This year’s Mother’s Day feels very strange. And although I’m not always with my Mom on this day since we live in opposite sides of the country, not knowing when it will be safe for any of us to travel again makes me miss her all the more.
So I made this yummy Lemon Tart inspired by my Mom. She loves lemon desserts and she makes the most delicious Lemon Meringue Pie. Just the thought makes tons of memories of my childhood flood back. Picking the lemons off the tree for her and watching her whip up the magically cloud-like meringue. And the best part, licking the bowl after she’d scraped out the lemony filling and my cheeks puckering from the tart flavour. Yum!
If you want a healthy treat, this is definitely not it. It’s one of the rare occasions where I use processed ingredients. But sometimes nostalgia wins out and one has to give in to a little naughty slice from the past. There is no other way to achieve the same flavour. So here goes.
Please note that the meringue kisses I have decorated the tart with are totally optional. It is delicious as is or serve with a dollop of whipped cream. For those who want to add them though, I have included them in the recipe.
Lemon Tart with Meringue Kisses
- 300 grams Bakers Tennis Biscuits Crushed
- 85 grams Unsalted Butter Melted
- 1½ Cups Fresh Lemon Juice 6 – 8 Lemons
- 2 Tins Sweetened Condensed Milk 2 x 385g tins
- 3 Large Egg Yolks
- 2½ Tbsp Lemon Zest Finely grated
Meringue Kisses (Optional)
- 3 Egg Whites
- ¾ Cup Castor Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Paste
- ½ tsp White Vinegar
- Yellow food colouring Optional
- Preheat the oven to 160°C
- Crush your tennis biscuits to a fine crumb using a food processor, pestle & mortar or place them in a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin. Place in a medium bowl and set aside
- Melt the butter and pour into the biscuit crumbs and mix thoroughly until they are all coated and moist. Tip into the pie dish of your choice (I used a 25cm ceramic pie dish). Use the back of a spoon or a spatula to push the crumbs up the sides of the dish and pat to flatten. Do the same on the bottom. Take your time to do this. Try to get the sides even and have no holes or cracks anywhere. Also try to get the thickness as even as possible. You do not want the sides to crumble from being too thin and a bottom that is too thick to cut through with a spoon
- Bake crust for 10 minutes then remove from oven and let cool. While the crust bakes and cools prepare the filling
- Zest and juice the lemons and set aside, then separate the eggs. Place the yolks into a large mixing bowl and the whites into a clean smaller bowl. Cover the whites and place in the fridge until you are ready to make the meringue kisses. Make sure that there is no yolk in the whites as it will ruin the meringue
- Whisk the egg yolks, then add the condensed milk, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix until incorporated. I use a hand mixer to ensure everything is mixed through well, but feel free to use a stand mixer or normal whisk or spoon
- Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until just set. It's ok for it to be slightly jiggly in the centre, as long as it is not liquid. Let it cool completely before covering and placing in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight
Meringue Kisses (Optional)
- Preheat the oven to 90°C. Line a baking sheet or two with baking/parchment paper
- Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip until stiff peaks hold and meringue does not slide out when bowl is turned to it's side
- Gradually add in the sugar and then vanilla and vinegar. Increase the speed and whip until the mixture is free of sugar grit when rubbed between two fingers and the meringue holds stiff and glossy peaks
- Turn pasty bag inside out and paint stripes with food coloring onto bag, then turn pastry bag right side in and fit with a large round tip and fill with meringue
- Pipe the meringue a few centimeters apart. Bake the meringue kisses for about 90 – 120 minutes or until meringue easily peels away from parchment paper. This will also depend on the size of the kisses
- Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator