Lemon Meringue Phyllo Tarts

Jan 2nd, 2012 | By | Category: Baking, Dessert, Eggs, Featured, Greek, Lemon, Phyllo, Sugar

In Greece, citrus is in season with the whole country being flooded with oranges from Crete and Laconia and the lemons being supplied from Argolida (Nafplio). Here in Canada, we’re not so lucky and we rely on imports from the South to help us stave-off scurvy with a supply of vitamin-C rich citrus from Florida and California.

This dessert is inspired by the Lemon Phyllo Tarts I had last year when I visited Toronto’s Malena to check out their new Spring Menu. The tarts arrived as part of a trio of desserts that were kissed by the Mediterranean spirit and influences of Italy and Greece. These tarts are simply some phyllo pastry placed into a muffin tin (baked) then filled with a lemon curd and finished with a meringue. Lemon Meringue Pie in phyllo.

As a Greek, we always have commercial phyllo in the freezer and all one has to do is thaw it overnight in your fridge before using. The idea to try my hand at lemon meringue phyllo tarts came to me on New Year’s Eve, upon seeing that we had lots of leftover sweets and thinking that another big dessert production was unnecessary. One could make as much or as little as they want (2 to 12), they are easy to make and just three movements to the recipe.

baked phyllo cups

With the phyllo thawing in the fridge, the first step would be to make a lemon filling: I go to trusted sources and Paula’s recipe for lemon curd at Dragon’s Kitchen was easy, delicious and perfect for these lemon phyllo tarts. The pyllo cups and lemon curd can be made a day or two before and the meringue can be whipped the day of serving.

These tarts were refreshing with just enough lemon to pucker your mouth yet balanced with sweetness. Texture-wise you have the creamy lemon curd juxtaposed with the crunch of the phyllo pastry and then there’s the light bruleed meringue on top that rounds out the flavours with a hint of burnt flavour.

Commercial phyllo is available at Greek, Middle-eastern shops and now found at most supermarkets, the lemon curd is something easily made in your kitchen and lemons are in season – don’t used that bottled stuff! The meringues can be finished with a kitchen torch or using the broiler feature of your oven. A delicious, light dessert option that kids and adults alike with adore.

Lemon Meringue Phyllo Tarts

For the Lemon Curd

6 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice
Splash of Limoncello (optional)
Zest of 1/2 of lemon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold & cut into cubes

For the Phyllo Cups

4 sheets of phyllo pastry (thawed overnight in your fridge)

1/2 stick melted butter

sugar

1/2 cup ground almonds

1 muffin tin

For the Meringue

4-5 large egg whites

1/4 cup icing sugar

3/4 tsp. cream of tartar

  1. Prepare an ice water bath for the finished curd and set aside. Add an inch of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. In a medium metal bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Whisk in salt, lemon juice, Limoncello and lemon zest. Add the cold butter cubes. Place bowl over the pan of simmering water and cook, whisking frequently until the butter is incorporated and the curd is thick; about 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer the bowl to the ice water bath and leave it to cool, stirring occasionally. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cooled lemon curd and transfer the bowl to the refrigerator until it’s completely cold (about 4 hours or overnight).
  3. Paint the insides of the muffin moulds with melted butter and pre-heat your oven to 325F. Lay a sheet of phyllo on work surface then brush with butter than sprinkle sugar and ground almonds. Repeat with the next two sheets of phyllo and simply brush the fourth sheet with butter.
  4. Now measure and cut the phyllo into 4″ x 4″ squares and press each into the muffin moulds and bake on the center rack for 10-12 minutes or just until golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then remove the phyllo cups from the pan.
  5. Carefully separate your egg whites and place in a clean bowl and add the icing sugar and cream of tartar and whisk until dissolved then beat with an electric mixer until still peaks have formed.
  6. Take the lemon curd out of your fridge and spoon equal amounts into each phyllo cup then either place the meringue in a piping bag and top each tart or simply spoon it on top.
  7. Use a kitchen torch to brulee your meringues or place the phyllo tarts on a baking tray and place on the middle rack and broil until just browned. Serve immediately or place in the fridge until ready to serve then return to room temperature before serving.

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© 2012, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.

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14 Comments to “Lemon Meringue Phyllo Tarts”

  1. Rosa says:

    A great idea and wonderful dessert!

    Cheerrs,

    Rosa

  2. Foodycat says:

    Oh these look good! So light and fresh!

  3. happy New Year Peter. You never fail to deliver a mouth-watering recipe and this looks fantastic. I’d much prefer this to a traditional pie crust.

  4. bellini says:

    Those sure do start the new year off with a delicious BANG Peter. Lemon is my ultimate so these have to show up at some point in 2012 in my kitchen.

  5. Hermione says:

    Kali xronia Peter! Euxomai oti kalutero gia ton kainourio xrono! Ygeia, eutuxia, aisiodoksia kai dimiourgikotita!
    To lemoni einai agapimeno uliko se mageiriki kai zaxaroplastiki! To gluko sou fainetai eksairetiko kai poluuuuu laxtaristo!

  6. It is all in the details and I love the idea of sprinkling almonds on the phyllo for extra crunch, the limoncello in the curd, and using very little sugar in the meringue. I call this perfection! Bravo Peter!

  7. Joan Nova says:

    That’s a great looking dessert…rich in flavor yet seeming light. Good job!

  8. Oh yes please! Love the whole concept especially with the use of phyllo! Yumm!

  9. What a creative twist of lemon meringue! I love lemon meringue, in fact I’ve had it as my bday cake multiple times. I will have to use Paula’s recipe next time I make curd.

  10. Janet says:

    I’m in love- these will be perfect for my dinner party in March! Fab idea!

  11. Peter,

    Your first blog post of the year is a hit! Thanks for another great recipe idea. We will RT this on Twitter, where we saw it, and also share it on Facebook sometime soon.

    Happy New Year,
    Sara
    The Fillo Factory

  12. maria v says:

    definitely very sexy looking tarts!
    happy new year!

  13. Donna Young says:

    I can not wait to make these this weekend!!!!

  14. [...] phyllo and once again this week after having some leftover phyllo from making last week’s Lemon Meringue Phyllo Tarts. Sometimes there are recipes that call for a partial package of phyllo and with a little creativity [...]

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