Mini Lemon Meringue Pies
For the sugar cookies
- 195 g (1 ½ cups) plain (AP) flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup (100g / 3.5oz) caster sugar
- 57 g (1/2 stick / ¼ cup) unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup lemon curd
For the meringues
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup (100g / 3.5oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- Preheat the oven to 160C (320F) and spray the holes of two 24 hole mini muffin tins with oil spray
For the cookies:
- Sift together flour & baking powder and set aside
- Beat the butter and sugar until lightened. Scrape sides of bowl. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat well, scraping down the bowl a couple of times until well mixed. Add flour mix in 3 parts. Keep the mixer on low and mix until it comes together as a dough. If it looks too crumbly and isn’t coming together, add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of water until it starts to form big clumps of dough. Be patient. Don’t add more water than necessary.
- Bring the dough into a smooth ball and roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper (I cut the dough in half as I find it more manageable to do half at a time). Roll it to about 2-3mm thick.
- Use a round cookie cutter about 2cm larger than the holes of the muffin tin, to cut out as many circles of dough as possible. Then re-roll and repeat.
- Cut out a small triangle from the edge of each cirlcle (a bit like a pac man) – this will help you to shape them into the muffin tins.
- Make sure the holes of the tin are greased properly, then pushed the circles into the holes very gently. If they break, you can just push the dough together or use offcuts if required to fill any cracks that occur.
- Bake for around 10-12 minutes until starting to turn golden on the edges and making sure to turn the tray half way through. Transfer to a cooling rack.
- Once cooled, fill each cookie cup with about 1-2 teaspoons of lemon curd.
For the meringues
- Preheat oven to 120C / 100C fan forced. Line 2 large cookie sheets with baking paper.
- In a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment (or using a handheld beater), beat the egg whites to soft peak stage (a peak that bends over at the top) – About 5 minutes.
- Sift over the cream of tartar and beat through. Now add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, until the egg whites are thick and glossy and at stiff peak stage. Once all the sugar is incorporated, test the mixture by rubbing a little between your finger and thumb. It should be smooth. If it is still grainy, keep beating until it is smooth when you test it.
- Tip 1: Use a little meringue under the corners of the baking paper to hold it down (especially if your oven is fan foced)
- Transfer the meringue to a piping bag and pipe small kisses / teardrops, slightly smaller than the diameter of the cookie cups, onto the baking sheets. Make sure to space them about 1 inch apart.
- Tip 2: Hold the piping bag perfectly vertical about 1 fingers width from the baking paper and begin piping slowly, as the bottom fills out into a nice shape, lift the piping bag away slowly, creating a little peak on each one. Once you get the hang of it you can move along quicker.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes until the outsides look dry. Remove from oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheets. Gently peel away from the baking paper and transfer to an airtight container until ready to top the pies.