Ep 7: Lemon and Blueberry Meringue Tart
Serves: 6 Preparation: 50 minutes, plus 1 hour 15 resting
Cooking: 1 hour 15 minutes
150g plain flour
120g cold butter, chopped
2 tablespoons cold crème fraiche
1 egg, lightly beaten, for glazing
4 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
110g caster sugar
Zest 1 lemon
Juice 4 lemons
100g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
4 egg whites
200g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways, seeds scraped, beans reserved
1L full cream milk
1 cup plain flour
¾ cup brown sugar
125g butter chopped
110g slivered almonds, toasted, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
½ cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
150g fresh blueberries
1 Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan forced).
2 For the pastry; combine the flour and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Add the crème fraiche and pulse until crumbs just start to come together. Tip onto a large piece of cling wrap, press together into a disc shape, wrap, then place in the fridge for 40 minutes to 1 hour to rest, until dough is firm enough to handle easily.
3 For the lemon curd; combine the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a small saucepan, whisk to combine. Add butter then place over low heat, whisk for a few minutes until butter has melted. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Return the mixture to a clean saucepan and stir over low heat until curd thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Pour into a tray, cover with cling film and refrigerate until set.
4 For the meringue; combine the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until its very hot to touch. Transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment and whisk on high until it stops steaming. Reduce speed to medium and continue beating for 2-3 minutes or soft peaks form. Add vanilla bean seeds, reduce speed to low and whisk until meringue is at room temperature. Place half the meringue in a piping bag with a 5-6mm round nozzle and place in fridge until assembly.
5 Pour the milk into a large saucepan and bring to the boil with the vanilla beans. With remaining meringue mixture, scoop 6 quenelles of meringue into the simmering milk and poach for 4-5 minutes or until firm. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel. Allow to cool. Using a melon baller scoop a small round out of the centre and fill the hole with lemon curd so it looks like a poached egg.
6 For the crumble; combine the flour and brown sugar in a bowl. Add the butter and use your fingers to rub butter into flour until coarse clumps. Add the almonds and salt and mix to combine. Spread onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 5-10 minutes until golden and cooked through. Set aside to cool completely then blitz in food processor to a fine crumb.
7 For the blueberries; combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium and boil gently until mixture just starts to colour around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat and add grand marnier and blueberries. Swirl pan to combine. Remove half the blueberries to a bowl. Blend the remaining blueberries and syrup until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve and set aside.
8 Roll pastry out until 3-4mm thick and use a cookie cutter to cut circles 2cm bigger than tart tin tops. Line six round 6cm (base measurement) fluted loose-base tart tins. If dough gets very soft after rolling out, return to fridge or freezer for a few minutes to firm up. Place pastry-lined tart tins in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest. Line pastry with baking paper and half-fill with baking weights or rice. Blind bake for 8-10 minutes until pastry edges are light golden. Remove the paper and weights and brush the pastry with beaten egg. Return to the oven and bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until golden all over. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes in tins then remove pastry from tins and cool on a rack completely.
9 To assemble; place a layer of blueberries in base of each tart shell. Fill tarts with lemon curd. Pipe the meringue on top in a series of peaks close together to cover the entire surface of the tart. Caramelise meringue with a blow torch until golden brown in parts. Brush rectangular serving plates with blueberry sauce. Place tart at one end. Spoon crumble in a pile onto the plate at the opposite end. Top crumble with a poached meringue. Scatter plates with reserved blueberries and serve.