Tag Archives: lemon

Hollandaise Sauce: another basic worth knowing

7 Nov

Among the favorite Sauces that my family ask for when I come to cook for them, the Hollandaise is in the top 3.

Yes indeed, it is a perfect match for fish and they do love fish when they do not eat beef!

As I spent a few days in Groix this Summer, I was lucky enough to be there for my cousin birthday. They had been fishing all time long and brought back a crazy amount of Soles.

4-Plancha

They did not ask me to fillet them but they wanted a good sauce rather than a simple squeeze of lemon on top.

So I did an Hollandaise!

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 10 ml of water
  • 125g of butter (clarified if possible)
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • salt and pepper

Method:

In a bain-marie or in a heavy bottom pan on low heat, whisk together the egg yolks and water until it gets foamy and start to thicken. You are making a zabaglione by slowly cooking and whisking the egg yolks. Stop whisking once the zabaglione is thick enough which means that you can see the bottom of the pan for a few seconds when you whisk.

Get off the heat and keep on whisking then add little by little the butter and keep on whisking. Either pour the butter melted or add it cut in pieces and let it melt while whisking.

The Hollandaise is homogenous and has a thick but liquid consistency.

Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper. You can even add the lemon zest if you want to have a strong lemon flavor.

Adjust the seasoning and serve it straight away or keep it in a bain-marie before serving.

1-Hollandaise Prep

2-Hollandaise with Soles

Little tip: If you want to serve it later and the sauce splits, put it back on the heat and whisk again. Add a cube of ice, it will help to bring back together the sauce.

3-Result

Sauce Hollandaise

Ingrédients:

  • 10ml d’eau
  • 125 g de beurre
  • 1 citron jaune
  • 2 jaunes d’oeufs
  • Sel et Poivre

Méthode:

Dans une casserole à fond épais ou dans un bain-marie,  mélangez les jaunes d’oeufs et l’eau. Faites les cuire à feu doux en fouettant continuellement. Vous êtes en train de préparer un sabayon.

Continuez à fouetter jusqu’à ce que vous puissiez voir le fond de la casserole. Le sabayon est prêt lorsqu’il est épais et aéré, continuez de fouetter hors du feu et incorporez le beurre (clarifié, fondu ou en cubes) petit à petit.

Assaisonnez de sel, poivre et d’un jus de citron. Si vous voulez accentuer le goût, vous pouvez ajouter le zest du citron.

Servez la sauce ou réservez-la au bain-marie jusqu’à son utilisation.

Astuce: si la sauce se dissocie, fouettez-la à feu doux et ajoutez un glaçon pour qu’elle redevienne homogène.

Crab… 3 ways

8 Jan

crab 3 ways

After our tour of Pinecrest Farmer’s Market, we ended-up with so many things (as usual) that I had to figure out what to do with it…..

That’s how I ended up with that post about crab. Except when you are living by the sea, crab is not really in your every day menu. It’s rather a treat.

Still, we need to accommodate it in a nice way to enjoy all its flavor potential.

Here it is: my crab, 3 ways.

  • Crab with drinks with lemon or homemade mayonnaise,
  • Crab, Fennel, Almond and Pomegranate Salad as a starter or light lunch salad,
  • Mediterranean Crab Linguine as a main.

For those of you still living in London, many places sell crab meat but I used to love walking by The Fish Place on Kensington Church Street, the fishmongers work in front of you and you can see them working on dozens of crabs and other fishes to make them look so great that they are priceless. Even though, the crab meat is really good and worth the price if you are craving for it. At least you won’t have to spend your priceless time working on the crab.

LF064213_942long

Crab with drinks

Ingredients

  • crab’s pincer
  • crab cracker
  • lemon and/or lime
  • mayonnaise* (natural, ketchup, garlic…)
  • napkins
  • a good bottle of white wine such as Sancerre or Entre-Deux-Mers (if you stop by The Fish Place, just keep walking a little further and stop by Lea & Sandemann for a perfect match)

* I’ll try to write a post about mayonnaise but this is definitely something I am not good at. My mum, sisters and even best friends make it so much better that I never took the time to work on it properly. I’ll gather their best recipes for you.

Method

Just gather a small bunch of really good friends on a sunny day and get your fingers dirty working on the crab!

Crab, Fennel, Almond & Pomegranate Salad

Ingredients – serves 4 as a starter

  • 1/2 fennel
  • 1 lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of crab meat or 4-5 crab’s pincers
  • 1/2 pomegranate
  • 1/4 cup whole or slivered almonds
  • 1/2 tsp butter
  • 2 handful mixed leaves
  • salt and pepper

Method

First of all, start with the fennel as it needs to marinate.

