Thursday, March 11, 2010

Strawberry Meringue Tartletes

I simply love spring even we don't have the luxury of experiencing it here in Singapore. I love it because it's time to bake with seasonal fruits such as strawberries. It's also easy to gauge how far into spring we are now experiencing as the local markets are flooded with strawberries from Korea. It even gets cheaper by the week. Although Korean strawberries may not look as red and plump as what you would expect them to be, they are still delicious. A little trick I've learnt is to take the berries out of its plastic container and transfer them into a shallow bowl. Place the bowl on your kitchen counter top for a day or two (depending on the ripeness of the fruit when you first purchased them), and the berries will naturally ripen and deepen in colour. When I was young my mum would bury fruits such as mangoes in our rice bin and leave it there for a few days so that the fruit would ripen. I'm just guessing that the heat naturally ripens the fruit and believe me it did work!

So it was with two punnets of strawberries in my fridge I decided to make some tartletes for dessert. I was amazed at how easy this recipe is and they make such elegant individual servings after a dinner party. These tartletes do not keep well so it is best eaten the day they are assembled. However you can bake the tart shells a day beforehand, store them in a air-tight container, as well as the strawberry filing ahead of time. Then you just need finish off with the rest of the recipe on the day you intend to serve them out.





Strawberry Meringue Tartletes
Recipe Adapted from "Fresh with Anna Olson"
Yield: Six 3 1/2" tartletes

Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the Crust:


1-1/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
1-1/2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tablespoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1" cubes and chilled
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
2-3 tbsp cold water

For the Filling:

3 cups quartered ripe strawberries
1/2 cup sugar (sugar has been reduced from original recipe)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp water
3 tablespoons cornstarch

For the Meringue:

5 large egg whites
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar (sugar has been reduced from original recipe)
1 teaspoon cornstarch (the cornstarch helps to stablize the egg white and prevent it from separating)

Directions

For the Crust:


1) For the crust, add flour, sugar and salt into a food processor and pulse a couple of times to mix together. Add in the chilled butter cubes and pulse together until the mixture resembles a rough crumbly texture. Whisk egg yolks with vinegar and 3 Tbsp of cold water in a bowl. Drizzle the egg mixture into the dough, with the processor on and pulse until the mixture comes together (this should be less than a minute). If dough does not work itself together, add another 1/2 Tbsp water. Shape dough into a log, wrap in plastic and chill.

2) Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough to just under 1/4-inch thick and line six 3 ½-inch tart shells. Trim tart shells and chill 30 minutes to 1 hour.

3) Preheat oven to 350°F. Place tart shells on a baking tray and dock bottoms with a fork. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until bottoms appear dry and edges brown just lightly. Let cool.

For the Filling:

1) For filling, stir strawberries with sugar, lemon juice and 1/2 cup water. Let sit for 20 minutes. Strain away liquid into a small pot. Bring liquid up to a simmer. Stir cornstarch with remaining 2 tablespoons water and whisk into simmering liquid. Stir until thickened to a consistency almost like jam, then remove from heat to cool. Once cooled, stir in the strawberries (remove any access liquid from the berries) into the jam and spoon into baked tart shells. Chill while preparing meringue.

For the Meringue:

1) For meringue, preheat oven to 400°F. Whip egg whites with lemon juice on one speed lower than high and gradually add sugar while whipping to stiff peaks. Stir in cornstarch and pipe or dollop over strawberry filling. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes until browned then cool and chill until ready to serve.



17 comments:

gaga said...

Those are so pretty! And delicious too I bet. Great job!

Sophie said...

Hello Jo,

Georgous, tasty & fabulous looking tratlets!!

So special too!

Ellie said...

Gorgeous pictures!! I almost wanted to grab a tart form the screen!

Maya said...

Those are beautiful!!! I still bury mangoes in the rice bin!!

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Oh my gorgeous! They are lovely, Jo!! Thanks for the tips on how to make the strawberries blush. ;) I wouldn't have known. Like Maya, I also bury my mangoes in rice. :) Hehe!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Delicious tarts - they really do look like spring! I have that book too - it's a good one. :)

oneordinaryday said...

Mmm. Looks lovely and makes me long for Spring.

Angie's Recipes said...

wow...these are perfect for the summer! I just love meringue!

El said...

How lucky you are to have fresh, local fruit. The tart looks lovely!

Julia said...

Jo, you're such a talented baker and cook. These tarts look so amazing! :)

Lucy said...

These are so pretty and the meringue swirls are adorable! Delicious :)

Iron Chef Shellie said...

They look so amazing! I would love to see them on the table at an afternoon tea!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Surprised! I'd haven never thought of meringue with strawberries for a tart! It's usually always lemon + meringue! Looks so juicy and sweet! Well-done on the piping of the meringue, too!

The Duo Dishes said...

You work with such artistry. How can anyone eat them? They look too cute just like that!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone made these yet? I'd love to read an opinion on the taste, please!

They look great but looks can be deceiving ;)

mycookinghut said...

I love tartlets! Strawberry is my fav fruit, so this is a must eat for me ;)

Amy @ cookbookmaniac said...

These tartlets are just too cute for consumption. The swirl on top is just perfect. Fantastic pictures.

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