Lemon Meringue Tartlets

These adorable lemon meringue tartlets are sweet and tangy. They are made with a layer of pie crust, a silky smooth lemon curd filling, and topped with a fluffy layer of lightly toasted meringue. Mini lemon meringue tarts are an excellent spring and summertime dessert that would be a wonderful treat for Easter, Mother’s Day, or any springtime or summertime party.

Top down view of a lemon meringue mini tart on a white plate next to a fork with a bite removed. It is surrounded by additional tarts, tart pans, yellow tulips, and lemon slices.

I’m proud to partner with Cakebread Cellars to bring you this delicious dessert recipe to pair with their Sauvignon Blanc. Cakebread Cellars is a renowned family owned and operated winery in Napa Valley. They are dedicated to creating high-quality wines through sustainable production in both their vineyard and their winery.

I love mini desserts. They’re just so cute, and the individual sized nature of them makes them feel extra special.

This mini lemon meringue tart recipe uses frozen pie crust (real talk: this was done to make your life easier and save you some time). First, the crust is then divided among your tart pans. Then the crusts are fully baked and filled with a delicious homemade lemon curd. Once the tarts have set they are then topped with a pillowy, silky, and delicious homemade meringue that is lightly toasted to create the perfect bite.

These lemon meringue tartlets are an adorable and elegant option for any special occasion!

Many lemon meringue tartlets on display among tart pans, yellow tulips, lemon slices, and a bottle of Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc and wine glasses filled with white wine.

TELL ME ABOUT THESE MINI LEMON MERINGUE TARTS

Level of difficulty: Moderate. There are a few somewhat challenging parts to this recipe. Separating the egg whites and egg yolks can be a little intimidating if you’ve never done it before (but nothing you can’t handle). Having patience with your lemon curd to ensure it doesn’t curdle is the next challenge. Otherwise, the recipe is pretty easy.

Flavor: Bright and vibrant lemon is the star of this dessert tart. The tangy lemon is accented with buttery notes from the crust and sweet meringue.

Time: It will take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to prepare your lemon meringue tartlets. Please note, this assumes your frozen crust has already been thawed, and that you keep moving from layer to layer.

Ingredients needed to make mini lemon meringue tarts.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

Frozen Pie Crust
All-Purpose Flour (for rolling)
Large Eggs
Fresh Lemon Juice
Granulated Sugar
Butter
Vanilla Extract

OVERVIEW: HOW TO MAKE LEMON MERINGUE TARTLETS

1. Make the tart crusts

  • Use a circular cookie cutter or knife to cut out a disc of dough that is about 1” bigger than your tart pans. Ball up the scraps of dough, roll into a ⅛” thick sheet, cust additional discs.
  • Press a disc of dough into the bottom and side ridges of each tartlet pan. Use the rolling pin to gently roll over the top edge of the pan to slice off the excess dough.
  • Use a fork to poke holes across the bottom of the tart shell.
  • Place a square of aluminum foil into each tart pan, gently pressing it flat against the bottom and sides. Fill the well with pie weights, dry beans, or uncooked rice.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges are lightly browned and the tart shells are fully cooked (if they look wet or doughy, continue to cook).
  • Remove the aluminum foil and pie weights, and allow the tart shells to cool at least 10 minutes before removing from the tart pans onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

2. Make the Lemon curd filling

  • Place cubes of butter into a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Place egg yolks, eggs, lemon juice, and granulated sugar into a medium sized saucepan and whisk to combine.
  • Continuously whisk the lemon curd ingredients over medium heat until the mixture thickens into a curd consistency (about 10-15 minutes).
  • Place a fine-mesh strainer over the medium bowl holding the cubes of butter and transfer the lemon curd mixture into the strainer. Gently press the filling against the sides of the strainer with a wooden spoon or rubber scraper to help remove any lumps that may have formed (this will give you the silkiest lemon curd!)
  • Stir the strained lemon curd filling and the butter together until all of the butter has melted.
  • Let the lemon curd cool to room temperature.

3. fill the tartlet shells with lemon curd and cool to set

  • Once the lemon curd has cooled to room temperature, divide the filling between the tart shells
  • Chill the tarts in the fridge for at least 4 hours (or overnight) to set

4. make the meringue

  • Place about 1” of water into a small pot (or bottom section of a double broiler) and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • While waiting for the water to simmer, place the egg whites and granulated sugar into a medium heat-safe mixing bowl (or the top section of a double broiler) and whisk to combine.
  • When the water is simmering, place the bowl on top of the pot to create a double-broiler, ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  • Continuously whisk the egg and sugar mixture until the sugar has dissolved (about 4 minutes).
  • Note: you can check if the sugar has dissolved by rubbing a small amount of the mixture between your fingers. If there is any grittiness, continue to cook to fully dissolve until the mixture is completely smooth.
  • Note: if it sounds like the water is starting to boil during this process, turn the heat down to medium-low.
  • Remove the bowl from the pot and carefully dry off the outside with a towel. Add in the vanilla extract and transfer the mixture to a stand mixer(or use an electric hand mixer) and beat on high until stiff peaks form (about 5-7 minutes).

