Limoncello Meringue Tart

Start with a tender and buttery crust, fill it with a rich, creamy, refreshing lemon custard filling that has been kissed with Southern Italian Limoncello liqueur and top it all off with a sweet meringue. All the glory of the summer sun in a tart!

Nothing says summer better than sun kissed lemons, bursting with tart and flavorful goodness. I truly love lemons and all kinds of food made with lemons. What better time than this weekend to whip up this tart for you, your friends, and family to enjoy.

A few key points before starting the recipe:

  • Fresh Lemons: Using fresh lemons is key when making this tart. You’ll need about 3 large lemons or 6 small lemons for the recipe. Zest the lemons using Microplane before squeezing the juice from the lemons.
  • Limoncello: is a Southern Italian liqueur made from the zest of lemons, simple syrup, and vodka. The oils from the lemon zest infuse the alcohol with all its flavor and color. Capturing the sunshine in a bottle. A perfect icy cold as little summer pick me up all by itself or mixed with Italian lemon soda and ice. The adult version of “Lemonade.” Visit your local Italian Market to sample or get suggestions on what brand to purchase.
  • Eggs: You’ll be required to separate the yolks and whites for this recipe. I encourage you to use a 4 bowl system to keep the egg white clean for the meringue. 1 bowl will be for the room temperature eggs, 1 bowl you’ll separate the egg over leaving the white to fall into the bowl, 1 bowl will be for the yolk once separated, and the last bowl will be used to collect the clean egg whites. If the yolk should break while separating in the first bowl the other clean egg whites will not be contaminated this way. Also have extra eggs just incase.

The full instructional video for Limoncello Meringue Tart is at the bottom of this blog post. Follow this link to “LIKE” and “SUBSCRIBE” to my YouTube Channel “Just One Bite, Please?” http://www.youtube.com/c/justonebiteplease/

Equipment:

  • Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons/Electronic Bakers Scale
  • Fork
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Rolling Pin
  • 10-inch Tart Pan 1-inch deep with removable bottom
  • 14-inch Diameter Piece of Parchment Paper
  • Baking Weights – 2 lbs. Dried Beans
  • ½-Sheet Tray lined with Parchment Paper

Pâte Sucrée

  • Measure           Grams               Ingredients
  • 1-¼ cup              174 g.               All Purpose Flour
  • ¾ cup                 110 g.               Powder Sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
  • ½ tsp.                     3 g.               Sea Salt (fine ground)
  • 4 Tbsp.                 56 g.               Butter (unsalted, cold, ¼-inch diced)
  • 1 each               1 each               Egg (large)

Mixing the Pâte Sucrée:

  1. In a mixing bowl combine the all purpose flour, powder sugar, and sea salt. Stir with a fork to combine.
  2. Add the butter to the dry ingredients in the bowl. Use the fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until pea size pieces form.
  3. With your hands rub the butter and dry ingredients together until the butter is completely incorporated. The mixture will hold together when squeezed and then crumble apart. Form a well in the center of the ingredients
  4. Add the egg to a small bowl and beat the egg with the fork until well blended.
  5. Mix the beaten egg into the dry ingredient until a dough forms and comes away from the bowl.
  6. Turn the dough onto the work surface (no flour) and knead until completely incorporated.
  7. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and form the dough into a 6-inch round disk.
  8. Refrigerate the disk for 30 minutes before rolling.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC) 20 minutes before Blinded Baking the Tart Shell

Rolling Pâte Sucrée Tart Shell:

  1. Remove the chilled Pâte Sucrée disk from the refrigerator. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough and place onto a floured work surface. Flour the top the disk. Using the rolling pin, firmly tap the chilled dough to make it pliable before rolling it out.
  2. Roll the dough into a 12-inch disk that is about an 1/8-inch thick.
  3. Roll the dough onto the rolling pin to make it easy to move it to the tart pan.
  4. Unroll the dough over the tart pan and center it.
  5. Lift the outside edges to ease the dough into the bottom edge of the pan. There will be some dough that is higher than the tart pan. Push this dough down and press to form a rim of dough.
  6. Place the rolled tart dough into the freezer to chill for 15 minutes before blind baking.

