remove the center section of the shell. Use the knife and your fingers to remove the top and hollow out the pastry shell.
Now you have this pretty pastry shell. Spread about a teaspoon of the lemon curd along the bottom of the shell and place 1 or 2 raspberries on top. The number of raspberries you fit will depend on the size of your fruit. Pipe the lemon curd around and on top of the raspberries and use the straight edge of a butter knife or palette knife to smooth the top.
Pipe the Swiss Meringue on top in any patter that you want - a little or a lot. Use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue. I buy bottles of propane from the hardware section of a local store and use the attachment to toast the meringue. Be safe when doing this step. Make sure that there is nothing flammable nearby and make sure there is plenty of room between your tarts so you don't accidentally torch the puff pastry of another tart.
These are best served the same day they are assembled. They will sit in the refrigerator for two days, but the meringue will start to lose its volume and the puff pastry while still tasty won't be as flaky.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. Ask questions by leaving a comment or sending me an email through the Contact page.
Lemon Raspberry Meringue Tarts
- 1 pound (454 grams) puff pastry, either homemade or store-bought See Puff Pasty Recipe
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 (100 grams) whole eggs
- 4 (80 grams) large egg yolks
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 8 tablespoons (114 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 (90 grams) egg whites
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 6 ounces fresh raspberries
For the Puff Pastry
- Use my recipe for Puff Pastry or use your own. If you use store-bought, I recommend DuFour. It’s an all-butter puff pastry, the single sheet weighs 14 ounces, and the sheet is about 1/4-inch thick.
For the Lemon Curd
- Place a strainer over a medium-sized bowl near the stove.
- Place the sugar in a small bowl and zest the lemons onto the sugar. Use your fingers to rub the sugar and zest together. Juice the lemons until you have 3/4 cups of juice.
- In a nonreactive 2-quart saucepan, combine the whole eggs, eggs yolks, and sugar and whisk until well blended. Stir in the lemon juice, butter, and salt.
- Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture is thickened. As you cook the mixture the butter will melt. When the mixture has thickened and reached a temperature of 185 degrees F pour it into the strainer. Press the curd through the strainer with a spatula to remove the solids.
- Cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap, gently pressing the plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd. Place the curd in the refrigerator and chill.
- The lemon curd is good in the refrigerator for 1 week and can be frozen for up to 1 year. If freezing the curd, pack it into a freezer container after it has chilled. When ready to use place it in the refrigerator to thaw for 24 hours before intended use.
For the Pastry Shells
- Roll the puff pastry dough out to 3/8-inch thick. Use a 2-inch cutter to cut out 10 circles. Use a smaller 1-3/4 inch cutter to make a deep impression into the circles. Do not cut all the way though the dough. Refrigerate the cutouts for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the chill cutouts on a parchment-lined half-sheet tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes until they are risen and golden brown. Remove the puff pastry shells from the oven and place them on a cooling rack. When the pastries are cooled use the tip of a paring knife to cut out the middle section following the line made earlier with the smaller pastry cutter. Remove the top and use your fingers or a sharp knife to remove the center of the shell. You should now have a shell where you can see the bottom and the sides are straight.
- For the Swiss Meringue
- Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F then immediately put the bowl on the mixer, attach the whisk attachment and whip at medium-high speed until the mixture is cool and the whites hold stiff peaks, about 5-7 minutes.
Assemble the Tarts
- Place a teaspoon of lemon curd on the bottom of each puff pastry shell and spread it across the bottom. Put the remaining lemon curd in an 18-inch pastry bag. Cut off the tip. Place 1 or 2 raspberries in each of the puff pastry shells and then pipe the lemon curd around and on top of the raspberries up to the top of the shell. Use a butter knife to smooth the top of the lemon curd.
- Put the meringue in pastry bag fitted with a pastry tip and pipe the meringue on top of each tart. Use can leave the meringue as is or use a propane torch to toast the meringue.