Meringue, especially with tarts is almost a must in French patisserie.
It is not as diificult as it sounds. A little method is all you need.
Here is a typical recipe:
Orange & Lemon Meringue Tart!
INGREDIENTS: For persons
-Pate Sable/Sable Pastry: 300g (look at basic recipe below!)
-Butter: 180 g + 40 g for the tart molds
-Orange juice: 150 ml
-Lemons: 3 (organic if possible)
-Flour: a little for the molds
-Ice sugar for the finishing
-For the meringue:
Egg whites: 2
Sugar: 30 g
-Prepare the pate sable as indicated below. If you make a lot, you can freeze whatever is left. In France it can be bought at cake shops.
-Lightly butter and flour the tart molds.
-Spread the pastry and lay in the molds. Make a few holes with a fork and let rest 1 hour inside the fridge.
-Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Wash the lemons with clean cold water. Finely grate their skins onto a small plate.
-in a pan bring the orange juice, grated lemon skins, sugar and butter to a boil.
-Take off fire, and mix in the eggs, one at a time, energically beating them all the time. When all eggs are completely mixed, put back on fire and heat until it starts boiling. Take off fire and let cool completely.
-Lay a piece of cooking paper over the pastry in the molds. Fill it with dry beans (or cooking beads). Bake for 5 minutes. Take out beans and paper and cook again until you are satisfied with the colour of the pastry. Let cool.
-Beat the egg whitesadding the sugar progressively until they “stand”.
-Pour orange and lemon custard into tarts. Then decorate top with a good part of meringue.
-Sprinkle with ice sugar and bake for 3 minutes at 210 degrees Celsius.
Whereas pastry and custard can be prepared the evening before, the meringue must be prepared and baked at the last second (just before the meal starts)
Pate sable/sable Pastry basic recipe
Flour: 200 g
Butter: 150 g (not too cold, please!) + a little for the mold
Milk: 1 large tablespoon
Egg yolk: 1 small
Sugar: 30 g
Vanilla sugar: to taste
Cinnamon: a large pinch
Salt: a little pinch
-Prepare the pastry ( a little in advance if possible):
In a large bowl, mix the flour with the sugar, vanilla sugar, cinnamon and salt.
Add the butter in small pieces and knead with your finger tips until you obtain an homogeneous sable pastry.
Beat the egg yolk with the milk and mix quickly to the pastry to “link” it.