Lemon and yuzu meringue tart
A show-stopping lemon meringue pie with a fashionable twist from Will Torrent's Patisserie at Home - a great book if you aspire to cook like a pastry chef (but don't be daunted. The instructions are particularly clear.)
Will writes: I wanted to update the classic tarte au citron with an unusual flavour and an old-fashioned technique. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit, like a hybrid of lemon and lime with a hint of mandarin. I like to top my lemon tart with meringue, piped high and flambéed at the dinner table with a blowtorch!
1 x quantity Pâte Sablée (see below)
25 g white chocolate
Lemon and yuzu curd
2 tablespoons yuzu juice (available online or in good Japanese supermarkets)
juice and grated zest of 2 lemons
3 egg yolks
100 g raw cane sugar
2 tablespoons butter, chilled and diced
100 g sugar
2 tablespoons water
3 egg whites
You will also need:
a 20-cm fluted tart pan, greased and lightly dusted with flour
piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle
kitchen blowtorch (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F) Gas 4.
Take the Pâte Sablée out of the fridge and put on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it out to a rough circle at about 25 cm in diameter.
Loosely wrap the dough around the rolling pin and transfer it to the prepared tart pan. Unravel the dough into the pan. Gently coax the dough neatly into the curves and angles of the pan, press lightly into the sides and cut off any excess with a small, sharp knife.
Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper over the pan and fill it with baking beans. Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 10–15 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 160˚C (325˚F) Gas 3. Remove the paper and beans from the tart pan and return the tart case to the oven for 5–10 minutes. Remove the tart case from the oven and allow to cool completely, then remove from the pan.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate on low power in a microwave or in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (not letting the base of the bowl touch the water). Brush the melted chocolate inside the cooled tart case.
For the lemon and yuzu curd
Put the yuzu juice, juice of 1 lemon and all the lemon zest in a saucepan and bring to the boil over low heat.
Put the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk with a balloon whisk until it looks like the sugar has dissolved. Very slowly pour the boiled citrus juice into the mixing bowl, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the pan, set over medium heat and stir. It will start to thicken and resemble thick, glossy curd.
Now remove it from the heat and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time. Mix until all the butter has melted. Finally, pour the curd into the tart case and allow to cool completely.
For the meringue
Put the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer over low heat until the syrup reaches 121˚C (250˚F) on a sugar thermometer.
Meanwhile, put the egg whites and remaining lemon juice in a stand mixer and begin whisking until stiff peaks form. Once the syrup has reached the right temperature, slowly pour it in a steady stream into the meringue bowl with the beaters still running. Avoid letting the syrup touch the beaters. Keep whisking until you have used up all the syrup and the meringue is glossy, thick and has cooled substantially – this may take several minutes of whisking. The bowl itself must have cooled too.
Fill the piping bag with meringue and pipe bulbs of different sizes onto the curd in the tart case (see picture - love this effect FB)
To serve, blast the meringue with a kitchen blowtorch or under a very hot grill.
This is one of my favourite types of pastry. It’s a rich, sweet shortcrust but made with icing sugar to achieve a really lovely crisp, crumbly texture (‘sablée’ means sandy) that works perfectly with rich cream and fresh fruit. It’s so versatile that you can use it for tarts and biscuits but also as the base for gâteaux.
200 g butter, softened
100 g icing sugar
a pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
250 g plain flour
Makes enough to line a 20-cm tart pan
Beat the butter, sugar and salt together in a stand mixer or in a bowl with an electric whisk until pale – about 5 minutes.
Split the vanilla bean lengthwise using a small, sharp knife and scrape the seeds out into the creamed butter mixture. Add the lemon zest and beat again to incorporate.
With the whisk running, gradually add the eggs, mixing until fully incorporated.
Gently mix in the flour but do not over-work the dough otherwise the gluten will develop and you will end up with pastry that is tough rather than crisp and light.
Bring the dough together into a ball with your hands, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate until needed – at least 2 hours, but overnight if possible.
What to drink:
Lemon is quite a tricky ingredient to pair with wine - it needs something with a similar acidity. I'd go for a beerenauslese Riesling myself or a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc. Alternatively you could go for something a little lighter like a well-chilled Moscato d'Asti.
Recipe from Patisserie at Home by Will Torrent, photography Jonathan Gregson published by Ryland Peters & Small £19.99.
If you found this post helpful and would like to support the website which is free to use it would be great if you'd make a donation towards its running costs or sign up to my regular Substack newsletter Eat This, Drink That for extra benefits.