Muffin-Tin Lemon Meringue Tarts

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muffin pan lemon meringue tartlets
Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

The hardest-working pots and pans in our kitchen? The frying pan and the spaghetti pot, no contest. And while we love our muffin tin, it really can’t compete with the heavy hitters in terms of versatility and usefulness. Welp, this recipe for lemon meringue tarts is giving us a whole new way to use our muffin tin.

“Crisp sugar cookie crusts cup creamy lemon custard,” recipe developer Erin McDowell explains. “They’re topped with a meringue that’s super fluffy. I recommend using a candy thermometer to take the guesswork out of the topping.” 

The sweet little treats look like they belong on a bakery shelf, but we promise they’re easy enough to whip up at home (with the help of your trusty muffin tin, of course).



1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup (106g) light brown sugar

1 large (56g) egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3¼ cups (392g) all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon fine sea salt


1 cup (226g) freshly squeezed lemon juice

1¾ cups (347g) granulated sugar

5 large (283g) eggs

2 large (43g) egg yolks

½ cup (120g) mascarpone cheese

Pinch of fine sea salt


2 large (177g) egg whites

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

¾ cup (149g) granulated sugar


1. Make the Crust: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla; mix to combine. Scrape the bowl well.

2. Add the flour, baking powder and salt; mix to combine. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces.

3. Press each piece evenly into the cavities of a 12-cup muffin pan, taking care to press into the corners and maintain the same thickness all over. Chill for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

4. Make the Filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice, sugar, eggs and egg yolks until well combined. Add the mascarpone and salt; whisk until combined.

5. Pour the custard into a vessel with a pour spout (such as a liquid measuring cup). Gently pour the custard into each chilled crust, filling just under the inner edge of the crust.

6. Bake until the crust is golden and the custard is set, 30 to 35 minutes. Run an offset spatula around the outer edge of each tart and then let cool completely.

7. Make the Meringue: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, place the egg whites and cream of tartar.

8. In a small pot, combine the sugar with 3 tablespoons water. Stir the mixture over medium heat until it begins to come to a simmer, then stop stirring. Continue to cook until the sugar dissolves and the mixture reads 140°F on a thermometer.

9. When the mixture reaches 140°F, remove it from the heat and begin to whip the egg whites on medium-high speed. When the egg whites are frothy and starting to turn white, begin to add the sugar mixture in a slow, steady stream. Continue to whip until the mixture reaches medium peaks.

10. Apply the meringue to the surface of the tarts with a spoon, an offset spatula or a piping bag as desired. Use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue.

Nutrition Facts
  • Crust

  • 587 calories

  • 32g fat

  • 67g carbs

  • 8g protein

  • 17g sugars

  • Filling

  • 366 calories

  • 12g fat

  • 62g carbs

  • 7g protein

  • 58g sugars

  • Meringue

  • 101 calories

  • 0g fat

  • 25g carbs

  • 1g protein

  • 25g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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erin jeanne mcdowell

Freelance Food Editor

Erin Jeanne McDowell is a recipe developer, food stylist and author of multiple cookbooks, including The Fearless Baker, which was named one of the Best Baking Books of 2017 by...