I guarantee mass approval with this crowd-pleasing recipe. These Matcha mini lemon meringue pies are tart and sweet and perfectly bite-sized!
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Matcha Mini Lemon Meringue Pies
Growing up, I used to have bake sales at school and my go-to bake was lemon meringue pie. It’s a classic in Chile and it’s very easy to make too. This was always a hit and became one of my favorite desserts, too!
Since I try to add tea to almost everything I bake or cook, I added a twist to my traditional recipe by adding culinary Matcha (I use Matchaeologist) and made it into mini portions, creating these wonderful Matcha mini lemon meringue pies!
What is Matcha?
If you’re new to Matcha, I’ll tell you a bit about the basics (but you can refer to this Matcha basics post for more information).
Matcha is a Japanese green tea made of ground tea leaves. The tea plants are shade-grown to generate a darker green color of the leaves. It is full of benefits, some of the most important amongst them are that it’s antioxidant-rich and increases energy levels.
It can be drunk on its own, like in the Japanese tea ceremony, made as a latte, and used to cook. It is very easy to do the latter since it comes in powdered form.
Be mindful that not all Matcha is created equal. The quality differences can be reflected in Matcha’s color, taste, price, and origin. Matcha’s only ingredient MUST be powdered green tea leaves and it must be a bright green color. It should not be bitter and it can only come from Japan in order to be original Matcha.
Cooking with Matcha
Although Matcha was originally made to drink, you can now often see it in many preparations, desserts, smoothies, cookies, etc. It is widely used because its powdered format allows it to be easily incorporated and it has an intense color and flavor.
It pairs well with many different fruits and flavors. It especially goes well with white chocolate, tart flavors like strawberries, raspberries, lemon and mango, and black sesame, to name a few.
Again, it is really important to choose a good quality culinary Matcha, which will guarantee a good flavor in your preparation. I can’t emphasize enough to avoid cheap Matcha, it will either have added ingredients like sugar or fillers or be terribly bitter. I always use Matchaeologist‘s culinary Matcha for baking.
Recipe Notes and Tips
This is a 3-step recipe that consists of a crust, a filling, and an Italian meringue. I recommend that you read through the notes for additional tips and helpful advice.
The crust is pretty straightforward. You just need to mix all of the ingredients until you form a dough. No need to refrigerate! But make sure to use cold butter because it helps the crust to be flaky and tender. If the butter is too warm in the dough before baking, it can result in a hard, greasy crust.
The best way to mix the dough is by using a dough blender. If you don’t have one and you bake a lot, you might want to get one, they’re not expensive and very practical, especially when you need the butter to stay cold in the dough.
Once it’s ready, use your fingertips to shape and push the dough into each pre-lined and buttered muffin cup (I love my silicone liners). An important step is to prick the bottom and sides of the dough with a fork to let steam escape, otherwise, the steam can puff up and form bubbles and pockets throughout the crust.
Also, to avoid using sooooo much sugar, I like to use Monkfruit instead of sugar in the crust (I like Lakanto). You can replace it 1:1 with sugar and bake with it.
For the filling, combine 1 can of condensed milk and 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (this is my favorite simple squeezer) and mix well until they are completely incorporated. If you like the filling to be less tart, start with 1/2 a cup of lemon juice, mix well and try it. Keep adding little by little, mixing, and testing until you get to your desired sweet/tart flavor.
Add 1.5 tbsp of culinary Matcha through a sieve, and mix vigorously with a whisk until all the clumps are completely dissolved (it’s a good arm exercise!).
Here are some culinary Matcha options I personally use and recommend:
Before I knew good Matcha, I used a terrible non-Japanese one to cook and it basically made everything taste worse. I’m telling you, get a good Matcha always! Cheap ones taste bad and are ground thicker, so unless you’re using it to make smoothies where it will be camouflaged, you’re always going notice.
This sounded too scary to me and a lot of work… but fear not! It is basically whipping eggwhites and adding syrup.
The syrup is easy but you need to be careful not to whisk it, mix it or shake the saucepan. The basics are to use 1:2 ratio of water to sugar, cook at medium-high temp and wait until it gets to about 240 F. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you’ll know it’s ready when you use a fork to drip some syrup and it is visibly thicker and small balls form around the tips of the fork.
While making the syrup, start beating the egg whites until soft peaks form. When the syrup is done, pour it slowly over the egg whites, while the mixer is still on and keep beating for 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks form.
You can pipe the Italian meringue over the baked cups or you can just add it with a spoon and create some texture with a fork.
For the final touch, which is optional, torch the Matcha mini lemon meringue pies to slightly burn the meringue. Always torch from a distance of about 4 inches and use circular movements to burn evenly.
If you like Matcha, you should try these recipes too:
I hope you enjoy this recipe and I’m looking forward to seeing if you make it! Please leave a comment and tag me on Instagram to see if you did, I’d love to share it too.
Matcha Mini Lemon Meringue Pies
- 1/2 cup sugar or granulated Monkfruit (100 gms)
- 1 cup cold butter, cubed(200 gms)
- 1.5 cups flour (370 gms)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla paste, or essence
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (200 ml)
- 1 can condensed milk (397 gms)
- 1.5 tbsp culinary Matcha
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Preheat the oven at 350 F.
- In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and butter and mix with your hands until the mixture is sandy.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix well until the dough forms.
- Place a muffin liner in each mold of a muffin tin (use 12) and spray a bit of oil or butter.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and use your hands to shape it into each liner inside muffin tin. Use a fork to lightly prick the bottom and sides of the pie dough.
- Bake for 8 minutes and remove from oven.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 F.
- Add the lemon juice and condensed milk into a medium bowl and mix until they are completely combined. Add Matcha through a sieve and mix vigorously until there are no clumps left.
- Pour the Matcha filling into each crust, almost filling each, leaving a rim at the top.
- Bake for 11 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Heat over high heat, making sure not to mix the contents or shake the pan. Cook until sugar syrup registers 240 F on a candy thermometer. If you don't have one, cook until small balls form at the end of a fork once it's inserted in the syrup and let to drip, or the drip is slightly thicker.
- Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, about 3-4 minutes.
- With the mixer running at medium speed, carefully and slowly drizzle in the hot sugar syrup over the egg whites. Increase speed to high and whip until desired stiff peaks form.
- Cover each mini pie with meringue. Using a spatula and fluffing with a fork or using a piping bag.
- Optional: brown the meringue with a torch.
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