Serves: 8 mini- tarts of 3.5 inches / 9 cm
Recipe from the book: The Fundamental Techniques of classic pastry arts. The french culinary institute.
150 g Unsalted butter at room temperature
90 g Sugar
Pinch of salt
2 Largue egg yolks
250 g Cake Flour sifted
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater mix the butter, sugar and salt on menium speed for 4 minutes or until light and fluffy.
2. Add egg yolks, one at time beating to incorporate after each addition.
3. Add all the cake flour and beat on low, scraping down the sides of the bowl until the flour is just incorporated. If dough seems too dry or crumbly, add 15 to 30 ml of ice water. Do not overmix the dough.
4. Using a spatula, scrape the dough from the mixing bowl. Gather the dough together and form it into a disk. Wrap it in plastic filmand refrigerate it for at least 1 hour or up to 1 week.
125 g lemon juice ( I used Lime )
160 g Powdered sugar
200 g butter
1. Mix lemon juice, eggs and sugar in a saucepan and cook until it reaches 70C/160F. Whisk constantly. Sift the mix through a small sieve if you see any lumps.
2. Using a stand mixer, whisk for about 10 minutes or until bowl feels cool.
3. Start adding butter slowly until it is fully incorporated.
4. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate.
90 g Egg whites (about 3 large egg whites. It is important to weight them)
150 g White sugar
1. Mix egg whites with sugar in a small saucepan and put it over a saucepan with simmering water a few minutes until sugar dissolves or using a thermometer until it gets 65°C exactly. Whisk constantly. Sift the mix through a small sieve if you get any lumps.
2. Using a stand mixer, whisk for about 10 minutes or until Swiss meringue is firm and bowl feels cool.
To Assemble and decorate tarts
1. Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C.
2. Prepare the rolling surface by lightly coating it with flour. Gently press the chilled dough onto the floured surface, using the heel of your hand to flatten it sightly.
3. Lightly flour the rolling pin and, using quick, firm consistent strokes, begin rolling the dough from the center outward, away from yourself, taking care not to roll off the edge, as this will thin it out. Return to the center of the dough and repeat the rolling motion, this time rolling toward yourself.
4. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat step 2, until the dough has a 3 millimeters thickness ( 1/8 inch) approximately.
5. Cut 4 inches round pieces and transfer them to each mini-tart plaque. Using your fingers, press the pastry to fit into the plaque. Remove the excess dough using a knive.
6. Start poking small holes in the bottom and the sides of the dough using a fork. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
7. Line each mini-tart plaque with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom and come up the sides of each plaque. The paper-coated pastry must be filled with dried beans or rice.
8. Place all the tarts into the preheated oven and bake 10 minutes or until it looks chalky white.
9. Remove pans from the oven and take out the beans and paper from them. Return the tarts to the oven and bake to 325°F / 160°C for 10 minutes more or until golden.
10. Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before unmolding and let cool completely.
11. Fill each mini-tart with lemon curd until almost top.
12. Place meringue into a piping bag fitted with a big rounded tip. Pipe 1cm kisses of meringue onto each tart.
13. Use a propane torch (or the smaller Butane Micro Torch used for cooking) to toast the meringe on the tarts.
14. Use some flowers to decorate.