Cut the leafy parts and set them aside then cut the fennel into 2. You need to remove the center of the fennel, this is the part that looks like a triangle. You can remove it with a knife, make two incisions and pull it off.

Once you are done, thinly slice the fennel and pour it in a bowl. Squeeze a lemon juice on top to prevent it from getting brown with oxydation then add olive oil, salt and pepper to marinate it. Set aside in the fridge.

Fennel Cutting

If you did not buy your crab meat already prepared, break the crab’s pincer and carefully get rid of the cartilages and shells. Reserve the crab meat in a bowl.

Cut your pomegranate into two and as explained in the Pomegranate Post, use a wooden spoon to get the seeds out of it.Reserve in a bowl.

Thinly slice your almonds if you did not find slivered one and in a pan, gently fry them with a little butter, salt and pepper. This step will really make the whole salad different in term of flavor. The butter will release the flavor of the almonds and add richness to the whole dish. Reserve in a bowl.

Get all your ingredients at hand and start assembling your salad. If you serve it as a starter, present it individually in small flat bowls or on a long flat serving dish. It will really enhance the whole dish.

Gently toss the mixed leaves with olive oil, salt, pepper and some of the fennel marinade. Spread a generous layer on the dish you choose then sprinkle fennel, crab, pomegranate seeds and almonds one after another.

You can chop the leafy part of the fennel and use it as you would use dill to bring more flavor but it’s really up to your taste.

As for the Crab with drinks, this starter goes along very well with a light and crispy white wine.

Crab Salad

Mediterranean Crab Linguine

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of crab meat or 7-8 crab’s pincers
  • 1 onion thinly diced
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1 courgette thinly diced, skin on
  • 1 large tomato or 2-3 tomatoes on the vine thinly diced
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp white wine – optional
  • 4-5 basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • a drop of Tabasco
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pack of linguine
  • pine nuts gently toasted

Method

Once again, if you did not buy your crab meat already prepared, break the crab’s pincer and carefully get rid of the cartilages and shells. Reserve the crab meat in a bowl.

Get all the vegetables thinly diced and ready to cook.

Ingredients

In a frying pan, gently cook the diced onion with olive oil, when it gets translucent, add the garlic then 2-3 minutes later add the diced courgette.

The heat must not be too strong in order to preserve the shape of the vegetables. Once the courgette gets soft, add the tomato and keep on cooking for 2-3 minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice (and white wine if you have some) on top of it and season with salt and pepper. Cover and reserve on very low heat.

Sauce Base Prep

During that process, bring to a boil a large pan filled with water for the linguine. Add salt to it.

Cook the linguine al dente – should be 9 minutes but check the package for instructions.

At last, finish the crab sauce. Add the crab meat and cook it for 1-2 minutes, add the basil and cook it for another minute. Adjust the seasoning up to your taste. At that stage, I like to add 1-2 drops of Tabasco.

Drain the linguine and pour a generous amount of them in individual flat bowls or in a large serving dish.

Pour the crab sauce on top of it and serve it straight away. You can sprinkle pine nuts on top of it and if you really can’t imagine your pasta without Parmesan, go for it but at least you should try it as it is….

Cooking Pasta

To me pasta is definitely a Sunday night dish. No need to add anything on the side, no need to think about quantity…. make as much as you want. Pasta is really great the day after as well!

Result 2

Madeleines

18 Feb

Last summer, my friend Jeanne gave birth to a cute little Madeleine. As she was thinking of a canapes menu for the party after her daughter’s christening, she asked me about the Madeleines recipe in order to offer them home-made to her guests!

There is quite a lot of recipes for the Madeleines… even for the basic ones. One contains baking powder, another one is with melted butter and needs to rest, a third one is with butter at room temperature and so on…. I have tried many of them and the only thing that I can say is that I like my Madeleines when they are sweet and buttery in a well-balanced way. I don’t like them when they are too light and airy and they need to be cooked enough to have that nice golden color on the edges and at the bottom.

It’s up to you to make your choice among all the recipes you can find in books and on the web. Mine belongs to Philippe Conticini’s cookbook Sensations because I really think vanilla and lemon make the difference.

Madeleines

Ingredients for 20 madeleines

  • 125g of plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 140g of caster sugar
  • 135g of melted butter
  • 50g of semi-skimmed milk
  • 5g of baking powder
  • 2 tsp of honey
  • 1 tsp of fleur de sel or Maldon Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp of lemon zest grated
  • 1 vanilla pod cut lengthwise, seeds grated
  • 1 tbsp of groundnut oil

 

Method

In a pan, melt the butter and let it cool down.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, honey and vanilla seeds until it gets white and foamy.

Incorporate the groundnut oil and the lemon zest to the mix.

Mix together the flour and baking powder and add it to the mix then incorporate the melted butter that must not be hot.

Once the mix is uniform you can then add the milk, whisk it again and cover it with cling film to avoid any crust on the surface.

Leave it to rest at least 1 hour in the fridge.

Brush the madeleines cases with melted butter and fill them with the mix up to 90% and leave it to rest another hour in the fridge.

Before baking the madeleines, preheat your oven to 160° with the baking tray in the oven.

Once the oven is ready, place the cold madeleines tray on the hot baking tray of the oven and bake it for 10 minutes.

You can serve them straight away or leave them to cool down and keep them for later. The fresher the madeleines, the better… As many French treats, they don’t last very well and you may be disappointed the day after!

About the Madeleine’s shape… Philippe Conticini’s explanation:

You may think 2 hours of rest takes a while but it is what it takes to get a mix really cold.

Because the mix is very cold and the tray is very hot, the mix will react in such a way that a bump will appear.

 

Fancy more Macaroons?

15 Jan

If you have tried the Macaron Caramel Beurre Sale since I posted the recipe, you may want to try new fillings and new techniques such as butter cream, curd or flavored chocolate ganache.

Here they are, from lemon & basil to chocolate & chilli, I hope you will enjoy the flavors and play with the colors!

Just a quick reminder of the shells method….

Ingredients

  • 30g flour
  • 350g icing sugar
  • 212g almond powder
  • 190g egg whites
  • 90g caster sugar
  • Food Colouring

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°c.
Start by preparing your baking sheets (3), either buttered and lined with greaseproof
paper or lined with a silicone matt. Also prepare a piping bag with a plain tip.
Sift the flour, icing sugar and almond powder together, set aside in a bowl.
In the bowl, put the egg whites, measured precisely, and start whisking with a hand
electric mixer. Add half of the caster sugar as it starts foaming, keep whisking until it
thickens, and add the rest of the caster sugar near the end, you can add the colouring
as well at that point. The whites must be shiny and firm, but be careful not to over
whisk (the whites will become grainy if over whisked).
Add the dry ingredients (flour, icing sugar, almond powder) to the whites and start to
mix gently using a large flexible spatula. When the mixture is smooth and there are
no streaks of egg whites, stop folding and scrape the batter into the piping bag (if you
are alone, it helps to put the bag in a large glass).
Pipe the batter on the prepared baking sheets in 3cm circles (about one tablespoon
each of batter, evenly spaced 3cm.
Leave to rest for at least 20min.


Then bake for 12min. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.
Assemble the shell and the ganache: pipe some ganache on one shell, put the other
shell on top.
The macaroons taste even better the next day.

Here they are…. the cooked shells!


Matching the shells now…

Ready to pipe the ganaches and other fillings!

Here they are…. the cooked shells!

Chocolate and Chilli Macaroons

Chocolate and Chilli Ganache

  • 1/2 red chilli or 1 tsp of chilli flakes
  • 130ml double cream
  • 130g dark chocolate
  • 30g butter

Boil the cream and chilli flakes together and let infuse.
Melt chocolate and butter over a bain-marie
Incorporate the cream to the chocolate, pour in a piping bag and refrigerate for at
least an hour.

Chocolate and Passion Fruit Macaroons

Chocolate and Passion Fruit Ganache

  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 250ml double cream
  • 2 passion fruits

Put the dark chocolate in a bowl, broken into small pieces.
Put the cream in a pan and bring to the boil. Pour over the chocolate and mix until smooth. Add the passion fruit. Leave to cool down and then put the mixture in a piping bag. Refrigerate.

Rose & Litchi Macaroons

Rose & Litchi Ganache

  • 24 Litchis
  • 200g of white chocolate
  • Rose Water

Peel and remove the stones of the litchis and puree them in a pan with a little rose
water.
If needed, blend the litchis in order to have an homogeneous mix then add the white
chocolate and let it melt with the litchis until you have a nice and silky ganache.
Taste the ganache and add a little rose water if needed.
Pour the ganache in a piping bag and let it rest in the fridge.
Your ganache will be ready to pipe.

