Citrus season is coming to an end, so I wanted to make the most of the last Seville oranges I could get my hands on with a showstopper bake, and came up with these citrus curd meringue tarts. A crumbly, shortcrust pastry filled with smooth citrus curd and topped with sweet, toasted Italian meringue. It does require that bit more effort, but the pastry cases and curd can be made ahead. First, make the pastry. You will need:
100g plain flour
One tbsp caster sugar
One tbsp water.
Mix the flour and sugar, then rub in the butter (you can do this in a food processor if you want) until it resembles the texture of breadcrumbs. Add the water and mix until the pastry comes together as a dough. Rest in the fridge for 20 minutes or so, then roll out to the thickness of a one pound coin. Preheat the oven to 170C Fan.
Grease a bun tray and cut the dough into circles, lining each of the holes of the tray. Fill each with a small square of parchment weighed down with rice or baking beans and blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and bake for a further 10 minutes. Set aside to cool while you make the curd. You will need:
80ml orange juice (or citrus juice of your choice – I used Seville orange)
80g caster sugar
Mix the juice, sugar and eggs over a low heat. Whisk constantly until the mix thickens and then remove the curd from the heat. Add the butter, a little at a time, whisking so that the residual heat melts it through the mixture, which should become glossy and thicken as it cools. Set aside, covered with clingfilm touching the surface to avoid a skin forming.
When you’re ready to serve the tarts, make the Italian meringue with one egg white, whisked to soft peaks. Heat 60g sugar and 30ml water to make a syrup until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts to boil. Keep the egg whites whisking on a slow speed and pour in the hot syrup carefully. Whisk to stiff peaks and spoon the mixture into a piping bag.
Fill the pastry cases with 1-2 tsp of the curd and then top each with swirl of meringue. Toast the tarts under the grill at 200C fan for 2 minutes, watching carefully in case they start to catch. Serve!
What are you baking this weekend?
Recipe by me!