Little Lemon Meringue Pies (and Thoughts on School Formals)

School formals in 2013 are much more complicated (and elongated) affairs than when I was at school. 

To begin with, when I was a teenager, formals were only for year 12s, while these days year 11s often attend as well.

Where we spent money on a dress, shoes and having our hair done, these days there are manicures, pedicures, professional make up and fake tans to consider.

When I was at school, girls were collected by their partner (or their partner and his mum or dad if he couldn't drive) and travelled directly to the formal.  

These days there is usually a before party, a trip on a limo or party bus, the formal itself, and then an after-party that requires an entirely different outfit.

Tonight my daughter went to her school formal.  Fortunately for my bank account, she only wanted a frock and hairdo, not the manicures, pedicures and so on that so many of her friends insisted upon. 

We did agree to host a before party, and along with various savoury canapes I made little lemon meringue pies.

They were easy and fun to make.  I prepared shortcrust pastry and cut it to fit cupcake tins.  I filled the unbaked pastry shells with home-made lemon curd which I already had in the fridge and baked the tarts for 20 minutes in a moderate oven.

When the lemon tarts came out of the oven I removed them from the cupcake tins and put them on an oven tray.  I made meringue from 3 egg whites and 2/3 cup sugar and piped it on top of the tarts, then they went back in a moderately slow oven for about 15 minutes.

These tarts were definitely the most popular thing we served tonight.

Isn't she lovely?

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