Mini lemon meringue pies made with Athens Graham Cracker Phyllo Shells, homemade lemon curd and toasted vanilla bean meringue!
How to make mini lemon meringue pies?
Lemon meringue pie is made up of a crust, a lemon filling and a meringue topping.
The crust I chose for these mini pies are ready-to-serve Athens Phyllo Shells. They make this recipe so quick and easy! Try the classic phyllo or graham cracker flavors for a great pairing with the lemon filling. Oh, and no muffin tins, cooking spray or sticky pie crust!
You can either use store bought lemon curd for the mini lemon meringue pies or make your own. You’ll have to make the meringue topping yourself but trust me, they’re both incredibly easy.
Ingredients for homemade lemon curd:
- Lemons: both the lemon juice and zest
- Sugar: I use granulated sugar
- Eggs: I used just the egg yolks and saved one egg white for the meringue topping
- Butter: I always use unsalted butter and then add a pinch of salt. Make sure the butter is softened so you can easily incorporate it into the curd.
- Cornstarch: cornstarch will help stabilize the lemon curd so it’s not too runny in the pie.
- Salt: adding a little salt in baking just enhances all the flavors.
Ingredients for mini lemon meringue pie topping:
- Egg whites: just the egg whites, no egg yolks!
- Sugar: I used granulated sugar
- Vanilla: For optimal vanilla bean flavor, use vanilla bean paste or real vanilla beans.
- Salt: just a pinch to bring out the vanilla flavor.
- Cream of tartar: I never use this but some people like to use it to stabilize the meringue. Feel free to add a teaspoon before you start whipping.
Tips for making meringue topping
Making meringue topping sounds so simple…and it is. However, if it goes wrong, there’s no coming back. You want to whip the egg whites with sugar until they form a fluffy white, cloud-like meringue with stiff peaks.
If there is any sort of “fat” in the mixture, the egg whites won’t whip properly. To ensure that you have a perfect meringue, make sure to:
- Use a CLEAN bowl and whisk beater! The best kind of bowl to use is copper or aluminum because they don’t hold on to residue like other materials, such as plastic.
- Some people will wipe their bowl with vinegar to ensure there is no fat residue on it. I just wash it with soap and water.
- Make sure when you crack the eggs that no part of the egg yolk gets into the egg white mixture.
How to use a blow torch for mini lemon meringue pies?
Ok, blow torches are so fun to use! I secretly make meringue for half my desserts just to toast them, lol. Make sure to read the directions on the kitchen torch before using it and practice before pointing it at anything directly.
It’s also fairly easy to light the meringue on fire so move your hand back and forth while toasting.
Can I toast the meringue without a blow torch?
There are two other ways you can toast the meringue for lemon meringue pies without a blow torch. First, any lighter will work. I used to just use a lighter that I used for my candles and hover over the meringue. This is quite difficult for a large pie but for the mini pies it would work.
You can also toast the meringue in the oven. Turn the oven on to broil at around 450F. Once it’s hot, place the mini pies in the oven and watch them for 2-3 minutes. Keep a close eye on them as they will burn quickly once they start browning.
How to store mini lemon meringue pies?
Always store baked goods in airtight containers to preserve freshness and avoid drying out. Because of the meringue, make sure to keep the mini lemon meringue pies in the refrigerator.
I would not suggest freezing them. If anything, I would freeze the graham cracker shells alone and freeze the lemon curd separately. Then assemble them fresh. Bake the shells, bring the lemon curd to room temperature and make a fresh meringue topping.
Ok friends, that’s a wrap for today! Don’t forget to pick up a box of Athens Graham Cracker Phyllo Shells to make the ultimate spring treat! If you make these mini lemon meringue pies, make sure to tag me @baranbakery on instagram.
- Athens Phyllo Shells - Classic or Graham Cracker Flavor
- zest from 1 large lemon
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
Toasted Marshmallow Topping
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. Vanilla bean paste
- Preheat oven to 425F and bake phyllo shells for 4 minutes.
- Use a carrot peeler to peel lemon zest (like you would a carrot) and place in a food processor with sugar.
- Pulse until lemon peel is shredded & combined with sugar.
- Add egg yolks, lemon juice, cornstarch & salt to food processor & pulse until fully combined.
- Pour into a small saucepan, over low-medium heat & cook for about 10 minutes, until thickened. You want it thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat & whisk in butter.
- Pour through a sieve into another bowl to get rid of any chunks.
Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Fluff
- While the curd cools a little, place egg whites & sugar in the bowl of stand mixer.
- Heat a 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan over low heat.
- Place the bowl of egg whites & sugar on top of the pan of simmering water, creating a double boiler, & cook for about five minutes, whisking constantly, until egg whites are frothy & sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove from heat & beat with whisk attachment on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form
- Add vanilla bean paste & salt, and beat just until combined.
- Lay out graham cracker shells.
- Spoon room temperature lemon curd onto the bottom half of the shells.
- Pipe marshmallow fluff over the lemon curd, until the shells are filled up.
- Use a kitchen torch to toast marshmallow fluff.
- Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes before serving.
- Store refrigerated in an airtight container for 7-10 days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 81Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 65mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 1g