Friday, 18 July 2014

Lemon Meringue Tarts (Wheat Free)

My mother has been essentially locked in her office for the last week working feverishly on her Master's essays and assignments. I decided to make her a treat for finishing a successful week's work, and she does so love things that taste of citrus.

I thought I'd crack out the four-hole Yorkshire pudding tin that I inherited a few years back. It was in a box of things that my Grandma had left for my Mum and we received it when my Grandda died. About four years ago I claimed it as my own and assimilated it into my vast collection of cooking tins.

For this rendition of a classic, I used both orange and lemon juice for extra zing.

☑ Soya (check for soya lecithin)
☑ Yeast
☑ Wheat
☑ Nuts

☒ Gluten (unless you use gluten-free oats)
☒ Refined sugar products
☒ Eggs
☒ Dairy (check italics for alternatives)


For pastry:

  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) white spelt flour
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes)  cornflour
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) butter or margarine
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes) caster sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of salt

For curd filling:
  • 3 fluid ounces (90 millilitres) lemon juice (or a mixture of lemon and orange)
  • 3 ounces (85 grammes) caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 teaspoons (15 millilitres) cornflour
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) butter or just leave this out
  • Pinch of salt

For meringue:
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 ounces (85 grammes) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) vanilla essence
  • Pinch of salt


For pastry case(s):
  • In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter or margarine until soft and creamy, then beat in the sugar and zest.
  • Sieve in the flours and salt and mix with a wooden spoon until a soft dough is formed. Gather with your hands, make into a disc approximately 1 inch (2.5 centimetres) thick and pop in the fridge for an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, Gas Mk.4, or moderate). You will need an 8 inch (20 centimetre) tart tin or a Yorkshire pudding tin with four 4 inch (10 centimetre) holes. There is no need to grease them.
  • Roll the dough out to about a quarter inch (.5 centimetre) thick and cut 5 inch (12 centimetre) rounds to line each Yorkshire pudding hole. Alternatively, drape the rolled pastry into the large tart tin and gently press in, using the rolling pin to roll over the edges of the tin and cut off the excess.
  • Prick the case(s) all over with a fork and blind bake. To blind bake, line the case(s) with some scrunched up baking paper and fill with some coins; this stops the shell from rising too much.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, remove the paper and coins, then return to the oven to cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes or until a gentle golden brown colour.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before preparing the curd.

For the curd:
  • In a saucepan, blend the cornflour, egg yolk and about 2 tablespoons (30 millilitres) of the juice into a smooth paste. Add the rest of the juice and the sugar and stir until evenly combined.
  • Cook gently over a medium flame, mixing all the time with a whisk or rubber spatula, until it has thickened up into the consistency of... well, lemon curd. I don't really know how to describe it: a very gloopy, thick gel I suppose.
  • Take from the heat and stir in the butter.
  • Fill the pastry up to about an eighth inch (.3 centimetre) from the top of the shell(s).

For the meringue:
  • In a heatproof glass or metal mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients until evenly combined.
  • Put the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
  • Remove from the heat and continue beating until stiff peaks are formed.
  • Cover the filled tart(s) with the meringue using either a piping bag fitted with a star tip, or just pile it in and smooth it out with a fork for texture.
I don't have any photographs yet of the cut open tart to show off the layered effect, but I will update you all very soon!

There was no blog this time last year.

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