When skimming through cookbooks or food blogs there are certain recipe steps that instantly kill my enthusiasm to make the respective dish any time soon or ever. “Blind bake/line with parchment paper/fill with dried beans” probably belongs to my anti-fave top three – it kills me every time and I would rather skip the recipe altogether.
So my laziness made me skip this step more often than not in the past, on the bright side, I finally have a dough recipe that works well – even without this super very important step. They might turn out a little less even and uniform, but the filling and the meringue will make up for it, promised!
It is one of my favorite recipes from my new cookbook Sweets- if you need to impress or win people over with a sweet treat, these tarteletts are a sure bet. Their preparation may be a little on the time consuming end, yet the results will be more than rewarding. Besides, all elements can be used separately, the tartelett shells can be filled with whatever your heart desires (they can be prepared a few days ahead and kept in an airtight container) and the passion fruit curd makes the most luxurious spread for scones, if you don’t eat it by the spoon, that is!
Prepare the tartelett shells: Put flour, sugar, salt and butter (in small cubes) into a food processor equipped with a cutting blade. Blend at short intervals (pulse function) until the butter pieces resemble small peas. Add egg yolk and cream and pulse briefly – just until a dough ball forms. Knead shortly on a lightly floured cutting board, then form into a disc, wrap in foil and chill for at least 1 hour in the fridge.
(Of course you can prepare the dough by hand, too: Mix flour, sugar, salt and butter in small cubes as quickly as possible, using either a pastry cutter or rubbing the pieces of butter into the flour with your fingers until pea sized. Then add egg yolk and cream, but be sure to work quickly and do not overknead the dough.)
Grease the muffin tin with butter. Lightly dust the chilled dough disc as well as your work surface with flour and roll out the dough until about 3-4 mm (0.1 inch) thick. Then cut out circles (7-8 cm/~3 inches) with a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Gently press the dough circles into the muffin tin and form a nice rim, then chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or 15 minutes in the freezer). Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F). Prick the chilled tarteletts with a fork, then bake on the middle rack for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown. Take out and let cool down a few minutes before gently releasing the shells from the tin. Let cool completely on a wire rack and keep in an airtight container until ready to fill.
Prepare the filling: Heat passion fruit puree/juice (store-bought or homemade by straining fresh passion fruits), egg yolks, sugar and scraped out vanilla seeds over a hot bain-marie and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Then add the butter in small pieces and keep stirring until the curd has thickened and reached a custard-like consistency (this can take up to 10 minutes). Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and either divide among the shells right away or keep in the fridge (covered) until ready to fill. (Filled shells need to be chilled, too.)
Finish the tarteletts: Preheat the oven to 200°C (~390°F) with grill functionality. Place egg whites, baking powder and salt in a clean and fat-free bowl and whip until it starts to become stiff, then add the sugar and continue beating on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes until the meringue looks glossy. Fill into a piping bag and top the filled tarteletts off with it. Either brown them in the oven (middle rack) for a very short time (watch them closely!) or use a blow torch. Best eaten fresh since the meringue topping doesn’t keep very well.
Meringue-Tarteletts with Passion Fruit Curd
Recipe source: adapted from Sweets, Nicole Stich, p. 90
Active time: ~1 hour, plus chilling 1,5 hours & baking 15-18 minutes
Ingredients (~12 tarteletts):
125 g all-purpose flour (plus more for working the dough)
25 g icing sugar
1 pinch of fine sea salt
75 g cold butter
1 egg yolk (M-L)
1-2 tsp cold heavy cream
Passion fruit curd filling:
60 ml passion fruit puree or juice (~3-5 fruits)
3 egg yolk (L)
60 g caster sugar
optional: scraped out seeds from half a vanilla pod
40 g butter
2 egg whites (L)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of fine sea salt
75 g caster sugar