Hello lovely people!
Today I am liberated at last from the iron grasp of spring finals, which means no more classes until almost September!
To celebrate the advent of summer and the last vestiges of citrus season (except not really, because greenhouses are now a thing), today’s dessert features a delightful tart filled with grapefruit curd and honey meringue that is absolutely perfect for Mother’s Day this Sunday.
Speaking of next Sunday, apparently the “Mother’s” in “Mother’s Day” is officially “Mother’s”(singular) and not “Mothers'” (plural) because in 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a declaration to designate a special holiday observed on the second Sunday in May specifically for everyone to celebrate their own mothers, as opposed to a generic celebration for mothers in general. This was after the extensive efforts of Anna Jarvis, who wanted to honor her mother, a peace activist during the Civil War. Despite her successes, she really wasn’t feeling all of the mass commercialization, which is really all the more reason to show your love with a homemade tart. Hint hint (:
Also, if grapefruits aren’t exactly your favorite maternal figure’s cup of tea, feel free to substitute out the grapefruit curd for any other fruit curd of your choice! Just swap out the grapefruit juice with an equal volume (1 cup) of any other fruit juice of choice, adjusting the amount of sugar added as necessary to taste.
At any rate, hope you (and your mother) enjoy!
Happy summer break at last,
Crust recipe from Ashlee Marie
Makes 4 mini tarts
8 tbs butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 egg yolk
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup + 2 tbs all purpose flour
1 large grapefruit, juiced (about 1 cup)
2 tbs granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbs corn starch
2 tbs milk, any kind
1 drop of red food coloring (as desired)
1/2 drop yellow food coloring (as desired)
1 large egg white
2 tbs honey
- Preheat the oven to 400 ºF.
- In a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, egg yolk, and salt until fluffy and well incorporated.
- Sift in the flour in a single addition, then continue mixing on low until just incorporated.
- Form the dough into a flattened disk, wrap in saran wrap, and chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Remove and line 4 disposable mini tart pans with a thin layer of crust.
Tip: I didn’t check exactly how large my tart liners were, but they were about 3″ in diameter!
- Perforate the bottom of the crust well with a fork, line the pan with dried chickpeas (or any other kind of bean!), and bake for 5 minutes.
Tip: When you use this technique of blind baking the crust before filling, the beans are used as weights to prevent the bottom crust from puffing up as you bake. Feel free to use anything of comparable weight and size, but be sure to avoid rice – I tried blind baking with rice, and the grains were nearly impossible to remove from the cooked crust without damaging it!
- Reduce the heat to 350 ºF and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the edges have slightly browned.
- Set aside to cool!
- In a small saucepan over low heat, dissolve the sugar into the grapefruit juice.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the corn starch into the milk, then add the cornstarch mixture and the food coloring into the grapefruit juice. Increase the heat to medium high and heat until the curd comes to a boil and begins to thicken.
- Allow the mixture to fully thicken, stirring well with a spoon.
Tip: When the curd if fully thickened, the hot mixture coats the back of your spoon and a finger run over the back of the spoon leaves a clean trail. Immediately remove the saucepan from heat. This should happen fairly soon after the mixture comes to a full boil.
- Transfer the curd into a clean bowl, cover with saran wrap pressed against the top surface of the curd, and set aside to cool slightly.
Tip: Make sure to press the saran wrap tightly against the surface of the curd to prevent the top layer from drying to form a skin across the top!
- When the curd is just cool enough to touch, spoon enough curd into each tart shell to fill. Chill in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes, or until the curd is fully set.
Tip: You will probably have plenty of grapefruit curd left over. Don’t worry – this is a fantastic problem to have. Just spread like jam on toast or use wherever you would use lemon curd or fruit preserves!
- With an electric mixer, beat the egg white just until the mixture is opaque.
Tip: You could try to use a stand mixer, but the egg white volume may be too low to whip. To circumvent this problem, beat the single egg white with a whisk until the volume increases enough for the whisk attachment to reach the whipped egg whites, then continue on with the electric mixture.
- Add the honey, then continue beating until the mixture is glossy, firm, and any peaks that form when the beaters are lifted out only gently bend over or don’t bend over at all. You should be able to invert the bowl without spilling or moving.
- Transfer the whipped meringue into a piping bag with a large piping tip of any shape.
Tip: I used the Wilton 1M tip, but any large or small tip will do, depending on how you would like your swirl to look!
- Pipe large swirls of meringue spiraling toward the center on top of each filled tart.
Tip: The piped meringue will slide around when you first start piping! To get around this problem, start piping a little outside of where you would actually like to start the swirl (so closer to the edge), then pipe normally in a swirl. The start of the spiral should end up sliding into place where you actually wanted it to be!
- Use your oven broiler or kitchen torch to brown the meringue as desired, then serve immediately. Enjoy!