5. top the lemon tartlets with meringue & toast

  • Set your oven’s broiler to high.
  • Spoon the meringue onto the tarts and gently spread the meringue close to the edges.
  • Place all tartlet pans onto a cookie sheet, and put into the oven to lightly toast. Remove the baking sheet of tart pans from the oven as soon as the meringue is lightly browned (about 1-2 minutes)
  • Note: keep a close eye on your tarts when they are under the broiler! They can go from a beautiful light brown to charred really fast.

6. Serve and enjoy!

  • Serve the mini lemon meringue tarts with a chilled glass of Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc (for those 21+) and enjoy!
Close up of a mini lemon meringue tart after being toasted in the broiler.

See a quick story series on these easy and elegant lemon meringue tartlets here!

MAKE AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS

If you’d like to get a head-start on your dessert, you have a few options for making portions of your mini lemon tarts in advance.

  • Option 1: Make the tart shells in advance. The tart shells can be baked, cooled, and stored in either the fridge or freezer. You can store baked tart shells in the fridge for up to 5 days in advance, and in the freezer for up to 3 months if properly stored.
  • Option 2: Make the tart shells and fill with lemon curd in advance. Tart shells filled with lemon curd can be stored in the fridge or freezer. Store filled tart shells in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or thoroughly wrapped in plastic wrap or tin foil in the freezer for up to 3 months. If frozen, thaw them in the fridge overnight prior to topping with meringue and serving.

The meringue will be best if made and added to the tartlets the day you plan to serve them.

Many lemon meringue tartlets on display surrounded by tart pans, lemon slices, and wine glasses. A wine cork is in focus in the center of the image.

HOW TO STORE LEMON MERINGUE TARTS

Once fully assembled, leftover mini lemon meringue tarts can be stored in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to three days.

WHY THIS SAUVIGNON BLANC DESSERT PAIRING WORKS

Sauvignon blanc is a dry and vibrant white wine that is citrus forward and known for its herbal notes. This refreshing wine pairs wonderfully with tart and tangy citrus desserts, making this lemon meringue mini tart recipe an excellent pairing.

FIND CAKEBREAD WINES NEAR YOU

Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc is bright, crisp, and citrusy. It’s the perfect wine to pair with this lemon meringue tartlet recipe, and is also an excellent option to pair with your spring and summertime meals!
You can find Cakebread Cellars’ world-class, distinctive, and flavorful wines in a store near you.

A bottle of Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc wine surrounded by lemon tarts, lemon slices, yellow tulips, and glasses of wine.

MODIFICATIONS FOR DIETARY RESTRICTIONS: VEGETARIAN, GF, DF

This lemon meringue tartlet recipe is vegetarian as written. A few simple modifications can be made to make this lemon tartlets recipe gluten-free. Several changes need to be made to meet a dairy free diet, but I’ve added notes below for your reference,

  • To make these mini lemon tartlets gluten-free, purchase frozen gluten free pie crust (or make your own gluten free pie crust). Do not use all-purpose flour to roll out your pie crust dough.
  • Planning to host someone who requires a dairy free dessert? There are several modifications that need to be made:
    • You will need to make a dairy-free pie crust (most pre-made crusts include dairy).
    • Make or purchase a dairy-free lemon curd (this recipe uses butter). You could try to substitute vegan butter for the butter in this recipe, but I have not done this and cannot advise on how this may affect the final product. I would recommend looking up a dairy-free lemon curd recipe if you are concerned.
  • As eggs (and butter) are a large part of this recipe, I would not recommend trying to modify this specific recipe to meet a vegan diet.

FAQS

Can I make my own pie crust in lieu of using frozen pie crust? Of course! A single batch of this recipe (6 tartlets) will require a ‘single crust’ worth of pie crust.

Can I use store-bought tartlet shells? If that is your preference and your store carries them, go for it! Note, this may change the flavor of the and texture of your tarts (I mean, is there anything better than fresh-baked crust?!).

Can I use store bought lemon curd? You definitely can.

Do I need to use a special pan or tin for this recipe? To get the ruffled tart shape shown here, you will need to use a special mini tart tin. However, if you do not have them (or do not want to purchase another baking pan), you could make your tartlets in a standard muffin tin!

  • Tip: if you’d like to use a standard muffin pan, you can still get a fun edge on your crust by using a fluted cookie cutter

Can I use a kitchen torch to toast my meringue instead of using the broiler? If you have one, of course! Any excuse to bust out the kitchen torch is good with me.

