Crumbly pastries filled with sweet lemon curd and topped with Italian meringue.
For the pastry
250g Plain Flour
2 Egg Yolks
125g Cold Butter
2 tbsp Caster Sugar
Zest of 1 Lemon
Pinch of Salt
Vanilla Extract (optional)
For the Limoncello filling
2 Whole Eggs
150g Caster Sugar
Juice of 3 Lemons
Zest of 2 Lemons
40ml Lemon Drizzle Liqueur
30ml Sicilian Lemon Gin
For the Italian meringue
2 Egg Whites
To make the pastry
Place the flour, salt and zest in the bowl of a stand mixer.
With the beater attachment, mix the butter and flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add one egg yolk and extract (if using) and combine.
Add 3 tablespoons of ice cold water, one at a time, while mixing until it forms a dough.
Wrap in cling film and cool in the fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes or preferably overnight.
Roll the pastry out to the thickness of a one pound coin.
Cut out six circles so they are a little bigger than a 3-4" loose bottomed mini tart tin.
Work the pastry into the hollows, cutting off any excess, then allow to chill in the tin for at least 20 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6.
Place some baking paper into the pastry cases and fill with baking beans.
Bake, initially, for 12 minutes, then remove the paper and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Whisk up an egg yolk with a little water and brush all over the pastry.
Return to the oven for 2 minutes, then allow to cool completely.
To make the filling
Add the sugar and eggs to a heatproof bowl and whisk until foamy.
In a jug, combine the zest, juice and limoncello (50ml for a slight hint or up to 70ml for a stronger flavour).
Place the bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water and whisk.
After a few minutes, it should begin to thicken slightly.
Add the first half of the lemon mixture, mix, then allow it to thicken again (this will take a few minutes).
Add the rest, then mix until the mixture is thick and glossy.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until it is completely dissolved.
Pour your limoncello curd into your cooked pastry cases, making sure they don’t overflow.
Save the rest of your curd in a small bowl in the fridge alongside your pielettes.
Allow everything to chill in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours.
To make the Italian meringue
Place the sugar and 25ml water in a saucepan and bring to the boil (avoid mixing or the sugar will crystallize).
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Bring the sugar up to 120°C and, when almost ready, start to whisk your whites into soft peaks.
When the temperature is reached, whilst still whisking the egg whites, remove the sugar from the heat and mix into egg whites in a long, steady stream.
Continue whisking until the bowl returns to room temperature.
Once cooled, pour into a piping bag and pipe little blobs of meringue in different sizes.
Fill in the gaps with your leftover limoncello curd using a smaller piping bag for precision.
If desired, you can finish it off with a blow torch to gently cook the outside.