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Before starting this Lime & Strawberry Tartlets recipe, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
First, make the hazelnut rich shortcrust pastry with the ingredients listed above.
Transfer the pastry to a baking sheet.
Cover with cling film and press to make it flat so that it cools down more rapidly. Set aside in the fridge during at least 1 hour. It is best to make the pastry the day before. This pastry can also be made days ahead and stored in the freezer.
For the lime preparation: Make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
In a saucepan, combine the lime juice, castor sugar...
... and the whole eggs.
Cook over low heat...
... while stirring with a whisk.
Add the agar-agar.
Do not bring to a boil. The mixture should gradually thicken and form a smooth cream. Watch the heat intensity closely, as the preparation should not turn into scrambled eggs.
When the cooking is nearly complete, add the butter cut into cubes. Set aside to cool.
Roll out the pastry. Prick with a fork.
Cut rectangles of pastry, using stainless steel rectangular frames.
Place the rectangles on a baking sheet. Leave the frames so the pastry keeps its shape during baking. Bake at 150°C (gas 2) for about 20 minutes.
When cooked, remove from the oven.
Remove the frames...
... and set aside to cool.
For the lime cream cylinders: Transfer the cream into a piping bag. It is not necessary to fit the bag with a nozzle.
Prick metallic pastry rolls into a thin slice of potato. This will prevent the cream from leaking out of the ring. It also serves as a stand.
Fill the tubes with cream up to the top. Let set in the freezer. Refrigerate the remaining cream.
For the meringue: Make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
Pour the egg whites in the stand mixer recipient.
Place over a bain-marie...
... and beat with a whisk...
... until the temperature reaches approximately 50°C.
Transfer the recipient to the stand mixer and beat the egg whites until firm.
Add the castor sugar...
... and continue beating on high speed until cooled down completely.
When the meringue mix is ready...
... scoop into a piping bag fitted with a plain or fluted nozzle (4 or 5mm diameter).
Pipe 4 meringue dots in the corners of a baking sheet.
Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on top (same dimensions as the baking sheet).
Pipe small, round meringues with a vertical tip. The meringues should have a diameter of approximately 8-10mm.
If you wish to give a 'swirl' appearance to your meringues, you should use a fluted nozzle.
Bake in a preheated oven at 100°C (gas 1/4) for one hour.
When cooked, remove from the oven...
... and set aside to cool.
When the cylinders containing the lime cream are frozen, remove from the freezer.
Roll the tubes back and forth between your hands to warm them a little...
... and push the cream cylinder out of the ring (with a spoon handle for example). Push the side that was in contact with the potato.
Reserve in the freezer.
Assembling the tartlets: Using a piping bag, pipe a line of lime cream on each pastry rectangle.
Place a frozen cylinder in the centre. Make sure you trim the end of the cylinder that was in contact with the potato.
Around the cylinder, place strawberry pieces (or whole ones if you are using wild strawberries) and meringues, alternating between the two. Repeat the same operation for all tartlets. Reserve in the fridge.
For the sugar decorations: Pour the water and sugar in a saucepan.
Heat the glucose syrup a little to soften it, and add it to the sugar preparation.
Cook over medium heat...
... until the preparation is boiling.
The temperature should reach 150°C.
Take some tomato red colouring with the tip of a knife and add to the cooked sugar.
Combine well until bright red.
Prepare another batch of cooked sugar...
... for the green colour...
... and add a few drops of pistachio green colouring. Keep in mind the sugar should be at a temperature of 150°C. When cooked, take the coloured sugar away from the heat and let it thicken a little.
In the meantime, prick the caramelized pistachios with wooden picks.
Make sure the pistachios are well fixed on the pick. Prepare 2 pistachios per tartlet.
One at a time, dip the pistachios in the red sugar. The pistachios should be entirely coated.
Hold over the pan to get rid of the sugar excess...
... and cut with scissors when the sugar stops dripping.
Leave to cool for the sugar to solidify, then place the pistachios on a Silpat baking mat. Set aside to cool. These sugar decorations can be kept at room temperature for a couple of hours. Take extra precautions when handling them, as they break easily.
Repeat the same operation with the green sugar.
If the coloured sugar becomes too hard, return to low heat until soft.
For the finish: Place the sugar decorations on the surface of the tartlets...
... making sure they are well fixed to the frozen cylinder.
Grate a raw, peeled pistachio over the tartlets. This operation should be done at the very last minute before serving.
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