It’s been almost Spring like today. I woke up before the sun and sat with a cup of tea watching it come up over the garden. A rare opportunity with children in the house. I’ve been distracted by the sky ever since. It’s been so vividly blue I couldn’t help stopping and staring out into it. I love this kind of weather. It’s cold and crisp so cups of tea amidst the pottering and distraction have been plentiful.
My pottering led to a fridge clean out leaving just one more jar of my favourite elderflower and lemon marmalade and a nearly full jar of orange, bergamot and lime marmalade from Artisan Kitchen. A leaving gift from work colleagues of long ago. Cleaning the fridge led to a stock take of the cupboards. Half eaten jars of marmalade, half used packs of butter, nearly empty bags of flour and a few eggs. The perfect ingredients for some simple and fast baking and something sweet to accompany my tea. And of course the weather inspired a little floral connection too.
Marmalade Meringue Tarts
- 1 shallow tart trays
- A round or flower shaped cutter
- 200g plain flour
- 100g cold unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1-2 tbsp very water
- Some marmalade
- 55g egg whites (whites from about 1.5 large eggs)
- 110g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp orange blossom water
- Make the pastry first. Blitz the flour, butter and icing sugar in a food processor til you get breadcrumbs.
- Beat the egg with the very cold water and then slowly add this to the breadcrumbs a little at a time to make a soft dough. Leave the pastry to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 200C and grease the tart trays . If you are using a flower cutter you will need to space them out to about 6 per tray.
- Roll the pastry out to a few millimetres thick and then cut out 12 flowers.
- Put the pastry flowers into the trays, press down gently, then prick the bases lightly with a fork.
- Lay a little foil on top and then fill each with some baking beans.
- Bake for 5 minutes and then take the baking beans off and bake for a further 5 minutes til golden brown.
- Leave them to cool while you make the Italian meringue. Whisk the egg whites til you get stiff peaks and then stop.
- Heat the caster sugar with 2 tbsp of orange blossom water to 115C. It will become a syrup.
- Pour this in a thin stream over the stiff egg whites whisking all the time. Continue whisking til the mixture goes smooth, stiff and glossy.
- Dollop some marmalade into each cooked pastry case and then dollop over some meringue. Or pipe it in blobs as I've done.
- Finally, the best bit, lightly blow torch the meringue to brown it off or you can pop it under the grill for a few minutes.
How do you spend your sunny days? Have you made any marmalade with the Seville oranges in season?
- Nigel Slater Seville Orange Marmalade Recipe (guardian.co.uk)
- Vivien Llyod’s Seville Orange Marmalade Video Recipe (vivienlloyd.com)
- Clementine Curd Bread and Butter Pudding (kaveyeats.com)
- Lemon Sencha Green Tea and Marmalade Cake (belleaukitchen.com)