Raspberry Macaroons

White Chocolate and Raspberry Ganache

  • 300g white chocolate
  • 150ml double cream
  • 150g raspberries

Mix the raspberries to make a coulis.
Put the white chocolate broken into small pieces in a bowl.
Put the cream in a pan and bring to the boil then pour it over the white chocolate and
mix. Add the raspberry coulis, mix, and leave to cool down before you transfer it in a
piping bag. Refrigerate so that it sets.

Pistachio Macaroons

Pistachio Ganache

  • 300g white chocolate
  • 150g double cream
  • About 1 tsp pistachio paste

Put the white chocolate broken into small pieces in a bowl.
Put the cream in a pan with about one teaspoon of pistachio paste (more or less
according to your taste) and bring to the boil then pour it over the white chocolate,
mix. Leave to cool down before you transfer it in a piping bag. Refrigerate so that it
sets.

Lemon and Basil Macaroons

Lemon and Basil Curd

  • 1/2 gelatine sheet
  • 3 eggs
  • 135g caster sugar
  • 130g lemon juice (2 ½ lemons)
  • 10 basil leaves finely chopped by hand
  • 175g butter, diced

Put the gelatine in a bowl with cold water to soften it.
Mix the eggs with the sugar and the lemon juice. Put in a pan and heat slowly, always mixing. Add the basil leaves. Cook the mixture until it starts boiling and it thickens. Add the gelatine, put the mixture in a sieve and filtrate above a bowl that contains the diced butter. Mix the lemon cream with a hand electric mixer for 1 min.
Leave to cool and then transfer into a piping bag.

Orange and Cinnamon Macaroons

Orange and Cinnamon Curd

  • 1 1/2 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp Corn flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon or ½ cinnamon stick
  • 3 eggs lightly whisked

In a bowl, whisk the sugar and the corn flour together.
In a pan, put the Zest of the oranges with the juice of oranges and lemon. Add the
mixture of sugar and corn flour, and the butter to the pan and bring it to a boil. As soon as it boils, take out of the stove and add the eggs, while stirring.
Put back on the heat still stirring until it thickens.
Then transfer to a container and let it cool down. You can either transfer into a piping bag or just spoon it on the macaroons.

Lavender Macaroons

Lavender Butter Cream

  • 25ml whole milk
  • 1tbsp lavender
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • red and blue colorings

In a pan infuse milk and lavender and let them rest then strain the liquid through a sieve.
Whisk the icing sugar and butter until it gets light and fluffy then add the food coloring purple first then blue until you get a nice lavender color.
Incorporate the milk while whisking until fully incorporated and beat for another 5 min until light and fluffy.
Pour in a piping bag and fill the macaroons straight away.
If refrigerated, give it a good whisk before piping.

Lavender Ganache

  • 250g white chocolate
  • 150g whipping cream
  • 2 tsp Lavender

Bring the whipping cream to the boil with the lavender. Leave to infuse for about 10min.                                        Grate the white chocolate and put it into a bowl.
Bring the cream to the boil again and pour it over the white chocolate (use a sieve if you don’t want any lavender bits).
Let it cool down and set before filling the macaroons.

Coffee Macaroons

Coffee Custard Cream

  • 50cl whole milk
  • 15 grams instant coffee
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g flour

In a pan bring the milk to a boil and add the instant coffee to dissolve it.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until it gets white and airy, add the flour and whisk until well incorporated.
While whisking, slowly pour the milk on top of it then pour back in the pan and cook on medium heat until it gets thick and start to boil.
Pour on a tray or in a bowl and cover with cling film to avoid the cream starts to crust. Before piping, give another whisk, pour in a piping bag and fill the macaroons.

Goat’s Cheese and Fig Macaroons

Goat’s Cheese Filling

  • 200g fresh soft goat’s cheese
  • 2 tbsp single cream
  • Fig jam

Soften the goat’s cheese with a fork and a bit of cream. Pour it in a piping bag and pipe a small amount on a shell then create a little hole in the middle of the goat’s cheese by pressing with your finger in order to create space for the fig jam.                                                            Pipe a little fig jam in the hole then cover with the other shell and twist and press at the same time to lock your macaroon.

