The task this week was to take the classic tarte au citron that I made last week and update it into something original. Following the rules I set myself from the interview with Philippe Conticini that I blogged about, I had to include all the original ingredients but to put my own slant on it. So I ended up with a lemon ginger meringue pie.
So, the classic tarte au citron has two main elements: pȃte sucrée (sweet pastry), and the lemon curd filling. For the pastry, the classic recipe contained ground almonds. For a twist, I substituted ground pistachios, a packet of which had been sitting in my cupboard saying ‘use me, use me’ for a few months. I then decided to add fresh ginger to the lemon curd. Ginger and lemon are a classic combination and this added a slightly spicy kick to the curd which was very welcome: add a kick to the curd will now be my motto.
Finally, I wanted to do something contemporary with the presentation, influenced by two of my patisserie idols, Christophe Michalak and Cyril Lignac. I therefore added a french meringue topping, a common combination with tarte au citron, but which I piped into little balls on the top of the tarte and finally grated lime zest a common Michalak touch, which looked like a rain of emeralds.
Here is how it turned out, and the recipe is below. If you end up making it, send me pics. I’d love to see them.
For the pȃte sucrée:
120g / 1/2 cup butter
80g / 2/3 cup icing sugar
1 sachet of vanilla sugar
25g / 1/4 cup powdered pistachios
a pinch of fleur de sel
200g / 1 1/2 cups flour
For the filling:
1 lemon zest
1 5cm / 2-inch piece of ginger cut into matchsticks
120ml / 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
120g / 1/2 cup caster sugar
175g / 3/4 cup butter cut into cubes
For the meringue:
3 egg whites
100g / 1/3 cup caster sugar
Make the pȃte sucrée:
1. Soften the butter with a spatula in a bowl; sift the icing sugar, vanilla sugar, and powdered pistachios. and mix with the until fully combined. The mixture should be fluffy.
2. Beat in the egg; sift in the flour and gently stir with the spatula; as soon as the flour is combined, bring the mixture together with your hands into a ball. Do not knead or work the dough.
3. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic film and refrigerate for at least two hours.
3. Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
4. Roll the dough out until it’s about 2-3mm thick and then place it into a 20cm / 8-inch buttered pȃtisserie ring, placed on a piece of baking paper on a baking sheet; prick the base of the with a fork and then bake for 20 minutes. Alternatively you can use a 20cm / 8-inch tin.
5. Leave to cool completely.
Make the filling:
5. Place the lemon zest, ginger, lemon juice, eggs, and sugar in a saucepan and stir to mix all the ingredients together; stirring all the time, bring gently to the boil.
6. Pass the mixture through a sieve and then add the butter; mix together with a hand blender until you have a smooth mixture.
7. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and smooth over the top with a spatula; place in the refrigerator for an hour.
Make the meringue:
8. Whisk the eggs whites using a stand mixer until stiff peaks form; add the sugar and beat on high speed until the mixture is glossy, about 5 minutes.
9. Using a piping bag cover the top of the tart with balls of meringue; place under a grill until the top of the meringue begins to turn a light brown.
10. Grate the zest of a lime and some fresh ginger on the top of the tart.
If you like this recipe you will definitely like this lemon tart related recipe: