05 October 2011
A post about Lemons and Meringue
I was going to follow up those photos from the previous post with the recipes but I didn't in the end as I thought I'd save that for another post. So here's the first of three.
The lemon meringue tarts were the most popular and went down a treat with everyone. Except for the part where I was a little uncoordinated (or perhaps a little tiddly) and ended up throwing one, quite accidentally, at Owen's head. He didn't want it after that. I thought it was pretty funny though.
Lemon Meringue Tart.
Recipe adapted from the outstanding Hummingbird Bakery.
Here's the 3 components:
1. Pastry - a basic shortcrust pastry here. I used the one from the Edmonds cookbook as it makes a perfect amount for either 17 small tarts or one large tart. Or you can use bought frozen sheets.
2. Filling - the easiest and most delicious I've tasted. It just means you have to separate 8 eggs!!
3. Meringue topping - in the recipe book there's an option for an Italian meringue method or the simple method of whipping up egg whites and baking the pie for a further 20 mins. I used neither. I went for the Swiss method of heating the egg whites and sugar together over a simmering pot of water in the kitchenaid bowl then whipping it up. MUCH easier for me. But you can decide which works best for you. In any case if you use the Swiss or Italian method you can guarantee the egg whites are completely cooked through which is safer for the old or very young, immune compromised or pregnant people in your life.
8 egg yolks
2x 395g sweetened condensed milk cans
Freshly squeezed juice and rind of 8 unwaxed lemons
1 basic pie crust, partially blind baked (170deg C for 10 mins, the bottom of the pastry should still be slightly raw)
Mix all the above ingredients together - it will thicken naturally and pour into partially baked pie crust. Bake in 150deg C oven for 20-30 mins. The filling should be firm to the touch but still slightly soft in the centre, not wobbly. Leave to cool. Can be left overnight also.
For the meringue topping:
7 egg whites
400g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used paste).
Combine the egg whites and caster sugar in metal bowl and heat over pot of simmering water, being careful not to have the bowl touch the water. Keep whisking until mixture heats to a smooth liquid (there should be no sugar granules if you rub a small bit between your fingers). This takes roughly 8 mins.
Using the whipping attachment whip the mixture on high until it is just like meringue - fluffy and light, then add the vanilla. I keep whipping on a low to med speed until the mixture has cooled a bit. You are now ready to spoon or pipe it on to your filled tart(s).
I used the blowtorch to brown the edges but you can just put it in a 150deg C oven for 20 mins to get a nice golden brown crust.
That's about it folks. It really is the most delicious tart!