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There really is nothing like the smell of fresh Gingerbread baking in the oven. From gingerbread cookies to gingerbread houses, this familiar holiday flavor is a favorite in my family. Every year I try to think of different ways to use this common holiday ingredient in new and creative ways, so this past year I incorporated the gingerbread flavor into my dessert by using Gingersnaps as the crust for my family’s Meyer Lemon Tart with creamy Italian Meringue.

Gingersnap Crust:

  • 2 cups crushed Gingersnaps (about 40 Gingersnaps)
  • 5 Tablespoons melted butter

Fresh Meyer Lemon Curd:

  • 1-1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2⁄3 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1-1⁄2 tablespoons of Meyer lemon zest
  • 1⁄2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces

Italian Meringue:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup
  • 3 large Egg whites
  • Garnish: Meyer lemon slices

Prepare Gingersnap Crust:

Preheat oven to 350°.

  • Stir together gingersnap crumbs and melted butter.
  • Once combined, firmly press mixture on bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch tart pan.
  • Bake the crust at 350° for 9 minutes or until golden and fragrant.
  • Cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes.

Prepare Fresh Meyer Lemon Curd:

  • Over low heat whisk together 1-1⁄2 cups sugar and cornstarch in a heavy saucepan. Once combined, slowly whisk in the eggs and egg yolks.
  • Once incorporated stir in lemon juice. (Watch closely as you don’t want it to curdle.)
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil, whisking constantly about a minute to a minute and a half or until thickened.
  • Remove pan from heat & stir in lemon zest and butter.
  • Fill a large bowl with ice and place pan containing lemon curd in the ice bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
  • Once cooled spread lemon curd over prepared crust. Place heavy-duty plastic wrap directly on lemon curd (to prevent a film from forming)
  • Chill 2 hours. (Mixture will thicken as it cools.)

Prepare Italian Meringue:

  • Preheat broiler with oven rack 8 inches from heat.
  • Combine 1⁄4 cup water, 1 cup sugar, and corn syrup in a small heavy saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until clear.
  • Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; slowly add syrup mixture, beating constantly. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Spoon meringue in center of tart; spread the meringue over the tart leaving roughly 2 inches of the top corners exposed (See picture above.)
  • Broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Chill 1 hour.

Baking Note: 10 to 12 servings – Hands-on 25 min. – Total 4 Hrs 22 minutes. 

As seen on Home and Family. 

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