Lemon Meringue Tartlets

When life gives Phoenix freezing temperatures, pick the lemons from your tree and make these Lemon Meringue Tartlets!

A little sweet, a little tart, creamy and piled high with fluffy, dreamy meringue, these tartlets are easy to make. The filling requires the juice from just two lemons along with some zest, but it offers an amazing burst of sunshine!

Lemon juice by using my grandma’s juicer.

Most people don’t think about the cold weather in Phoenix. Our winters do, in fact, bring on cold weather (relatively speaking) but it’s pretty rare when the temps dip below freezing for several nights in a row. When it does, you cover your plants and hope for the best. You also take the time to pick the fruit that grows beautifully from your citrus trees.

Fresh lemons

That’s what we did during my mom’s recent visit. Needless to say she was surprised by the weather, but she was thrilled we could make these luscious Lemon Meringue Tartlets with lemons straight from the tree. This dessert definitely appeals to your senses, from the sweet smell of the lemons as you juice and zest them to the beauty of these small, fluffy packages, and finally, the amazing fresh flavor as you dig in.

Out of the tin and ready to enjoy

This recipe makes five, 5-inch tartlets, or one, 9-inch pie.


For the tartlet shells
  • 2 cups crushed vanilla wafer cookies
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
For the lemon filling
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 3 eggs yolks (keep the whites for the meringue)
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
For the meringue
  • 3 egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


For the tartlet shells
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F., and lightly spray the tartlet tins with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Pulse the vanilla wafer cookies in a food processor until crumbs form. You can also place the cookies in a sealed plastic baggie and crush them with a rolling pin.
  3. Melt the butter.
  4. Combine both the cookie crumbs and melted butter in a medium-sized bowl.
  5. Divide the cookie mixture evenly between the tins, and gently press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the tins.
  6. Place the tins on a baking sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes, just until slightly golden. Remove from the oven and cool.
For the filling
  1. Add the egg yolks to a small bowl and beat them with a fork. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, add the sugar, cornstarch, and water, a little at a time.
  3. Stir constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. Bring it to a boil and cook it for another minute.
  4. Add half the mixture to the egg yolks to temper them, and stir. Spoon that mixture back into the pan, boil for a few minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and butter to the filling and mix well.
  6. While the filling is hot, spoon it into your cooled tartlet shells.
For the meringue
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Add the egg whites to a medium-sized bowl and beat with a hand mixer until they’re foamy.
  3. Add the sugar to the egg whites, a little at a time, while mixing.
  4. Continue to mix until smooth, stiff peaks form.
  5. Add the vanilla extract to the meringue while mixing.
  6. When ready, spoon the meringue evenly over the filling within the tins, all the way to the edges.
  7. Bake the tartlets for about 10-15 minutes, or until the meringue begins to brown just slightly. Keep an eye on the tartlets while baking to help ensure they don’t burn.
  8. Allow the tartlets to cool, then refrigerate until chilled, and serve.
Yields 5, 5-inch tarts or one 9-inch pie



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