Lemon Meringue Tart

First of all, Happy 2012 everybody! Hope you had a nice holiday, and if this year has been said to be the last one, then enjoy it as much as you can….. on these words of wisdom… start it with a sweet tingly tooth.
This tart has become one of my favorite ones, for it is not too sweet and has a slight tingly taste.
I made it, among other things, for New Year’s Eve and even though most of the family members do not like lemon meringue tart, they all loved this one.

Make the dough:

188gr Flour (T55)
112gr  Unsalted butter
75gr    Icing sugar
15gr    Almond powder
38gr   Eggs (scrambled)
Pinch of salt
20 cm tart ring

With your hands “sand” together the flour, butter, icing sugar, salt and almond powder.
Once you don’t have chunks of butter left in the mass, add the eggs and mix well until you can form a ball.
Wrap with a cling film and set aside in the fridge for 30min.
After 30 min, take it out of the fridge and spread it in the form or ring. Because it is harder it is also easier to use in the tart ring.
Bake on 150°C for 20 min. Set aside.

Make the cream:

125gr Lemons, grated and the juice  (around 2,5 lemons)
125gr Sugar
135gr Egg yolks (8 egg yolks)
3gr     Gelatin
100gr Butter

Pour the lemon juice and zests in a pan, bring to a simmer.
In a bowl whip the eggs and sugar until they turn into a white, creamy texture.
Once the lemon juice has simmered, pour a third of the liquid into the sugar/eggs mixture, mix well.
Then pour this preparation into the rest of the lemon juice in the pan. Bring to a boil so that it thickens a bit.
Once it has boiled, put aside in a bowl and add the gelatin.
Mix well until it cools down to 35°C (or once you can touch the preparation with your finger, it should be lukewarm).
Add the butter and mix well.
Pour the custard in the dough and place in the fridge.

Make the Italian meringue:

This meringue requires more attention with the temperatures than the french one. You add a syrup to the egg whites. I would recommend you use a thermometer if you are not a pro at knowing when the syrup has reached which T° just by looking at the bubbles.

125gr Egg whites (5-6 eggs)
250gr Sugar
90gr Water

Make the syrup: water and sugar in the pan on the stove.
Pour the egg whites in your Kitchen Aid or bowl (not plastic, it gets hot) and use a whisk.
Watch the T° of the syrup: once it reaches
110c° – start the KA or the blender on medium speed.
118c° –  turn on the blender’s to maximum speed.
121c°  – stop the syrup and pour it slowly in the white eggs on the edge of the bowl. Whip until it gets cool /room T°. Don’t stop whisking or the meringue will “fall”.

Once it is cool, you can either put the meringue in a piping bag using a nozzle (size 10) or use a spatula or spoon to spread the meringue onto the tart.
Cool the pie in the fridge and when ready to serve, slightly put under the grill until it gets brownish or use a torch to darken it.

If you don’t have a thermometer, follow a french meringue recipe:

125gr Egg whites (around 6 eggs)
250gr Sugar

Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric whisk until they form stiff peaks. Whisk in the caster sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well and at a high speed between each addition. Transfer the meringue into a piping bag (with a plain nozzle, or not) and pipe the meringue on top of the lemon curd.

Place the cooled dough into the ring. A way to cut the borders is to roll the baking roll on the top of the ring and finish with a knife. I’ll write a next post about that.

Put the gelatin in the custard while hot.

Bring the syrup to a boil and pour it into the egg whites, which are in the bowl. Pour it on the edge of the
bowl to avoid burning yourself if it lands in the whisk.

The meringue should be shiny and creamy.

If you decide to decorate the tart using the piping bag, cover the tart with meringue first and cool it in the freezer for 5 min so that it sticks to the custard and you have a nice layer to work on. It also hides the yellow custard, looks nicer.

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