This tart is made up of a number of individual components. It may seem complex, but each recipe isn't very difficult, and it's quite simple to assemble at the end. Most importantly they really are showstoppers!
You should have many of the ingredients in the store-cupboard -- the only two unusual ones are the yuzu powder, which is similar in flavour to lime but far more aromatic. If you don't have yuzu powder, the recipe works well - though is very different - using lime juice and zest.
Ingredients for the pastry Serves: 8
Method for the pastry
- In a mixer, using the beater attachment mix together the cold butter, icing sugar, ground almonds and salt until combined.
- Add the vanilla and egg.
- Finally add the flour and beat slowly until the pastry comes together.
- Store in the fridge (ideally overnight).
- The next day preheat the oven to 170°C. Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 2-3mm. Prick it with a fork. Bake blind for 15 minutes (10 minutes for small tarts.) Remove the beans and bake for a further 10 minutes until nicely browned.
- Leave to cool.
Ingredients for the sponge layer
- 40g ground almonds
- 40g icing sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 egg yolk
- 32g flour, sifted
- 2 medium egg whites
- 25g caster sugar
Method for the sponge layer
- Preheat the oven to 230°C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment, and prepare a second piece of parchment of the same size. Get a second baking tray ready of a similar size - this will be used to rest on top of the sponge to prevent it from colouring and ensure it rises evenly.
- Mix together the almonds, icing sugar, egg and egg yolk. Fold in the flour.
- Whisk the egg whites in a mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar whilst still whisking. Fold into the almond mixture.
- Pour half the mixture into the centre of a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Using a palette knife, spread outwards to the edges, to form an even layer 2mm thick. Place the second sheet of baking parchment on top of the mixture, and place the other baking tray on the top.
- Bake in the hot oven for 7 minutes. The edges will be dark brown, but the centre shouldn't have coloured.
- When the sponge is cool peel back the baking paper and cut into a round(s) to fit into the base of the tart shell(s). Place into the tart shell(s).
Ingredients for the yuzu cream
- 5g to 10g yuzu powder (depending on your taste)
- 75ml water
- 140g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 2.5 gelatine sheets
- 120g butter, melted. If using limes instead of yuzu, replace the 75ml water with lime juice, and use the zest of 2-4 limes.
Method for the yuzu cream
- Place the gelatine in a bowl of cold water to soften. Melt the butter on a low heat in the microwave.
- Mix together 5g of the yuzu powder, the water and 70g (half) of the caster sugar.
- Beat the eggs with the remaining 70g sugar until pale and frothy.
- Add the yuzu mixture, and frothy eggs and sugar, to a heavy-bottom pan. Heat on a low flame whisking constantly until the mixture starts to thicken. Do not allow to go above 70C.
- Remove from the heat, and taste. If the flavour is too mellow, mix another 5g of yuzu powder with 20ml water, and whisk into the mixture.
- Whisk in the strained gelatine and butter - the custard will immediately taste much more mellow, however when chilled the yuzu flavour becomes more pronounced (similar to before the butter and gelatine were added).
- Pour directly on top the layer of sponge inside the pastry case(s).
- Leave to cool in the fridge.
Method for the Italian meringue
- Heat the sugar and water in a pan. Using a thermometer bring the syrup to 121°C.
- Meanwhile whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer until soft peaks form.
- Pour the hot syrup over the egg whites whilst they are whisking. Reduce the speed but continue whisking until the meringue cools.
- Fill a piping bag and pipe the meringue onto the refrigerated tarts.
- Finally use the blow torch to lightly brown the top of the meringue.
By Jessica Donnithorne