140g chilled unsalted butter, coarsely chopped Pinch of salt 2 tbs cold water
Lemon Curd 1 egg
1 egg yolk 1/3 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
5 tablespoons lemon juice
50g butter, chopped
3 egg whites
95g caster sugar
Method Shortcrust pastry: Process flour, butter and salt in food processor until the mixture looks like fine bread crumbs. Add the water and pulse until it has just combined.
Knead pastry on a lightly floured surface until smooth, but be careful not to overwork it. Flatten into a disc shape, wrap in plastic, and put in the fridge to rest for an hour.
When firm, remove pastry from plastic wrap and knead briefly until malleable. Shape into another disc and place between two sheets of baking paper. Roll over disc to make a three millimetre thick sheet.
Use a five centimetre wide cookie cutter to create small circles of pastry. Press into a pre greased mini muffin pan. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes before baking in a 180 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from tray after 10 minutes and set on wire rack to cool.
Lemon curd: Whisk together egg, egg yolk, sugar, lemon rind and lemon juice in a heavy-based saucepan. Add butter, then place over medium heat. It's important to whisk the whole time the curd cooks to avoid lumps and burning. Cook for 8 or so minutes, or until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stand for 5 minutes. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow mixture to cool completely before spooning into pastry cases.
Meringue: Whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until firm peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, whisking constantly until mixture is smooth and thick. Spoon into sandwich bag and cut a half centimetre hole in one corner (Use a piping bag if you have the luxury). Pipe on top of lemon curd to resemble bee hives. Place in oven for 10 or so minutes, or until the tops have started to tan.
And Voilą - zesty treats that look almost too good to eat.
If you don't have the time to make your own pastry, frozen sheets from the supermarket will do. Just let it thaw slightly before trying to press it into the muffin tin. Likewise with the lemon curd, if time is not on your side, Masterfoods make a lemon butter which you can substitute as the filling.