One of my best friends Leah is on her way to Sydney to visit. Hip hip hoorah - cannot wait to see her. Her favourite thing is a lemon meringue pie so hastily made some this morning for when she arrives. Should be just the warm up before we go and see Anthony Bourdain tonight. So excited!
And yes I will be a complete tragic groupie and go celebrity stalking in the hope of getting a photo, preferably one with me in as well, quite close, wearing my nicest frock.... I digress, back to the tart. I swirled through a bit of leftover raspberry compote that I had made, its lovely with the lemon curd but for the purists out there, you can just skip that step.
You'll have to excuse my piping - its not my favourite thing, I do however have a great affinity with my blow torch, it must release my inner pyro - go figure. Also a hot tip, don't be so busy talking and getting overexcited like I did and drop a tart all over the floor. Such a waste of lemon curd, and that is never a good thing.
|Spooning in the lemon curd, one spoon for the pastry case, one spoon for me|
|Adding the raspberry compote|
|Piping the meringue|
|Burning the meringue tops|
|This is what happens when you are talking too much and you drop the damn tart on the floor.|
|Gooey and delightful|
Lemon & Raspberry Meringue Tarts
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
2 eggs + 2 egg yolks (reserving the whites for the meringue)
165g caster sugar
80g icing sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
Sweet shortcrust pastry
220g plain flour
70g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
2 eggwhites (reserved from the lemon curd)
175g caster sugar
Pinch cream of tartar
For the curd, place all ingredients in a saucepan and place over low heat. Whisk continuously until thickened. Watch it though - if it curdles its a hideous eggy lemony mess. And a waste of great curd mix. You can make this ahead, it lasts up to 2 weeks (well so I've been told) covered in the fridge.
If including the raspberry compote, plop the raspberries, sugar and vanilla seeds in a saucepan. Place on low heat and gently break up with a fork. You want to release the juices and get a sticky, juice meets jam kind of consistency.
For the pastry, preheat the oven to 175C. Add all ingredients to a bowl, knead until well combined. Flatten out into a disk and cover in wrap and rest, in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Roll out the pastry between 2 big sheets of baking paper to about 2mm thick. Gently press pastry into the moulds and rest again for at least 10 minutes.
Bake in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove and allow to cool.
Spoon the lemon curd into the tart shells. Add a tsp of raspberry compote and swirl through with a fork.
To make the Italian meringue, add the sugar and about 60ml water to a saucepan and bring the heat to high - cook until the sugar reaches about 110C on a sugar thermometer or it reaches about softball stage. While the sugar is heating up,add the reserved eggwhites to an electric mixer with the cream of tartar and whisk until soft peak. Gradually add the hot syrup over the eggwhites and whisk until the mix returns to room temp and looks thick, glossy and generally luscious. Pipe the meringue over the lemon tarts and then gently brown the tops with a blowtorch.
Eat until you feel slightly ill.