Liam Whittle presents his special recipe for delicious lemon meringue tarts

All elements of this dish can be made in advance, making it an easy dinner party dessert. The secret to the extra thin tart case is in the second rolling, setting these tarts out from the average. The final twist of added flavour comes from the touch of citrus zests, zested directly over the finished tart to add freshness with their essential oils.


Sweet pastry
330g plain flour
120g icing sugar
170g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 vanilla pod
1 whole egg
30 ml double cream

Lemon curd
Juice of 4 lemons
200g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter
3 whole eggs
1 egg yolk

Italian Meringue
225g caster sugar
100ml water
1 tsp lemon juice
4 egg whites

1 lemon
1 orange
1 lime
Tagete flowers (Optional)


Sweet Pastry
Mix the plain flour, icing sugar and lemon zest together in a bowl. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the mix. Dice the butter and work into the flour mix until combined to a crumb. Working quickly so that you don’t overwork the mix.

In a separate bowl gently mix the egg and double cream. Add to the flour mix and work until just combined.

Roll flat. Around one inch thick. Clingfilm and chill for at least two hours.

Tart Cases
Pre-heat oven to 180C. Roll sweet pastry to the thickness of roughly a £1 coin.

Using a four inch tart case as a guide cut the pastry to size.

Flour each pastry cutting liberally and dust off using your hand. This will help you with the second rolling. Working quickly roll pastry again until you can just see your fingers through the pastry when you lift it. Line the moulds.

Roll the rolling pin across the top of the moulds to cut off the excess. Line each tart case with a double layer of cling film and baking beans. Chill in the fridge for half an hour.

Bake blind in the oven on the middle shelf for seven minutes. Remove baking beans and clingfilm. Return to oven and continue baking until lightly golden brown. Roughly 3-4 minutes. Remove from moulds and cool on a resting rack.

Lemon Curd
Mix lemon juice, sugar and butter in a bowl. Heat in a bain maire (bowl set over a pan of simmering water) until combined. Stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time. Add eggs and continue to cook out, stirring occasionally, until the lemon curd coats the back of the wooden spoon.

Chill mixture in the fridge until needed.

Italian Meringue
Mix sugar, lemon juice and water in a pan until combined.

Cook over a high heat, using a sugar thermometer, until 115C. Whilst sugar is cooking, place egg whites in a mixer with the whisk attachment.

Once the sugar reaches 115C, turn on the mixer at medium to high speed until you get a stiff peak but not over whipped. When the sugar reaches 121C, slowly pour over the egg whites with the machine still running. The sugar should have reached 121C at the same time the egg whites have achieved a stiff peak. Keep the machine running until the bottom of the mixing bowl is cool to the touch.

Once cooled, place the meringue into a piping bag with a plain nozzle.

Start by placing a small dot of lemon curd on a plate. Place your tart cases on top to stop the tart from sliding off the plate. Spoon your lemon curd into the centre of the tart case.

Starting at the edge, pipe your meringue onto the top of the tart. Gently blowtorch the meringue until golden brown, but not burnt, using a cooks blowtorch.

Finally zest your orange, lemon and lime directly over the finished tart and garnish with the tagete flowers if using.