Blind Baking the Pâte Sucrée Tart Shell:

  1. Remove the chilled tart dough from the freezer and place onto a parchment lined sheet tray.
  2. Using a fork, “dock” (prick) the bottom and sides of the rolled tart dough all over.
  3. Crumple the 14-inch diameter piece of parchment paper and then un-crumple and flatten it out. This will make it easier to form to the tart dough shape.
  4. Place the prepared parchment paper onto the tart dough and form it to the shape.
  5. Add the dried beans (pie weights) to the top of the parchment paper and spread out to the edge.
  6. Place the sheet tray with the tart shell into the oven.
  7. Bake at 375ºF (190ºC) for 26 to 28 minutes before removing the parchment paper and pie weights.
  8. Continue to bake uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes or until the bottom of the tart shell is golden brown.
  9. Remove the baked tart shell from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely before filling.

Equipment:

  • Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons/Electronic Bakers Scale
  • Cutting Board
  • Paring Knife
  • Microfine Zester
  • Citrus Reamer or Juicer
  • 1-Quart Sauce Pan
  • French Whisk
  • Heat Resistant Rubber Spatula

Limoncello Meringue Filling 

  • Measure           Grams               Ingredients
  • 5 each               5 each               Egg Yolks (large egg)
  • 1 cup                   218g.               Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 cup                 50 g.               Cornstarch
  • ½ tsp.                     3 g.               Sea Salt (fine ground)
  • ½ cup                 122 g.               Limoncello
  • 1 cup                  227 g.                Water
  • 2 Tbsp.                 14 g.                Lemon Zest
  • ½ cup                 122 g.                Lemon Juice
  • 6 Tbsp.                84  g.                Butter (unsalted)

Mixing and Cooking the Limoncello Meringue Filling:

  1. In a medium bowl add the egg yolks and whisk to combine. (Set aside until step 7)
  2. In the sauce pan combine the granulated sugar, cornstarch, and sea salt. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add the limoncello and whisk to dissolve the dry ingredients. Add the water and whisk until completely incorporated.
  4. Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a light boil. Stirring  the entire time with a rubber spatula.
  5. Boil for 1 minute.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Slowly add ¼ of the cooked mixture to the egg yolks while whisking to combine. Add at least half of the cooked mixture to fully temper the egg yolks.
  8. Return the tempered egg yolk mixture to the sauce pan and return to the stove.
  9. Return the filling to a light boil and continue to cook the filling for 2 minutes stirring the entire time.
  10. Remove the cooked filling from the heat and add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and butter. Whisk to completely incorporate the Limoncello filling.
  11. Immediately pour the cooked filling into the prepared tart shell and spread out evenly using a small off-set spatula.
  12. Set the filled tart aside while preparing the Meringue.

Equipment:

  • Small Sauce Pan with 1-inch of water
  • Small Heat Proof Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Instant Read Thermometer
  • Mixer with Bowl and Whisk Attachment

Swiss Meringue:

  • Measure           Grams               Ingredients
  • 5 each                5 each              Egg Whites
  • 1 cup                  218 g.               Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ tsp.                 ¼ tsp.               Sea Salt (fine ground)
  1. Place the sauce pan with 1-inch of water in it over medium heat and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat of barely a simmer.
  2. In the heat proof bowl with the egg whites add the granulated sugar and sea salt. Whisk to combine.
  3. Place the bowl over the simmering water. The bowl should not be touching the water.
  4. Whisk and heat the meringue mixture until it reaches 165°F (74°C). This will take about 10 minutes.
  5. Place the hot meringue mixture into the mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment. Lift the bowl into place.
  6. Whip the meringue until it reaches stiff peaks.
  7. Remove the bowl and whisk attachment from the machine.
  8. Use the rubber spatula to place the whipped meringue onto the tart filling.
  9. Spread the meringue out across the filling and to the tart shell edge using the rubber spatula.
  10. Make swirls in the meringue using the rubber spatula.
  11. Finish the meringue by browning the top using a blow torch.
  12. The meringue can also be placed under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes to brown the top if you do not have a blow torch. Keep a close eye on the progress of the browning if using this method.
  13. Cool the tart completely to room temperature before slicing.
  14. Enjoy!

Note: Store your Limoncello Meringue Tart at room temperature covered for up to 4 days. If you do refrigerate the tart make sure to cover it. Bring the tart back to room temperature before serving for the best flavor.

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