Close up of a lemon meringue tartlet on a white plate with a slice taken out of it. The plate is surrounded by tart pans, lemon slices, and yellow tulips.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

Rolling Pin
Tartlet Pans
Pie Weights (or dry beans / dry rice)
Measuring Cups
Measuring Spoons
Mixing Bowls
Whisk
Wooden Spoon
Fine Mesh Sieve
Stand Mixer (or hand mixer)

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Lemon Meringue Tartlets

These lemon meringue tartlets are sweet and tangy. An excellent spring and summertime dessert that would be a wonderful treat for Easter, Mother’s Day, or any springtime or summertime party.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Tartlets
Calories 491 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Frozen Pie Crust thawed
  • All-Purpose Flour for rolling
  • 6 Large Eggs 3 of which are to be split into egg whites and egg yolks
  • 3/4 C Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 C + 2/3 C Granulated Sugar
  • 6 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Instructions
 

Make the Tart Crusts

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly dust a large cutting board (or flat, clean surface) with all-purpose flour
  • Unroll thawed pie crust dough onto the floured surface and roll with a floured rolling pin until ~⅛” thick (note: with premade dough, minimal rolling will be needed for the first round, but will be required when using the scrap pieces)
  • Use a circular cookie cutter or knife to cut out a disc of dough that is about 1” bigger than your tart pans. Ball up the scraps of dough, roll into a ⅛” thick sheet, cust additional discs.
  • Press a disc of dough into the bottom and side ridges of each tartlet pan. Use the rolling pin to gently roll over the top edge of the pan to slice off the excess dough.
  • Use a fork to poke holes across the bottom of the tart shell.
  • Place a square of aluminum foil into each tart pan, gently pressing it flat against the bottom and sides. Fill the well with pie weights, dry beans, or uncooked rice.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges are lightly browned and the tart shells are fully cooked (if they look wet or doughy, continue to cook).
  • Remove the aluminum foil and pie weights, and allow the tart shells to cool at least 10 minutes before removing from the tart pans onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the Lemon Curd Filling

  • Place cubes of butter into a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Place 3 egg yolks, 3 eggs, lemon juice, and 1/2 C granulated sugar into a medium sized saucepan and whisk to combine.
  • Continuously whisk the lemon curd ingredients over medium heat until the mixture thickens into a curd consistency (about 10-15 minutes).
  • Place a fine-mesh strainer over the medium bowl holding the cubes of butter and transfer the lemon curd mixture into the strainer. Gently press the filling against the sides of the strainer with a wooden spoon or rubber scraper to help remove any lumps that may have formed (this will give you the silkiest lemon curd!)
  • Stir the strained lemon curd filling and the butter together until all of the butter has melted.
  • Let the lemon curd cool to room temperature.

Fill the Tartlet Pastry Shells with Lemon Curd and Cool to Set

  • Once the lemon curd has cooled to room temperature, divide the filling between the tart shells
  • Chill the tarts in the fridge for at least 4 hours (or overnight) to set

Make the Meringue

  • Place about 1” of water into a small pot (or bottom section of a double broiler) and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • While waiting for the water to simmer, place 3 egg whites and 2/3 C granulated sugar into a medium heat-safe mixing bowl (or the top section of a double broiler) and whisk to combine.
  • When the water is simmering, place the bowl on top of the pot to create a double-broiler, ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  • Continuously whisk the egg and sugar mixture until the sugar has dissolved (about 4 minutes).
  • Note: you can check if the sugar has dissolved by rubbing a small amount of the mixture between your fingers. If there is any grittiness, continue to cook to fully dissolve until the mixture is completely smooth.
  • Note: if it sounds like the water is starting to boil during this process, turn the heat down to medium-low.
  • Remove the bowl from the pot and carefully dry off the outside with a towel. Add in the vanilla extract and transfer the mixture to a stand mixer(or use an electric hand mixer) and beat on high until stiff peaks form (about 5-7 minutes).

Top the Lemon Tartlets and Broil to Brown

  • Set your oven’s broiler to high.
  • Spoon the meringue onto the tarts and gently spread the meringue close to the edges.
  • Place all tartlet pans onto a cookie sheet, and put into the oven to lightly toast. Remove the baking sheet of tart pans from the oven as soon as the meringue is lightly browned (about 1-2 minutes)
  • Note: keep a close eye on your tarts when they are under the broiler! They can go from a beautiful light brown to charred really fast.

Serve and Enjoy!

  • Serve and enjoy immediately after the meringue has been toasted

Notes

*If preferred, you can use homemade pie crust. A single batch of this recipe (6 tartlets) will require a ‘single crust’ worth of pie crust.
*If desired, a store-bought lemon curd can be used in place of making your own
*Storage Note: Once fully assembled, leftover mini lemon meringue tarts can be stored in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to three days.

Nutrition

Calories: 491kcalCarbohydrates: 64gProtein: 8gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 194mgSodium: 269mgPotassium: 130mgFiber: 1gSugar: 45gVitamin A: 590IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 2mg
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*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. However, please know that I strive to provide links to products that I actually use and wholeheartedly recommend whenever possible.
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Comments

  1. David says

    5 stars
    I’m a big lemon meringue pie fan, but the only problem is that I tend to eat the entire pie whenever ones in front of me… This solves that problem! so delicious.

    • ourlovelanguageisfood says

      hehe, too funny! i’m glad these tartlets can help solve your problem (and still give you the lemon meringue fix you need!)