Version Française : Les Macarons Caramel Beurre Salé

Ingrédients pour le caramel:

  • 80 g de sucre
  • 15 cl de crème liquide
  • 20 g de beurre sale
  • 1 cac de Fleur de Sel
  • 50 g de beurre à température ambiante

Méthode

Verser le sucre dans une casserole de taille moyenne à fond épais pour qu’il recouvre toute la surface. Faites chauffer à feu moyen afin de le transformer en caramel. Le sucre va se diluer et passer d’une couleur blanche transparente à une couleur dorée qui va progressivement brunir.
Ayez votre beurre et votre crème à portée de mains et dès que le caramel prend une couleur dorée profonde, versez la crème en faisant attention car le caramel peut réagir fortement si la crème est encore froide.
Remuez lentement avec une spatule et ajoutez le beurre et la Fleur de Sel. Le caramel va se détendre progressivement puis réduire. Continuez à remuer jusqu’à ce que le caramel épaississe pour prendre une consistance crémeuse.
Laissez refroidir pour éviter de faire fondre le beurre à la dernière étape.
Une fois que le caramel a refroidi, fouettez les 50 g de beurre restant dans le bol de votre Kitchen Aid puis incorporez le caramel. Le caramel va prendre une consistance plus aérienne et blanchir un peu.
Versez directement dans une poche et garnissez les macarons

Ingrédients pour les Coques:

  • 30 g de farine
  • 350 g de sucre glace
  • 212 g d’amandes en poudre
  • 190 g de blancs d’œuf
  • 90 g de sucre
  • Colorant Pâte Marron

Méthode

Préchauffez le four à 180°.

Dans un premier temps, préparez votre matériel, 3 plaques de cuisson couvertes de papier sulfurisé beurré pour mieux adhérer à la plaque ou un tapis en silicone, une poche à douille munie d’une douille 9 et une autre poche pour garnir les macarons.

Ensuite préparez les ingrédients, tamisez le sucre glace, la farine et les amandes puispesez-les et mixez-les dans un grand saladier.

Versez les blancs dans le bol de votre Kitchen Aid et battez-les à vitesse moyenne.

Lorsque les blancs commencent à mousser, ajoutez la moitié du sucre en poudre tout en continuant à battre.

Les blancs vont épaissir et prendre un aspectsoyeux. Ajouter le reste du sucre puis le colorant (préférez le colorant pâteau colorant liquide qui risque d’altérer la consistance du mix). Les blancs sont fermes et soyeux mais faites attention de ne pas trop les battre au risque de les rendre granuleux.

Versez une partie du mix sec sur les blancs et incorporez-le à l’aide d’une large spatuleen prenant soin de bien atteindre le fond du bol. Incorporez le reste du mix et une fois que les blancs sont bien incorporés, versez la préparation dans la poche.

Commencez à dresser les macarons sur les plaques en formant des coques d’environ 3 cm dediamètre (environ 1 cas/coque) en prenant soin de les espacer les unes des autres.

Laissez les coques reposer et « croûter » au moins 20 minutes si ce n’est plusieurs heures. La surface doit devenir plus mat et résister a une légère pression du doigt. Cette étape permet aux macarons de bien gonfler sans que la surface n’éclate à la cuisson.

Enfournez lesplaques pour une durée de 12 minutes puis laissez les coques refroidir avant de les détacher. La coque est cuite mais l’intérieur reste tendre.

Une fois refroidies, vous pouvez garnir les coques avec une généreuse noisette decaramel centrée sur une des coques renversée. Recouvrir d’une autre coque etpressez-la tout en donnant 1/4 de tour afin de répandre la garniture jusqu’au bord des coques.

Conservez les macarons dans une boîte hermétique et au frais.

Lesmacarons se dégustent seulement quelques heures après leur préparation afin que la garniture ait eu le temps d’infuser les coques….

Si, si, je vous assure, vous réussirez à patienter!
Vous pouvez aussi congeler les coques ou les macarons en entier.

Lemon and Meringue Pie with a Poppy Seeds Shortcrust Pastry

11 Jan

As a kid, I have always been impressed by the texture of the meringue covering the lemon pies that my mum is fond of.

As an adult, I have tried to understand that mystery and I have rolled my sleeves many times to get to the right result.

There is so many recipes for the lemon and meringue pie…. the lemon curd can be cooked in the oven or in a bain-marie, the meringue can be french or italian, you can also have two types of lemon curds in the same tart…..

As I tried many recipes, I ended up with my own recipe which is a selection of my favorites elements picked in each recipe.

I added poppy seeds and lemon zest to the sweet pastry to make it more tasty and give it some extra crunch!

