Food

Zoë’s Lemon Meringue Tart

March 3, 2021

Cooking is my way of connecting with our community. This area is bountiful with amazing products being produced all around me. From butter churned just up the road to eggs that were hatched from hens running about looking over Tomales Bay. I am inspired every day by anything my mother brings home to create something that I can share with neighbors and friends to honor these ingredients.

Zoë Rocco-Zilber, 13 years old

For #MALTFoodWeek, MALT-supporter Zoë Rocco-Zilber baked a delicious homemade lemon meringue tart made with Tomales Bay Pastures eggs and Bivalve Dairy butter!

Inspired by Claire Saffitz from three different recipes

INGREDIENTS:

For the tart dough:

For the lemon curd filling:

For the meringue top:

INSTRUCTIONS:

For the tart dough:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Spread the almond flour in a thin, even layer on a small baking sheet. Bake for about 7 minutes or till golden brown. Turn the oven off and let cool on a rack. 
  3. Add the almond flour, all-purpose flour, powdered sugar and salt into a food processor. Pulse several times to combine. Cut the butter into ½-inch pieces and add to the food processor. Pulse until the pieces of butter are about the size of a pea, about 10 pulses. 
  4. In another bowl, beat the egg yolk, vanilla extract and 4 teaspoons of cold water until smooth. Drizzle the egg mixture into the food processor and pulse until dough forms a ball and no flour remains.
  5. Form dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Unwrap the chilled dough. Press the dough into a tart pan and use the bottom of a measuring cup to even out the bottom. Freeze the lined pan until completely hardened, about 20 minutes.

For the lemon curd filling:

  1. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan combine the sugar and lemon zest and use your fingertips to massage the zest into the sugar until the mixture is fragrant and looks like wet sand. Add the egg yolks and whole egg to the pan and whisk vigorously until light in texture and very pale in color, about 2 minutes.
  2. Slowly stream in the lemon juice, whisking constantly and scraping around the sides until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the salt.
  3. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the curd turns opaque yellow and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 7 – 10 minutes. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat.
  4. Whisk in the butter one piece at a time, waiting for each piece to disappear into the curd before adding the next. Whisk in the vanilla.
  5. Scrape the curd into a glass bowl and press a sheet of plastic wrap onto the surface. Refrigerate until the curd is cold and set, at least 3 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  7. Scrape the filling into your tart crust pan and use an offset spatula to smooth the surface. Carefully transfer the tart to the oven and bake until the filling is set and puffed around the edges and the center wobbles gently, about 28 – 33 minutes.
  8. Cool and chill the tart. Let the tart cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the pan ring or square. Place on a serving plate and chill until very cold for at least 1 hour.

For the meringue top:

  1. In a clean stand mixer bowl fitted with its whisk attachment, combine the egg whites, lemon juice and salt. 
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine the sugar and ¼ cup of water and set over medium heat, stirring with a spatula to dissolve the sugar. When the syrup comes to a boil, stop stirring and wash down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to dissolve any sugar crystals. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and cook the syrup until it reaches 244ºF.
  3. Turn the mixer on medium-high speed to begin to whip the egg whites to get them foamy. Once the syrup hits 244ºF, turn off the heat and with the mixer on medium-high very slowly stream the sugar down the side of the bowl to avoid hitting the moving whisk and splattering.  
  4. Once all the syrup has been added, increase the mixer to high and continue to whip until all the meringue is very glossy and forms firm peaks, then beat in the vanilla. 
  5. Remove the tart from the refrigerator and pipe the meringue onto the top forming little peaks. Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the meringue on the top.