Tuesday, 1 February 2011
It's been a while since my last wave of tart making, and I thought that it was time again to tackle pastry crusts again. They're still something I haven't gotten the hang of yet, which further prevents me from trying them. It's time to break the cycle!
For this, I tried a pâte sablée recipe from a Cordon Bleu technique book I read year or two ago. It was a recipe that has given me trouble in the past, and it decided to hassle me, yet again. I ended up having to add another egg yolk and some water to finally bring it together.
The recipe for the lime curd was derived Williams-Sonoma's recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie. Egg-thickened custards and curds have also been an personal struggle in the past. They never seemed to thicken enough before the egg overcooks. After the fuss with the tart pastry, I was determined to make this work.
Thankfully, the curd turned out perfectly. What I didn't account for in the past was the latent heat in the mixture, which thickened the curd even after being removed from the double boiler. The result? A silky-smooth curd, free from any graininess. After baking in the oven briefly, it had set perfectly in the tart shells.
And what better else to top it all off than with a mountain of meringue? I'm no good at swirling meringue, so I decided to try out a new piping tip instead. One lesson learned: when you're piling meringue this high, it pays off to do it in two passes: a small pile in the centre, and then a second outer coat that gives you an uninterrupted swirl straight to the top.