Monday, June 22, 2009
Lime Meringue Tartelettes
Lime and Lemon Meringue pies and I have always had a contentious relationship. As long as I can remember I've always had an affinity for sour foods. Sweets hold little power for me - I could probably go the rest of my life without chocolates, cookies, and candy and not really miss them - but sour foods, that's another story. Put me in a room with a bag of Sour Patch Kids and there's little wonder who'll be walking out of their uneaten. (Now that I'm thinking about it, if I ever see a Sour Patch Kid that I think might be capable of eating me I bet it will change my entire outlook on food in general.)
As such, I've always loved lime and lemon meringue pies. I'd discard the meringue and eat the mouth-puckering filling all by itself. When the husband asked me to make a Key Lime Pie yesterday I decided it wouldn't be such a bad deal. Unfortunately it is nigh impossible to find key limes or key lime juice around here, so plain lime it was. Nevertheless, it turned out deliciously.
Typically I am not a fan of prepackaged food making its way into my kitchen, but the ease of the miniature graham cracker shells were just too hard to pass up while I was grocery shopping. We'll blame it on the jet lag from just having got back into town the night before. If you're uninterested in using the premade shells, feel free to make your own by mixing crushed graham cracker with a little sugar and melted butter.
Additionally, some people choose to add green food coloring when making lime pies and tarts to differentiate them from lemon confections. I didn't - I think food coloring is for Easter eggs. If Mother Nature had intended lime juice to be neon green she would've made it the same color as the rind - but she didn't, so enjoy it as it is. That being said, obviously feel free to do whatever the heck you want.
Lime Meringue Tartelettes
Makes 4 Tartelettes
4 mini graham cracker shells
125 g sugar (1/2 cup)
56 g butter, softened (4 tablespoons)
zest of 1 lime
100 ml lime juice (1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons)
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
In a medium saucepan whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until thoroughly combined. Add butter, zest, and lime juice and stir continuously over med-low heat until thickened - about 7-10 minutes. Do NOT let boil. If it starts to simmer, remove the pan from heat and whisk until it cools enough to place back on the burner without bubbling. Divide the filling between the 4 graham shells, approximately 1/4 cup per each shell. Place in the refrigerator to set up while making the meringue. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a metal bowl (NOT aluminum), add the cream of tartar and egg whites. Whisk until soft peaks form. Add the sugar in a slow, continuous stream until all is combined. Continue whisking until stiff peaks form. Top each filled shell with a large dollop of meringue. Place the 4 shells on a baking sheet in the center of the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until meringue is nicely browned. Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with lime zest if desired.
This is a nutritional estimate, I do not claim it to be exact - although it is pretty close.
1 serving = 1 tartelette