I have chosen Eric Kayser lemon curd for the filling of the tart because his recipe is tasty and simple in term of ingredients and technique.

And for the meringue, I finally tried the Italian meringue and I have to say…. the consistency is much better. Because the sugar is cooked, the meringue is dense and firm and very important, if you keep your tart in the fridge, it will hold perfectly. 


INGREDIENTS FOR THE POPPY SEED AND LEMON PASTRY DOUGH (Makes 1 large tart or 8 individuals)

  • 250g of flour
  • 5g of salt
  • 100g of icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp of poppy seeds
  • 1 lemon zest finely grated
  • 125g of butter cold and diced
  • 1 egg whisked
  • Plain flour to roll out the dough
  • Iced water if necessary

INGREDIENTS FOR THE LEMON CURD

  • 1 unwaxed lemon zest and juice
  • 240g of caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 300g of butter cold and diced

INGREDIENTS FOR THE ITALIAN MERINGUE

  •   4 egg whites
  • 250 g of caster sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 10 cl of waterof caster sugar

METHOD FOR THE SWEET PASTRY

By hand: Place the flour, icing sugar, salt, poppy seeds, lemon zest and cold diced butter in a bowl and start bringing the ingredients together until they form a light bread crumb consistency.  Now, add the egg and combine completely. Add a little water if the dough is to dry. Shape the pastry into a bowl slightly flatten and wrap it into cling film. Let it rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.  This freezes beautifully.

With a Magimix: Sift the flour, salt, poppy seeds, lemon zest and icing sugar into the bowl of a food processor and add the cold diced butter.  Pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Whisk the egg and add to the pastry mixture and stir well to bring together, adding a little more iced water if necessary.  Bring the pastry together into a flat disc and wrap it into cling film. Chill it for 30 minutes before rolling out.

To roll the pastry, dust a clean and wide enough surface with flour and place the dough in the middle of it and start rolling until you get a dough 2-3 mm wide.

Check that it’s big enough to fit into your case. To do that, place the case in the middle of the dough. There must be enough dough all around to cover more than the edges of the case.

Now roll it on your rolling pin and unroll it on top of the pastry case or fold it into 4 and unfold it on top of the pastry case. Gently push the dough at the bottom of the case and press it with the back of your fingers to make it fit perfectly in the pastry case.


Put it back in the fridge or the freezer for at least 30 minutes. It will prevent the dough from shrinking when you blind bake it in the oven!

In a preheated oven (200°) blind bake the pastry case for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on the edges and at the bottom as it won’t go back to the oven.  Remove the shell from the case and let it cool down on a rack.

METHOD FOR THE LEMON CURD

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and the sugar. Once it’s getting white and foamy, add the lemon zest finely grated and the juice.

Put the bowl on top of a bain-marie and cook the lemon curd until it gets thick and creamy. This process may take a while (30-40 minutes) and you HAVE to keep on whisking the curd all along!

If you feel confident enough, you can skip the bain-marie step and cook it in the pan at a lower temperature but be careful as the curd can easily burn!

Once the lemon curd is cooked, take it off the fire and incorporate the diced butter. Mix it until completely incorporated.

Pour the lemon curd in the tart shell and let it cool down.

METHOD FOR THE ITALIAN MERINGUE
Pour the sugar and the water in a medium pan and start to cook gently. The sugar will melt and turn into syrup. If needed, brush the edges of the pan with a pastry or silicon brush to prevent the sugar from crystallizing.
Using a thermometer, bring it to a boil and keep cooking it until it reach 121°.

At that step, if your egg whites are already whisked with the pinch of salt, pour the syrup slowly on the edges of the bowl while it’s still whisking.

Otherwise, plunge the bottom of your pan in very cold water to stop the cooking of the syrup. While the syrup is cooling down, pour your egg whites and the pinch of salt in the bowl of your Kitchen Aid and whisk them until firm then pour slowly the syrup on the edges of the bowl while it’s still whisking.

The egg whites will become thight and silky. Keep on whisking until the meringue cools down.

You can either pour the meringue in a piping bag with the nozzle of your choice and pipe it on top of the lemon curd otherwise you can spoon it straight away and create nice shapes with the back of your spoon.


Here you are…. Almost done!

Let’s have fun with the blow torch now and give the meringue peaks a nice dark brown colour. To do that, use the blow torch as if it was a brush and quickly bring it close to your meringue without touching it.
If you don’t have a blow torch, you can obtain the same result with the grill of your oven but be careful, depending on the oven, it can take only a few seconds!