Gluten-free lemon meringue tartlets
Oh boy, these tartlets! I must say I am quite proud of them. I just made gluten-free lemon meringue tartlets and they are so so so good!
Tartlets have always attracted me. They are such pretty little delicate pies. They can be super simple, but always look great. Exactly the right size, not too big and not too small. Because they are so delicate, I thought they would be very difficult to make. But they actually weren’t. Yes, there are quite a lot of steps and it will take you some time, but it isn’t really difficult.
This is definitely a recipe that I am going to experiment more with and make a lot of variations on because I absolutely love it.
Making gluten-free lemon meringue tartlets
To make the gluten-free tarts, you will need baking rings or tart pans. At first, I found it quite weird that I was going to bake the tarts in a ring without a bottom, but I simply put them onto a baking sheet covered with baking parchment and that worked perfectly. I used 3-inch perforated baking rings, like these ones, but you can also use tarlet pans, such as these.
For the meringue on top of the tarts, you make an Italian meringue. This is slightly more difficult than making a French meringue, which is most commonly used in recipes. For an Italian meringue, you have to make a sugar syrup that is heated to 121 degrees Celsius or 250 degrees Fahrenheit. You will then pour it into your bowl with egg whites that you have whipped up right before and you have to continue whisking until the meringue has cooled down to room temperature.
At first this sounds quite daunting, but it is easier than it sounds. The only thing you really need for it is a sugar thermometer: I use a digital sugar thermometer. Because it is important that the sugar syrup has the right temperature. If you heat the syrup too long, you will get caramel instead of sugar syrup. And I speak from experience.. Haha!
Finally, you will need a blow torch to give the meringue a brown color. For this, I really advise to invest in a good blow torch. I once bought one for a few euro’s in a cheap store here in the Netherlands and that blow torch really wasn’t safe. I am already a bit scared around fire, so I really didn’t like working with a blow torch that acted like it would explode any second. This is for example a more sturdy option for a blow torch.
Can the xanthan gum be left out?
Since I have been using xanthan gum in recipes more often, I got asked a few times whether xanthan gum can be left out. My answer to this is: it is probably possible, but I wouldn’t advise it.
Using xanthan gum in recipes has really improved my baking. When you are baking gluten-free, you miss the gluten in a dough. Gluten help to bind the dough and give it elasticity. Xanthan gum is a gluten-free replacement that also has these characteristics. It also improves the texture of your bake.
Before, when I was making gluten-free pastry dough, it always fell apart in my hands. This gluten-free tart dough is perfect. It is easy to roll out, it doesn’t fall apart and it doesn’t crumble. This dough really has the elasticity from a dough with gluten. So, I would really advise you to use xanthan gum. You pay 7 dollars for a package, but it lasts long and it will really improve your gluten-free baking.
Will you let me know if you have made my gluten-free lemon meringue tartlets? I would love it if you will let me know what you think about the recipe by leaving a comment and a rating below. You can also share your creations with me on Instagram by using the hashtag #karlijnskitchen or by tagging me via @karlijnskitchen.Print
With these gluten-free lemon meringue tartlets, you will steal the show at every party! They look delicious and are not even that hard to make. Low FODMAP and low in lactose.
For the tartlets
For the tarlets crust, I used this fantastic recipe from The Loopy Whisk.
- 250 gram (2 cups) gluten-free flour (I use Schär mix C)
- 100 g (7/8 cup) icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum*
- A pinch of salt
- 125 g (1 stick + 1 tbsp) cold butter, in cubes
- 2 egg yolks
- 3–4 tbsp cold water
- Baking rings**
For the filling
- 1 gelatin sheet
- 140 g lemon juice (about 4–5 lemons)
- 4 eggs
- 160 gram (2/3 cup + 1 tbsp) sugar
- 80 gram (6 tbsp) butter
For the meringue
For the tartlets
- Sieve the flour with the icing sugar, xanthan gom and salt in a bowl. Stir together.
- Add the cold butter and knead this with your fingers into the flour, until you have a fine crumble mixture.
