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mini lime meringue tarts




Last weekend I met a friend for dinner and I always like to bring along something sweet to share so I decided to make some mini tarts. 



I used the passionfruit tart recipe from the Cook and Baker as my inspiration, then took the recipe from there. These little meringue tarts take a bit of time and effort but they are very tasty and look cute as well. 




It's lime season here so I decided to make lime meringue tarts. I made the tarts on one of the hottest days of the year so had all kind of problems rolling out my usually foolproof pastry recipe. I persevered and all went well in the end but I only made 12 tarts and put the remaining pastry back in the freezer for another day.



The tarts are best eaten the day they're made but if you store them in the fridge, they're still okay the next day. Don't store them at room temperature though as the pastry will soften. If making meringue isn't your thing you could always top the tarts with a dollop of cream topped with some grated lime rind.




Here's the recipe for you which makes 24 tarts. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20ºC.


Miniature Lime Meringue Tarts 
Almond shortcrust pastry
110g (4 oz) cold unsalted butter, diced
¼ cup icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
¼ cup almond meal
1⅓ cups plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
Cold water

Filling
2 egg yolks
1 tsp finely grated lime rind
200g condensed milk
120 mls lime juice

Topping
3 egg whites
180g caster sugar
Pinch of salt

Pastry
To make the pastry, combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor, and whiz for a few seconds until well combined and free of lumps. Add the cold butter and whiz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and sufficient cold water and whiz until a soft dough just starts to form around the blade. Remove the dough from the food processor and gather the pastry into a ball; flatten slightly before wrapping in plastic and placing in the fridge. Refrigerate the pastry for 30 minutes.

Grease a 12 cup miniature muffin tin. Cut the pastry in half. Roll out the pastry quite thinly, cut into twelve 6 cm rounds then press the pastry gently into each tin before trimming the edges. Line each cup with a small square of baking paper and fill with baking beans. Chill for 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 190°C and bake the pastry shells for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before removing the shells from the tray. Repeat the process with the remaining pastry. The shells can be stored in an airtight container until ready to be filled.

Filling
Lower the oven temperature to 170°C. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks with the lime rind. Stir in the condensed milk followed by the juice. Mix thoroughly and return the mixture to the fridge for 10 minutes to allow the mixture to infuse. Pour the filling through a fine sieve into a jug before filling the pastry cases. Bake the tarts for 10-15 minutes or until the filling is just set. Allow to cool completely before refrigerating the tarts for at least an hour. Repeat with the remaining shells.

Topping
Preheat oven to 200°C. Bring a saucepan of water large enough to fit your stand mixer bowl to the boil. Put the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of the mixer and whisk to combine. Reduce the heat under the pan so the water is just simmering, then place the bowl on the pan, making sure the water doesn’t touch its base. Whisk the eggs for five minutes by hand or using a hand mixer, until very warm, then put the bowl back on the electric mixer stand and whisk for about five minutes on a high speed, until the meringue is stiff and cool.

Place the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5 cm plain tube and pipe decoratively over the filling. You can leave the tarts as is or you can colour the meringue using a brulee torch or under the grill. I prefer to bake the tarts for 10 minutes or until the meringue is lightly coloured. Cool on a rack before returning to the fridge to firm up the filling.




See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.


Bye for now,


Jillian



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