Friday, May 3, 2013

Lemon ginger tarts with meringue ice cream

Did you know that there are 55 uses for a lemon? Well, 56 if you count eating it, which is obviously, my favourite use of all. But turn the lemon into these good-looking tarts and now we’re talking! Along with the zesty zing of our over-achieving citrus friend, I've added a generous dash of ginger lemongrass cordial to this tart (because it was sitting around in my cupboard and I had to use it up), which I thought was a rather clever way of using this it - if I do say so myself. This recipe is a bit of a challenge so if you’re of the school of thought that believe life is too short to make your own pastry or ice cream, then by all means go the store-bought route (I won’t judge you, promise.)

Lemon ginger lemongrass tarts with meringue ice cream
Serves 8-10

Meringue ice cream
250ml double cream
150ml cream
3-4T castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4-5 meringues, crumbled

Shortcrust pastry
225g cake flour
125g cold butter, chopped
½ cup icing sugar, sifted
3 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp ice cold water

Lemon filling
1 cup cream
2 eggs
3 yolks
½ cup ginger lemongrass cordial, plus extra for serving
¼ cup castor sugar
¼ cup lemon juice

Begin by making the ice cream, whisk the creams together with the sugar until just combined and the mixture just holds its shape (careful not to over mix or the ice cream will be grainy and buttery). 

Stir in the crushed meringues and freeze until firm.

For the pastry, place the flour, butter and icing sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process in short bursts until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. While the motor is running, add the egg yolk and vanilla. Add the iced water and process until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together to form a ball. Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Roll the pastry out to 3mm thick. Line 8-10 lightly greased loose-bottomed small tart tins with the pastry. Trim the edges and prick the base with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Bake the pastry blind: line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper, fill with baking weights or beans and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and the weights and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool.

To make the filling, whisk all the ingredients together until combined. 

Pour into the blind-baked pastry cases and bake at 140ºC for 30 minutes or until the filling is just set. 

Allow to cool completely then refrigerate until chilled. Serve the tarts drizzled with cordial and with a scoop of ice cream.

TIP I topped the tarts with fancy-looking candied orange twirls that you can buy at a tuisnywerhuid (local baking shop) but orange and lemon slices simmered in the ginger lemongrass cordial until soft and syrupy would also work like a charm. 

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