Lemon meringue pie is a classic dessert that I can enjoy all year round. The bright, zesty lemon flavors will perk me up on a chilly winter day and always seem refreshing during the hot summer months. Trader Joe’s Lemon Meringue Tarte is a new addition to the freezer section at the grocery chain and, as much as I enjoy making my own from scratch, I couldn’t resist giving this easy-to-serve option a try.
The tart is beautifully packaged in an aluminum baking tin with a domed lid, providing lots of clearance for the well-piped meringue that sits on top of the lemon filling of the tart. The packaging was so well done that the meringue looked as perfect on my tart as it did on the box – not an easy feat when it comes to meringue at all! The tart should be defrosted before serving, but I found that it is easiest to slice if you cut it while it is still frozen. Cutting the meringue while it is frozen will let you make very neat, clean cuts for every slice.
The tart has a nice balance of meringue and lemon filling. The filling is bright and reminiscent of lemon curd. Lemon-lovers might wish for more curd, but keep in mind that this is a tart and not a pie, so there really is just enough to fill up the tart. The crust itself has a nice short texture that is easy to cut with a fork. It isn’t overly crumbly and holds together well as you move the tart around from tin to serving plate, too.
My one complaint is that the meringue has a slightly grainy texture that is likely a byproduct of the tart being frozen. The graininess did dissipate some as the tart reached room temperature, but all in all it wasn’t enough to put me off of reaching for a second slice. The tart is pretty to look at and tasty enough to serve at a dinner party. If you pull it out of the baking tray – which is easy to do – you might even be able to foll your guests into thinking that this tart is entirely homemade.