Serves: 6
Difficulty: Hard
Active time: 1 ½ hours
Chilling time: 1 ½ hours
Freezing time: 1 ½ hours
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Storage: up to 2 days in the refrigerator

Culinary training school Ferrandi Paris sets extremely high standards for its students, earning it a reputation for being one of the best training institutes in Europe. See if you can go to the top of the class with this refined recipe for lemon meringue tart. Bonne chance!


Ingredients

For the lemon jelly

  • 1/3 cup (95ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) water
  • 1½ tsp (6g) sugar
  • 1/8 oz (3g) agar-agar

For the lemon-flavoured sweet short pastry

  • 5 tbsp (2½oz/75g) butter, diced, at room temperature, plus extra for the ring
  • 1/3 cup (1½oz/40g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2½ tbsp (½oz/15g) almond flour
  • 1/8 tsp (1g) salt
  • 1 tsp (5g) grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp (1oz/30g) lightly beaten egg (about 1 egg)
  • 1 cup (4½oz/125g) flour

For the lemon cream

  • 2 /3 cup (150ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 /3 cup (5¼oz/150g) lightly beaten egg (3 eggs)
  • Scant 2 /3 cup (4¼oz/120g) sugar
  • 1½ sheets (1 /8 oz/3g) gelatin
  • 5 tbsp (2¾oz/75g) butter, diced, at room temperature

For the Italian meringue

  • 1 cup (7oz/200g) superfine sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) water
  • Scant ½ cup (3½oz/100g) egg white

Directions

Making the lemon jelly

1Heat the lemon juice, water, and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, stir in the agar-agar and let boil for 2 minutes.

2Process with the stick blender and then pour the mixture into the moulds. Freeze for 1 hour.

Making the sweet short pastry

1Fit the stand mixer with the paddle beater and add the butter, confectioner’s sugar, almond flour, salt, and grated lemon zest to the bowl. Mix to
combine. Beat in the egg and then the flour.

2When the ingredients come together in a ball, flatten the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

3Butter the tart ring lightly and line it with the pastry. Place in the freezer to chill for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C/Gas
Mark 3) and blind bake for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool before assembling the tart.

Making the lemon cream

1Put the lemon juice, eggs, and sugar in a heatproof mixing bowl.

2 Stand the bowl over a pan of hot water and whisk constantly until the mixture has thickened. Meanwhile, soak the gelatin sheets in a bowl of cold water.

3When the lemon mixture reaches 140°F (60°C), remove the bowl from the heat. Squeeze the water from the gelatin sheets and stir in until dissolved.

4Add the butter and process with the stick blender until completely smooth. Press plastic wrap over the surface of the cream and chill for 1 hour.

Making the Italian meringue

1Dissolve the sugar in the water and boil to 240°F-250°F (116°C-121°C) – the exact temperature will depend on the type of meringue you need.

2When the temperature of the syrup reaches 230°F (110°C), begin whisking the egg whites in the stand mixer at high speed.

3When the required temperature of the syrup is reached, very carefully pour it over the partially whisked egg whites in a thin, steady stream, taking care not to let it touch the beaters, and whisking continuously.

4Reduce to medium speed after 2 minutes. Whisk until the mixture has cooled completely.

Assembling the tart

1Pour the lemon cream into the cooled tart crust, filling it to the rim but reserving a little to decorate the top of the tart, and smooth the top with a spatula or palette knife. Freeze for 20 minutes.

2Place the remaining lemon cream in a pastry bag fitted with the 1/3in (10mm) tip and pipe small mounds in the centre of the tart.

3Using the ½in (15mm) tip, pipe the Italian meringue in large mounds around the edge (see Chefs’ Notes).

4Unmould the lemon jelly domes and place on the meringue mounds.

CHEF’S NOTES FOR THE LEMON MERINGUE TART

When you have piped the mounds of meringue, place the tart in a 475°F (250°C/Gas Mark 9) oven for 3-5 minutes, until the meringue is lightly coloured and set.

CHEF’S NOTES FOR THE ITALIAN MERINGUE

For this method, the meringue is cooked by incorporating cooked sugar, followed by a few minutes in the oven to lightly brown it. The egg whites must be whisked until they are frothy, so as to produce a smooth, glossy meringue. If the meringue is to be incorporated into a mousse, the required temperature depends on how fragile the mousse ingredients are. For a chocolate mousse, it should be between 113°F and 122°F (45-50°C) and for a fruit mousse, between 95°F and 100°F (35-40°C). For creamy mixtures being ‘lightened’ with meringue, incorporate the meringue at 75°F (25°C), particularly if the mixture contains butter, such as a praline buttercream.

IMAGE ©BRUNO DE MONTE


First printed in our sister publication France Today

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