Oh my gosh did I have so much fun making this Strawberry Tart Recipe with lemon Meringue and Almond Crust! It’s not that I did anything out of the ordinary, but it’s because my family from Detroit was in town for a few days and I got to cook with my Aunt Pam who is probably more obsessed with food than I am. Every time I see her we are always talking about food, recipes, cooking shows, you name it, but I’ve only had the opportunity to cook with her 1 other time than this. My Aunt is a phenomenal baker so having her alongside as we prepared this strawberry tart recipe was huge, especially because I jacked up my own crust recipe and she was on location for the save!
Since strawberries are in full season I knew I wanted to do something with them, and in a tart. I also wanted the tart filling to be egg free so I cooked down some fresh chopped up strawberries with a bit of lemon juice and sugar until it became like a syrup. From there I blended them up until smooth and then chilled it immediately. Honestly even after doing this I had no clue what I was going to do with the filling since I wasn’t going to use eggs, and now I had a strawberry sauce chilling. I actually do this quite often of knowing I want to make something and then having no clue how I’m going to get there half way through the cooking process. Maybe it’s the recipe thrill seeker in me that finds this fun, but at the time it’s a bit stressful.
My Aunt Pam and I thought it would be good to have some sort of creamy filling so I whipped some heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks were formed and then whisked in some cold mascarpone. This combination alone makes for the creamiest mixture of all time, but at least at this point I had figured out what I was going to do with the strawberry sauce in the refrigerator. My Aunt Pam folded the strawberry sauce into the mixture until it was combined and holy smokes was it delicious and so incredibly hard to resist eating. Truth be told you’ll have some extra, after filling up the tartlet shells so my suggestion is that you freeze it for some homemade strawberry ice cream… You’re welcome!
Now that you have the filling all completed set it aside and let’s make a crust! Because almonds go well with strawberries why not make an almond crust?? I used Bob’s Red Mill Super Fine Almond Meal, which always makes the most delicious crusts. I actually use this almond meal in quite a few of my recipes on BillyParisi.com, but for this recipe I knew that a slight toast on the almond meal in the crust would complement the strawberry filling to perfection. The best way I know how to make a crust is by putting everything in a food processor and processing it until it becomes very mealy and a bit dry looking.
The beauty of having help in the kitchen is so priceless let me tell you. So I added way too much butter the first go around with the crust and I kept thinking to myself that it looked way too wet. Well, half way through I said something to my Aunt Pam and she asked how much butter I used. BOOM, my bad! We redid the recipe and fixed it up stat so that it would be perfect for our filling.
I piped the filling into the tarts after I par-baked the crusts so that they would settle flat. If for some reason they are chunky looking on top, heat a spoon in hot water and smooth out the filling with the backside of the spoon. Now because I’m all for having more fat I figured why not make a merengue spiked with fresh lemon juice and then toast it up. WHOA, talk about the most perfect complement ever to this strawberry tart recipe, the lemon merengue took it to that next level! SOOOO GOOD!! Garnish this pup up and you are done, easy peezy lemon squeezey!
Strawberry Tart Recipe with lemon Meringue and Almond Crust
For the Crust:
- 1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill Super Fine Almond Meal
- 1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Flour
- 12 ounces of cold unsalted butter
- pinch of Kosher salt
- 2 to 3 ounces of ice cold water
For the Filling:
- 1 pint of sliced strawberries
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
- 8 ounces of mascarpone cheese
- 3 egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar
- ¼ cup of powdered sugar
- sliced strawberries lemons and mint for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375°.
Crust: Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and process on high speed until it becomes like a meal. Remove the dough and roll it out on a clean surface dusted with flour until it is 1/8” thick. Make 12 circle rounds and then form them to small tart shells.
Dock the dough with a fork and par-bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked. Set aside to cool.
Next, cook the strawberries, juice of ½ lemon and sugar in a medium size pot over medium heat until it becomes very thick, like a jam.
Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend on high until smooth. Chill completely in the refrigerator.
Add the heavy whipping cream to a standing mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks are formed. Add in the mascarpone and mix until completely combined.
Next, fold in the strawberry sauce and the evenly add the filling to the cooled tart shells. Chill.
Add the egg whites, cream of tartar and powdered sugar to a standing mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until very stiff peaks are formed.
After very stiff peaks are formed squeeze in the remaining ½ of lemon. Add the mixture to a piping bag.
Make a swirl on the top of the strawberry tart and lightly toast using a torch.
Garnish with strawberry slice, lemon wheel and mint.