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Before starting this Easy Lemon Meringue Tart, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
For the crumble: Tip all the ingredients in the stand mixer bowl.
Start mixing at medium speed with the flat beater. Do not mix at high speed in order not to emulsify the preparation too much. The result should be quite compact.
It is essential to work with cold butter to make sure the dough doesn't stick and will be easier to crumble later in the recipe.
After a few minutes, the consistency should be crumbly with coarse chunks. The crumble could be baked as is but it wouldn't be cooked evenly given the size of the chunks.
Shape the crumble into a ball, then slide on a spaetzle grater...
.... to obtain tiny bits of dough of regular size. This operation over a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper.
Make sure the bits of dough are evenly spread across the surface of the baking sheet.
Bake in a fan-assisted oven at 160°C (gas 3) for about 20 minutes. Do not stir or flip while baking. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through cooking to ensure even cooking results.
For the crunchy biscuit base: Combine 320 grams of cooked crumble with 60 grams of castor sugar.
In a separate bowl, melt 80 grams of Zéphyr white chocolate and 80 grams of butter.
Place the crumble in the stand mixer recipient. Add the melted butter and chocolate.
Combine with the flat beater for about 15 or 20 seconds, juts long enough to blend the ingredients.
This crunchy crumble is now completely resistant to moisture: if you prepare your tart the day before, the biscuit will still be crunchy the following day. If you make this tart with another type of pastry, it would get moist after a few hours.
Transfer the cooked crumble into a stainless steel tart ring (diameter 18cm).
Using a small palette knife, pack the biscuit preparation down to create a regular layer.
This lemon pie has no edges, which means the biscuit base will be visible once you remove the ring. Hence the importance of creating an even layer of biscuit at the bottom.
Reserve in the fridge while you make the lemon filling.
For the lemon filling: Make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
Pour the lemon juice or lemon purée in a saucepan. Heat the saucepan.
Grate the zest of one lemon over the saucepan, using the Microplane grater.
In the meantime, whisk the whole eggs and transfer into a large bowl.
Add the castor sugar...
... and blanch with a whisk.
Strain the soft gelatin* on paper towel. (For better results, place the gelatine sheets in cold water one by one so they don't form a cluster.)
When the lemon juice starts boiling, pour it over the blanched eggs in two batches, while stirring with a whisk.
Transfer the preparation into the saucepan used to heat the juice...
... and combine vigorously with a whisk.
Cook over medium heat while whisking constantly so the preparation doesn't stick.
The preparation should quickly thicken. Remove from the heat as soon as you get a gentle boil...
... and add the white chocolate.
Combine well with a whisk. The white chocolate will melt quickly in the hot cream.
Add the strained gelatin and whisk until dissolved.
Pass the lemon cream through a fine sieve to remove any coagulated bits, zest or pulp.
Assembling the pie: Take the biscuit base out of the fridge, which should have hardened a little.
Pour the lemon filling over the biscuit, up to the rim.
Gently shake the ring to even the surface of the lemon cream.
Set aside in the fridge during at least 4 hours. Up to this stage, this recipe can be prepared several days in advance and stored in the freezer. In that case, defrost in the fridge for at least 2 or 3 hours.
For the finish: Place the lemon pie on top of a small bowl, or a stainless steel ring with a smaller diameter.
Gently heat the sides of the ring with a blowtorch.
Carefully slide the ring downwards to release the tart.
For the Swiss meringue: Place the egg whites in a bowl.
Add the castor sugar.
Beat with a whisk over a bain-marie.
Keep whisking until the egg whites are hot. Touch the preparation with the back of your finger. When if you feel a stinging preparation, remove from the bain-marie.
Transfer the egg whites into the stand mixer recipient...
... and beat until cooled down completely.
The Swiss meringue is now ready.
The meringue should be bright white and firm.
Fit a piping bag with a plain nozzle (diameter 13 or 16mm) and place it in a piping bag holder.
Using a dough scraper, scoop some meringue into the piping bag.
Pipe the meringue into a spiral, starting from the centre of the pie...
... and working your way towards the edges. The meringue spiral should be really thin.
Fit a second piping bag with a Saint-Honoré nozzle. Place it in a piping bag holder...
... and fill with meringue using a dough scraper.
Pipe the meringue into leaf shapes. Start by creating a row along the outer edge...
... then a middle row...
... then using the first piping bag with plain nozzle, pipe a ball of meringue in the centre.
For the finish: Using a blowtorch, gently brown the surface of the meringue, maintaining the flame at a distance of about 15 cm.
Brown the whole surface of the meringue.
Drizzle a thin layer of Codineige non-melting sugar over the tart.
Transfer the lemon pie on a serving platter and reserve in the fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy this delicious dessert!
Add the zest of two lemons to the crumble preparation for an enhanced tangy twist!
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