Lemon Meringue Tart

16 - 1 (1)Bright, citrusy desserts are the perfect way to end a summer meal. Since there is always one of the many varieties of lemon in season year round, a dessert focused on lemons is a great way to indulge in a summer citrus craving while keeping with seasonal produce. The lemon meringue tart is one of my favorites, as it offers a quick and relatively simple way to feature lemons in a show-stopping summer dessert.

16 - 1 (2)For those of you familiar with the popular lemon meringue pie, you may be wondering how a tart is any different other than the pan it is baked in. Truth is they are very similar in appearance but the difference lies heavily in the crust and filling. A pie uses a lemon custard for the filling, which contains flour or cornstarch to thicken and little to no butter for flavor. On the other hand, a tart uses lemon curd for the filling, which contains no flour/cornstarch and has butter added for a creamy, smooth texture. Lemon curds also tends to have more lemon juice or zest added, creating a more intense lemon flavor. There is also a noticeable difference in the crusts. A pie uses the traditional flaky pie crust as a base while the tart will use a ground almond/cookie crumb crust.

16 - 1Both the crust and filling of this tart are very easy to prepare. The only part that may trip up beginner bakers is the meringue. That is why I chose to use a swiss meringue as it is more stable and doesn’t need to be baked like other meringues. I also chose to use store-bought lemon curd for convenience but you could easily prepare your own. This tart is baked in a 9 inch tart pan and will make approximately 8 servings.

Lemon Meringue Tart

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Blanched Almonds
  • 3 tbsp. Light Brown Sugar
  • 36 Vanilla Wafers
  • ¼ cup Unsalted Butter; melted
  • 1 (10 oz.) Jar Lemon Curd
  • 3 Large Egg Whites
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt
  • ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ cup Water
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine the almonds, brown sugar, and wafers. Process mixture until finely ground. With the motor running, drizzle the butter through the food chute and process until blended. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes or until well toasted. Set aside to cool.
  3. Once crust has cooled, spoon lemon curd evenly into crust. Place egg whites and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Beat with a stand or hand mixer on high-speed until soft peaks form.
  4. Preheat broiler. In a small saucepan, combine granulated sugar and water. Bring mixture to a boil. Cook mixture, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 250°. With mixer running, slowly pour the hot syrup over the egg whites and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread the egg white mixture over the tart. Broil for 30 seconds or until lightly browned. Serve

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

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Lemon Pudding Cake

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Today I was trying to finish my family tree on Ancestors.com to one day give to my daughter and any other future children so that they will know where they came from. While taking a break from my research I decided to bake. Sticking with the theme of the past I chose to make a forgotten recipe I came across a few years ago called Lemon Pudding Cake. This cake is thought to have been a variation off of flour puddings from the late 1700’s like one found in Amelia Simmons’ 1796 cookbook “American Cookery”.

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Although the flour pudding recipe from Ms. Simmons is said to be an abomination to our modern taste buds, I must say this lost recipe is magical on so many levels. Not only does it taste great but one batter manages to create two separate layers… the top being airy like a souffle and the bottom dense and creamy as a custard. Although considered a cake, this dessert is somewhere between a cake and a custard.

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You may be wondering what causes such culinary sorcery.  Well it all starts with the batter, which is rather atypical. It contains very little flour, a ton of egg, and a lot more liquid than usual. It is the large amount of liquid that actually causes the magic. The water in the liquid ingredients actually sinks to the bottom of the dish and takes the batter with it. This leaves the egg whites to float to the top and give the airy souffle-like cake over the custard base.

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Although practically forgotten in our modern era this cake has proven to me to stand the test of time. I’m sure my grandfather would have loved to have tried this since he had such a love for Lemon Meringue Pie and this has all the same tastes of Lemon Meringue Pie but in a cake/custard hybrid.

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Notes: To have the most prevalent lemon flavor, it takes fresh squeezed lemon juice and a bit of lemon extract. Do nut use bottled lemon juice. Be sure to use the cornstarch and not substitute more flour as it firms the custard base without distracting from the lemon flavor. To prevent the top layer of egg whites from deflating, add the sugar slowly and evenly over the egg whites while whipping. This will help stabilize them and result in a high, fluffy golden cake. To keep the custard base from curdling like scrambled eggs while baking, it is essential to put the ramekins in a hot water bath. This keeps the base from cooking too quickly and results in a creamy custard. This formula serves 6 and is best served warm or at room temperature the day it is made.

Lemon Pudding Cake

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 ¼ cups Sugar; divided
  • 5 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 2 tsp. Pure Lemon Extract
  • ½ cup Fresh Lemon Juice; about 4 Lemons
  • 5 Eggs; separated
  • 1 ¼ cups Whole Milk; room temperature
  • Boiling Water

Formula:

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position. Heat oven to 325°. Grease 6 Ramekins and place inside a large roasting pan.
  2. Mix flour and cornstarch together in a bowl. Set aside. With an electric mixer, beat ½ cup sugar, butter, and lemon extract on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in yolks, one at a time, until incorporated. Reduce speed to medium-low and add the flour mixture, mixing until incorporated. Slowly add the milk and lemon juice, mixing until just combined.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. As mixer continues to run, slowly and evenly add the remaining sugar until the whites become firm and appear glossy. Whisk 1/3 of the whites into the cake batter. Gently fold the remaining whites, one scoop at a time, until well combined.
  4. Spoon the batter evenly into each prepared ramekin. Carefully place pan on the lowest oven rack and pour boiling water into the pan until the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the surface becomes golden brown and the edges are set. The center should jiggle slightly if gently shaken, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool at least 15 minutes. Serve while warm or at room temperature.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM KRIS WIDICAN

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2014

Bootiful Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

dsc_0153Today is a quick post for any procrastinators out there who still haven’t decided on a treat to make for Halloween. These BOOtiful cupcakes have the ultimate chocolate flavor you would find in a cake packed into a tiny handheld cupcake. If that wasn’t dreamy enough the ghostly frosting is so creamy and light it resembles a giant melted marshmallow. The pair together is to die for.

dsc_0168For the ultimate chocolate punch in your cupcakes be sure to use a high quality baking chocolate. If you are really strapped for time you can omit the ganache step and opt for the more traditional cupcake. The chocolate flavor will still be strong but that little creamy morsel of chocolate boom will not be there and I really promote taking the little extra effort to fill them with ganache since it is very easy. The cupcakes can be made up to 24 hours in advance but make sure to refrigerate them in an airtight container so that the ghosts don’t decide to go back into hiding once Halloween is over.

dsc_0155Bootiful Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling

Ganache Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate; chopped fine
  • ¼ cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 tbsp. Confectioners’ Sugar

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate; chopped fine
  • 1 oz. (1/3 cup) Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
  • ¾ cup Hot Coffee
  • 4.125 oz. (¾ cup) Bread Flour
  • 5.25 oz. (¾ cup) Granulated Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 6 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp. White Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Meringue Frosting Ingredients:

  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ tsp. Cream of Tartar
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • Black Food Coloring

Formula:

  1. For the Ganache Filling: Place chocolate, cream, and confectioners’ sugar in a medium microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave on high until the mixture is warm to the touch, 20 to 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth and place in the refrigerator until just chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.
  2. For the Cupcakes: Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350°. Line a standard size 12 cup muffin tin with baking cup liners. Place the chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl. Pour the hot coffee over the mixture and whisk until smooth. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into the cooled chocolate-cocoa mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tin cups. Place one slightly rounded teaspoon of ganache filling on top of each cupcake. Bake until cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch, about 17 to 19 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the muffin tin on a wire rack until cool enough to touch, about 10 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from the muffin tin and set on the wire rack to cool completely before frosting, about 1 hour.
  5. For the Frosting: Simmer about 1 inch of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Place egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl over the saucepan, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat the mixture for about 6 minutes, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot to the touch, about 120°.
  6. Transfer the bowl back to the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed for 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whisk for 5 to 10 minutes, or until stiff, glossy peaks form. Add vanilla and whisk until just incorporated. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes using a large round tip, making sure to stop applying pressure 3 times while piping to create the ghost shape, pulling up on the last pipe to create a peak. Use a toothpick and dip in the black food color to create the eyes and mouth of the ghost.

dsc_0158SPECIAL THANKS TO:

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM YVONNE RUPERTI

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM GEORGIA JOHNSON

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013