- Add the egg yolks and stir this into the dough with a fork.
- Add the water, one tablespoon at a time and stir the dough through with a fork after every tablespoon. If you have added three tablespoons, you can knead the dough into a ball with your hands. If the dough is too crumbly, you can add the last tablespoon of water.
- Roll the dough into some cling films and leave it to rest in the fridge for half an hour.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F).
- Sprinkle your work surface with some icing sugar and roll the dough out in a circle about 4-5 mm thin (0.2 inch). Take a cookie cutter that is slightly bigger than your baking rings (a large glass will work too) and cut circles out of the dough.
- Put your baking rings onto a baking sheet covered with baking parchment.
- Lay a circle of dough over the baking ring and carefully press it down and press the dough onto the sides of the ring. Repeat this for all the rings.
- Prick the bottom of the tartlets in with a fork.
- Bake the tartlets for 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius (350 F)
- Take the tartlets out of the oven and leave them to cool down.
For the filling
- When the tartlets are in the oven, you can make the filling.
- Soak the gelatine sheet in a bowl of water. Put aside.
- Zest the rind of the lemons and put aside. Squeeze the lemons and take 140 gram of the juice. I always put it through a sieve, so you won’t have any pulp in your juice.
- Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and shortly whisk them together. Put aside.
- Put the lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar together in a pan. Whisk it together until the sugar has dissolved and then turn on the heat.
- Take the pan off the heat when the mixture starts to boil. Pour the sugar mixture into the mixing bowl with the eggs and whisk vigorously. You do this to stop the eggs from cooking. Whisk everything together well.
- Pour the mixture back into the pan and turn the heat back on. Continue to whisk with a whisk. Turn the heat off when the lemon mixture starts to boil.
- Take the gelatine from the water and squeeze it out. Put it together with the butter into the pan and stir until the butter has melted.
- Pour the lemon creme into a dish and cover with cling film. Put into the fridge to cool down.
- When the creme is cold, you can fill the tartlets with the creme. Smoothen the top with a spatula. Put the tarlets into the fridge while you make the meringue.
For the meringue
- Pour the water for the meringue into a pan and carefully add the sugar.
- Put the pan on the heat and leave the mixture to warm up on middle high heat.
- Use a sugar thermometer to check the temperature.
- Put the egg whites into a clean mixing bowl. Clean your mixing bowl and the whisk of your mixer with some lemon juice to make sure it is not greasy anymore, otherwise your egg whites won’t get stiff.
- When the sugar syrup is almost warm enough, about 112-114 degrees Celsius (233-237 Fahrenheit), you can start to whip the egg whites. Whip until the egg whites stand up in stiff peaks.
- Take the sugar syrup off the heat when the thermometer shows 121 degrees Celsius (250 degrees Fahrenheit). Wait until there are no bubbles in the syrup anymore and then carefully pour it into the bowl with the meringue, while you keep mixing.
- Continue to mix until the meringue has completely cooled down. This usually take about 3-5 minutes. The meringue should be stiff and shiny.
- Scoop the meringue into a piping bag and pipe some meringue on each lemon tartlet. I found this a handy video to see different techniques on piping meringue on the tarts. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can also use a spoon to put some meringue on each tart.
- Take the blow torch and color the meringue by carefully moving the blow torch around the meringue topping on each tart. I put my tarts onto a turn table and turned them around.
*See the text in the blog for more information about xanthan gom.
** I bought a set of six baking rings and made the tartlets in two batches. That worked out fine.
You can make the tartlet shells a few days beforehand. Store them, without filling, in a closed box.
The finished tartlets taste the best on the day that you make them. I made the shells one day beforehand and filled them on the day that I wanted to serve them. You can store the finished tartlets 3-4 days in the fridge.
You can also freeze the tartlet shells. I even froze them after they were filled and they still tasted nice when I thawed them again. I wouldn’t freeze the tartlets with the meringue topping, but just with the lemon filling is fine.
- Prep Time: 2 hours 30 min (1 hour waiting time)
- Cook Time: 15 min
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