Pomegranate Meringue Tart
Pies Uncategorized

Baking Along with The Great British Bake-Off – Pastry Week – Part 2

As I mentioned in my previous post, I ended up making two tarts this weekend as part of my pastry week bake-along. The Caramelized Onion, Beet and Feta Tart that wasn’t planned and a Pomegranate Meringue Tart that was. I had a bit of a red theme going apparently 🙂

When planning the sweet flavoured tart I was going to make, I knew that I wanted to make a pomegranate tart, but wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to make it or decorate it. Since pomegranate is on the tart side, flavour-wise, I figured I could make a curd of some sort. I just wasn’t sure how to achieve it. The normal lemon curd I make uses egg yolks and a bit of lemon juice, but I didn’t think it was enough juice to carry the pomegranate flavour forward.

I looked through a few lemon meringue pie recipes I had and found one, from a cooking camp that my daughter did that used water in the curd. I thought this would be a good recipe to work with. I would substitute pomegranate juice for the water and reduce the lemon juice and lemon zest. I also had to reduce the total amount of curd since a 9-inch pie plate can hold more filling than a 9-inch tart pan. I figured out that the tart pan holds about 60% of the amount of filling so I figured out the weight of the ingredients and reduced them accordingly.

I hit a bit of a hitch with the curd in that when I mixed the hot juice mixture with the egg yolks, the mixture went brown! I looked it up and apparently, it’s a chemical reaction that happens when you heat pomegranate juice. Thankfully a bit of red food colouring fixed that and I ended up with a more appetizing looking curd!

My adjusted recipe used 3 egg yolks so I thought it would be good to top it with meringue to use up the egg whites. Since I was planning to pre-bake the tart shell and the curd didn’t need more cooking, I decided to try an Italian Meringue. In contrast to the French Meringue that you usually find on lemon meringue pies, the Italian Meringue doesn’t need to be cooked after it is put on the tart, because it is cooked as you whip it by pouring hot sugar syrup into the whites as you whip them. After piping the meringue decoratively on top of the tart, I put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes to give it some golden colour. To finish the tart, I sprinkled some pomegranate arils over top.

The Finished Result

I’m quite proud of this tart! It is very pretty looking and I think it would make a lovely Christmas dessert. And the Italian meringue …. Wow! I’m actually not a bit fan of the meringue on lemon meringue pie. I don’t like the wet spongy texture. This meringue was so much different! It had a silky smooth texture, like whipping cream. I really enjoyed it and will make Italian meringue from now on!

I did find the flavour of the curd was a bit too reminiscent of lemon so this morning I made a 2nd batch of curd. This time I boiled the juice down from 500 ml to 300 ml to intensify the flavour a bit and I cut down the lemon even more. Instead of lemon zest, I used pomegranate molasses, which contrary to what the name might suggest, is quite tart. I found this curd much better. It still has a similar flavour profile to lemon, but with a deeper pomegranate flavour.

Pomegranate Meringue Tart Recipe
Yields: 8 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 4 Hr 40 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 5 Hr 10 Mins

Pomegranate Meringue Tart

Like lemon, pomegranate has a nice tart flavour which lends well to the filling of an easy meringue tart. The tart is topped with an Italian Meringue, which is much smoother in texture than the traditional French meringue and does not require cooking in the oven. A quick toast under the broiler for colour is all this meringue needs! I used my favourite easy pat in the pan crust recipe for the tart shell. Pomegranate juice tends to turn brown when cooked, so I have put optional red food colouring in the recipe, to make the colour more of a pomegranate shade.

Ingredients

0/18 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
    For the Crust
  • For the Pomegranate Curd
  • For the Italian Meringue
  • To Decorate

Instructions

0/15 Instructions
    For the Crust
  • Preheat oven to 325 F/160 C
  • In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, and salt. Stir in melted butter to combine. Using fingers press the mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.
  • Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake until the crust looks dry and begins to turn golden about 25-30 minutes. Let the tart shell cool completely before adding the filling.
  • For the Pomegranate Curd
  • Whisk together the egg yolks and the cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Bring the pomegranate juice to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil until the juice has reduced to 300 ml (1 1/4 cups), about 10-15 minutes. Whisk in sugar, salt and lemon juice and return to the boil then reduce heat to medium.
  • Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the juice into the egg yolks. Then slowly whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the juice. Cook until thick, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and pomegranate molasses. Add enough red food colouring to achieve a burgundy pomegranate colour.
  • Let cool for 15 minutes then pour into the cooled tart shell. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the curd and chill in the fridge until set, about 3 hours.
  • For the Italian Meringue
  • Position an oven rack in the top position and set the oven to broil.
  • In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Heat over high heat, brushing down the sides of the pot as necessary with a pastry brush dipped in water. Cook until sugar syrup registers 240°F/115C on an instant-read or candy thermometer.
  • Meanwhile, combine egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Set mixer to medium speed and mix until soft peaks form (when lifted, the head of the mixer should form gentle peaks in the egg whites that very slowly collapse back into themselves), about 2 minutes.
  • With the mixer running, carefully and slowly drizzle in hot sugar syrup. Increase speed to high and whip until thick and glossy with stiff peaks.
  • Spread the meringue decoratively over the top of the tart.
  • Put the tart on a baking sheet, and toast the top under the broiler, rotating as needed, until the top is golden.
  • To finish the tart, sprinkle pomegranate arils decoratively over top of the tart.

4 Comments

  1. Your recipes are great for a not so great baker! Wish there was more time in a day to try them all. Great looking website Margot!

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