Gluten Free Upside Down Lemon Meringue Tarts Recipe

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by Carol Kicinski on February 25, 2008

When I was a young girl my father was an attaché to the U. S. Ambassador in the Philippines. We lived in an Embassy Compound in Manila and, as is typical, we were given a household staff. One young woman who worked for us was named Maria and we loved her. We loved her so much my father arranged to have her and her mother move back to the states with us and was to be their sponsor for U.S. citizenship.

Maria used to make us Lemon Meringue pies which we loved almost as much as we loved her. We called them Lemon Maria Pies.

In the end Maria’s mother did not want to leave Manila and Marie did not want to leave her mother so she stayed in the Philippines. To this day I can’t look at a Lemon Meringue Pie with out thinking fondly of Maria.

My Upside Down Lemon Meringue Tarts are examples of thinking outside the box in relationship to cooking gluten free. Yes, I could make gluten free pie crust and prepare a perfectly acceptable treat. But going with my philosophy of embracing the abundance of gluten free life instead of looking for substitutions I came up with more than an acceptable knock off, this is a real original. Crispy meringue shells filled with tangy lemon curd and topped with crunchy sweet candied almonds.

Nothing in this recipe is hard to make but time is involved, the meringues need two hours in the oven and everything needs to cool before assembly. However all elements can be made ahead and the tarts assembled later. Don’t do the final assembly until just before serving or the meringues will get soft. Assembly however only takes a couple of minutes.

Gluten Free Upside Down Lemon Meringue Tarts

Gluten Free Upside Down Lemon Meringue Tarts Recipe

Ingredients

Lemon Meringue Tarts

4 egg whites
1 pinch salt
¾ cups sugar

Candied Almonds

1 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch salt
1 egg white, lightly whisked with a fork

Lemon Curd

4 egg yolks
Pinch salt
½ cup sugar
½ cup strained fresh lemon juice (approx 3 lemons)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut in 4 pieces
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel (approx 3 lemons)

Directions

Lemon Meringue Tarts

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Beat egg whites and salt on high speed in a mixer until they are foamy and triple in volume. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until egg whites are very white, glossy and form stiff peaks. Rub a bit of the egg white mixture between your thumb and fore finger to test if all the sugar has been dissolved. If it feels grainy whip them a little longer. The mixture should feel smooth.

Take a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover a flat baking sheet and flip it over. Trace six 3 ½” to 4” circles in pencil on the back side. Flip parchment back over and you should be able to see the circle though the paper. Spoon 1/6th of the mixture onto each circle. With the back of a large spoon push the mixture to fill circles and form an indentation in the middle of each circle.

Bake meringues in the oven for 1 hour and then turn the heat off leaving the meringues in the oven to dry out for another hour. Let cool completely and peel off the parchment paper.

Candied Almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine almonds, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add egg whites and stir well to dissolve sugar and completely coat nuts. Transfer mixture to a baking sheet lined with buttered parchment paper or a Silpat mat. Spread mixture into an even layer.

Bake for 15 minutes or until nuts are toasty brown. Let cool and then break nuts up into pieces. Can be made 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container.

To assemble – spoon 1/6th of the lemon curd into each meringue and top with nuts. You will probably have some nuts left over but they are great to munch on or add to salads.

Lemon Curd

Place egg yolks, salt, sugar and lemon juice in a heavy medium sized sauce pan. Whisk together. Cook over lowest heat stirring constantly with a spoon until the mixture is thick and heavily coats the back of the spoon – about 10 minutes. Take off heat and stir in butter until completely melted.

Pour mixture through a strainer into a glass or ceramic bowl. Stir in the lemon peel. Place a piece of cling wrap on the curd to prevent a skin from forming and put in refrigerator to cool completely. Can be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator.

Servings

This Gluten Free Recipe Serves 6 People

Need a quick meal?

Gluten Free Recipes - Simply Gluten Free Quick MealsSimply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals is now available, with over 100 recipes not featured in my blog.

Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.

“The “Simply” in ‘Simply … Gluten-Free Quick Meals’ doesn’t just make for a catchy title. The recipes in this cookbook truly are quick and easy to prepare. – A. C.

“I set the timer on two separate nights and made two complete meals from Carol’s latest cookbook in 30-40 minutes. They not only pleased my family, but gave me new recipes and techniques to get dinner on the table faster every night.” – W. K.

“I love the way this book is laid out – full meals I can make in no time. Love the sense of fun and humor in this book but mostly I love all the gluten free recipes -.” – J. F.

Ready for dessert?

Simply...Gluten-Free DessertsSimply…Gluten-Free Desserts is now available, with over 135 recipes not featured in my blog.

Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.

“I can now have recipes I know I can count on for every Dessert and Breakfast occasion! I’m thrilled!” – A. M.

“I am amazed! This recipe is BETTER than the ‘regular-with-gluten’ recipe! Thanks so much, Carol” – V. P.

“I love your gluten free recipes - I can now have my desserts.” – F.R.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owners. This blog accepts free manufacturers samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

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Categories:    Dessert
  • Naomi Devlin

    Hey Carol,

    I adopted you as my gluten free blogger for this month. Check out the event at Book of Yum and take part if you have time.

    http://www.bookofyum.com/blog/adopt-a-gluten-free-blogger-today-web-event-february-1572.html

    Naomi x x x

  • Carrie

    YUM! What a creative and wonderful idea for lemon meringue pie!! I bet it was delicious!! Thanks for adopting me!! Goodness you’ve got me all nervous now! I hope whatever recipe you choose is good!!

  • aforkfulofspaghetti

    Ah, clever, clever!

    *applauds*

    Great idea!

  • Flanboyant Eats

    HI Carol!

    how unique. love the recipe. not to mention they look so so so pretty!.

    i like the almonds (wait,that’s what it was right–temp. memory loss!)

  • linda

    Now that’s thinking outside the box, wonderful dessert!

  • glutenfreesoxfan

    That looks beautiful!

    It reminds me a lot of the Australia dessert Pavlova. That’s a hard meringue base/crust with whipped cream and fruit on top. They are done either as individual desserts or as one big one. Just one more way to have a tasty gluten-free dessert.

    Karen

  • White On Rice Couple

    Brilliant , simple and beautiful! It looks like it should belong in “Donna Hay” magazines! You should try to submit it!
    BTW- our first cooking video is up!

  • Pixie

    Beautiful photos of a lovely dessert. Wonderful!

  • Cinnamonda

    Oh my! Meringues AND almon curd AND almonds!! This is my kind of a recipe! :) Thanks for sharing this with us all!

    Greetings,
    Tiina

  • http://www.thebakingbeauties.com Jeanine

    Absolutely brilliant, Carol! Not only is it upside down lemon meringue tarts, but they are individual sized, which is very, very nice!

  • http://www.globalecojourney.com PeertCred

    I got rock in me.

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