Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday Splurge: Brown Sugar Meringue Tart

The book called this one "Caramel Meringue Tart" but it really doesn't taste that much like caramel to me. Absolutely amazingly delicious, yes, but not caramel. It reminded me a little of the brown sugar pie my mom used to make. You know, one of those things that is so rich that you can only eat a 16th of the pie at most (but I could eat a whole regular piece anyway.) This is a French recipe, and supposed to be in a tart pan, which means that it's much more shallow than an American pie. Which means that it's a more reasonable amount of delicious richness than a brown sugar pie. The fluffy cloud of meringue that sits on top also helps balance the filling.

I made this in my building, which is very much tart pan and pie pan-less. Instead, I took two large pieces of the industrial aluminum foil, measured 8.5 inches across the bottom (it asked for a 22cm tart pan) and turned up the edges. Worked pretty well! Of course everyone loved it and it was amazing and delicious. I had to whip the egg whites by hand, so the meringue isn't as shiny as it would have been with a mixer. It was good enough for me, though! You can start making the filling after the shell goes into the oven, and then the meringue shortly before the crust comes out (you don't want the meringue to sit or it will be harder to spread.) And so, without further ado, I present you...

Brown Sugar Meringue Tart
Serves: 10 Prep time: 2 hours ish (that includes chilling time)

For the crust:
2 cups flour
9 Tbs unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
2 Tbs white sugar
1 egg yolk (reserve the white for meringue)
1 Tbs ice water

For the filling:
1 cup plus 1 Tbs brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
8.5 oz milk (1 cup plus 1 Tbs)
3 Tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk (reserve the white for meringue)

For the meringue:
2 egg whites
2 Tbs white sugar

To make the crust:
- Sift flour and then work in butter with fingers
- Add the egg yolk and water, knead in until a soft dough forms
- Roll into a ball, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate 20 minutes
- When chilled, roll out between two pieces of plastic wrap into a circle about 12 inches in diameter
- Place in pie pan (or tart pan, if you have one!) and cut off any excess
- Prick in several places with a fork, cover in plastic wrap, and chill 20 minutes again. At this point, you should also start preheating the oven to 375.
- Line pie crust with tinfoil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights, rice, or dry beans.
- Bake 35 minutes, then remove from oven, remove weights and liner
- Leave on counter until filling is ready

For the filling:
- Put flour and brown sugar in a small sauce pan, making a well in the middle
- Add the milk a little at a time, stirring with a whisk until the mixture is smooth.
- Over medium low heat, add butter, stirring constantly for 8-10 minutes, or just until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens some
- Put egg yolk in a small bowl. Add about a cup of the hot mixture to the egg yolk, stirring constantly, then pour egg mixture into saucepan, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat, add vanilla extract and mix until smooth (may not take long at all)
- Pour into baked shell and smooth out the surface.

For the meringue:
- Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form, adding the sugar a little at a time. The yolks should be shiny when finished
- Spread the meringue over the filling
- Bake 5-10 minutes or just until the meringue is golden brown on top
- Serve warm or cold

1 comment:

  1. This looks REALLY tasty!!!! I love lemon meringue pie, and meringue is really light and fluffy and so enjoyable to eat... I have to try this!!!!


Try this and want to share how it went? Have questions before you try it? Let me know!