Lemon meringue tart

Comptoir Gourmand soups-up the traditional French treat with luxuriantly creamy meringue

You wouldn’t have thought you could improve upon Comptoir Gourmand’s classic lemon curd tart. Rich, velvety and, well, tart as its name suggests, any attempt at an upgrade could by rights be regarded as gilding the lily—a lily so smooth, fragrant and yellow, it’s already like a platonic ideal.

Then they added meringue to it: soft, ivory whorls of sugar-spun egg white spooned across the top in a dome shape, the crests caramelised like the roof the St Paul’s at sunrise.

“The lemon tart is one of our best sellers. It’s been around a long time,” explains Tony of Comptoir Gourmand. “The lemon meringue tart is our more extravagant version: the meringue is added afterwards, and finished with the blow torch.” The result is an opulent topping that is all the more decadent for being creamy— lusciously, lovingly creamy—rather than crisp.

Small and cheerily bright
The crispiness comes from the macaron on top: small and cheerily bright, it is a jewel amidst the pearly sea and, together with the meringue, “takes the edge off the sharp lemon filling,” says Tony. There’s a sense of humour to the addition of this “signature Comptoir Gourmand macaron” too: round and golden, it could be interpreted as an official seal.

If it is, it’s a well-earned one. Lemon meringue tart—or pie, as it’s known—might sound like an Americanism, but only the French could pull off the union of lemon, meringue and pastry with as much panache as Comptoir Gourmand do. The only thing missing now, of course, is a good cup of tea.