Tuesday, September 05, 2006

La Festa al Fresco

La Festa al Fresco, a celebration of fresh summer (or winter) ingredients is the brainchild of Ivonne from Cream Puffs in Venice and Lis of La Mia Cucina.

It's a good way for those of us in the southern hemisphere to say good-bye to winter and welcome the return of spring.

For the fresh ingredient I'll be using some seasonal Rhubarb and in fact I'll be putting to use the Rhubarb, Apple and Vanilla Jam I made a few weeks back as a filling for some adorable meringue topped tartlets. The tarts are based on an almond pastry that comes from Sophie Grigson - it's wonderfully crisp and melts in your mouth, a bit like an almond shortbread.

tartlet

Rhubarb Meringue Tartlets

Almond Pastry
75 grams unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
55 grams caster sugar
2 egg yolks
50 grams ground almonds
140 grams plain flour
Meringue Topping
2 egg whites
55 grams caster sugar
Filling
Rhubarb, Apple & Vanilla Jam, or your favourite jam

Make the pastry:
In a food processor, place the butter and sugar and process until mixed through. Add the egg yolks one at a time - you may need to scrap down the sides of the processor to ensure an even mix. Add the almonds followed by the flour and process until comes together into a ball.

For this recipe I'll be making 12 small tartlets.

Place the dough onto a board and roll to form a cylinder and cut into 12 even slices. Cover with plastic and place in the fridge for an hour to harden slightly.

While you wait, prepare the tartlet cases.

Thoroughly butter and flour - I like to use cool, melted butter and plain flour. It's most important that you are generous with the butter to ensure the pastry won't stick.

cases

Make the cases:
Take a pastry slice and push it out using your palm until it's a little bit larger than your tart case - this is really soft dough and is quite forgiving. If it rips you can just patch it up with extra pastry. Place it into the case and mould it into shape.

Cover each case with baking paper filled with pie weights and cook in a preheated 180°/350°F for 10 minutes before removing paper & weights - continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes until the pastry is golden and cooked through.

Cool slightly before removing cases.

Make the Meringue:
Place the egg-whites into a clean dry bowl and whisk until they form a stiff peak - whisk in the sugar, a tablespoon at time, continue until the mixture is thick and glossy.

Assemble the Tarts:
Place a spoonful of jam into the tarts and then pipe over with meringue.

Return to the oven and cook until the meringue has lightly browned - keep a close eye as the meringue can turn quickly.

Place on wire racks to cool slightly before serving.

tartlets

Under the fluffy clouds of meringue lies a sweet core of rhubarb jam, cradled in a thick pastry case.

bite

A perfect treat to enjoy at the end of another long day.

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15 comments:

  1. Another wonderful creation of yours. What more can I say... Beautiful!

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  2. The photos are absolutely fantastic.

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  3. Well done, Haalo! Well done! Applause!

    Not only are these beyond beautiful, they make use of such perfect summer ingredients.

    Now I need to figure out how I can eat all of these without sharing with the other guests. Yes ... I'm a terrible hostess!

    Thank you so much for coming to the festa!

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  4. Haalo.. the tarts are AMAZING looking! I will be fighting Ivonne for these, you can bet! Thank you so much for bringing these to the festa! :D

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  5. Thank you Jacelyn!

    Thanks Kalyn!

    Thanks Ivonne - I have to fight getting a photo of them before they got eaten!

    Thanks Lis - it should a great festa!

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  6. I am so making these over the weekend! Beautiful pictures and great combinations of flavors!

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  7. They look totally totally amazingly yummy Haalo! I so want one this very minute!

    Just a quickie. The meringue-y bit looks quite golden/tan in colour. Did you use a different type of sugar?

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  8. Hi Haalo -
    I just came by your blog through Ivonne's and I'm glad I did :). The tartlets look delicious, I'm not sure I'll be able to stop at one !

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  9. Thanks Helene - I'm sure you will enjoy these!

    Thanks Mellie - you have very sharp eyes, I used raw caster sugar in the meringue, it gave them that nice golden colour throughout.

    Welcome Monisha and thank you!

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  10. Haalo those tarts are adorable! I've tagged you for the Five Foods project from the Travellers Lunchbox, if you haven't been asked already.

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  11. Haalo, I found you through ivonne and these tarts are a stunner and a wonderful way to say goodbye to summer.

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  12. Thanks Sara!

    Welcome Callipygia and thank you!

    Thanks Paz!

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  13. Hi Haalo,

    I came across you by way of Ivonne,too.
    Thanks for the recipe for these little tarts.

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  14. Welcome Cakebaker and thank you!

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