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Buckley's Lemon Meringue Tart

tartRecipe by Deirdre Imus, The Imus Ranch: Cooking for Kids and Cowboys
The fresh sunny flavor of lemon, the melt-in-your-mouth froth of meringue, and the flakiness of a tender crust-all three elements of this luscious tart combine perfectly to make this a truly spectacular dessert.


Preparation time: 30 minutes



Safflower or sunflower oil, for oiling pan

1 1/3    Cups unbleached white flour plus more for flouring pan

1/2       Teaspoon sea salt

2          Teaspoons raw unrefined sugar

1/2       Cup trans fats free margarine

2 to 4   Tablespoons cold water

1          Teaspoon brown rice vinegar



3/4       Cup raw unrefined sugar

2          Tablespoons arrowroot

2          Tablespoons unbleached flour

1          Teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1 1/2    Cups water

1/3       Cup fresh lemon juice

4          Egg yolks

1 1/2    Tablespoons trans fats free margarine

Zest of 2 lemons (about 1 tablespoon)


1/2       Cup raw unrefined sugar

3          Tablespoons water

6          Egg whites

1/2       Teaspoon cream of tartar


Cooking time: 35-45 minutes

PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 350 degrees. Oil and flour a 9-inch tart pan.

To make the crust, combine flour, salt, and sugar; stir until blended. Cut in margarine until mixture forms coarse crumbs. In a bowl, combine the water and vinegar; add this mixture slowly to flour mixture, stirring just until a dough forms. Press into a ball and flatten into a thick disk. Sprinkle a clean surface with a little flour and roll out dough to an 11-inch circle. Transfer dough to a tart pan, prick several times on bottom with a fork, and allow dough to settle. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, just until crust starts to darken. Do not turn off the oven.

To make the filling, combine the sugar, arrowroot, flour, salt, and water in a saucepan; bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Lower heat and simmer the mixture 1 to 2 minutes, until thickened.  In a bowl, combine lemon zest, juice, and yolks. Add lemon mixture to filling; stir in margarine. Cook 3 more minutes. The filling will continue to thicken. Remove filling from heat, pour into the prebaked pie shell, and set aside.

To make the meringue, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan; cook over high heat, stirring, 3 to 5 minutes, until a syrup forms and the temperature reads 200 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove it from heat; set aside. Beat whites until foamy; add cream of tartar; continue beating about 3 more minutes, until whites form stiff peaks. Continue to beat, and carefully drizzle syrup into whites until meringue is smooth and shiny. 

Using a rubber spatula, cover the filling with meringue and return tart to oven 10 to 15 minutes, until the meringue is browned. Cool tart on a rack and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.



Reprinted with permission from the National Bestseller, The Imus Ranch:  Cooking for Kids and Cowboys by Deirdre Imus. Published by Rodale, Inc.

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