Yesterday, at Kureelpa, it was 38°C, with high humidity, until about 8.30pm, when a cool wind blew and the temperature fell. We had dinner guests and so I had spent the day in the very hot kitchen rather than the pool.
I had planned my menu without factoring in the heat! One of the desserts was tiny lemon meringue tartlets. I realised the pastry would be a challenge, but so be it. I had made the pastry on Saturday and so it had rested in the fridge overnight, which was good.
When it was time to make the pastry shells, I put the rolling pin in the freezer and took wet packs from the freezer to try to cool the marble bench top. It was a challenge every step of the way. The pastry was soft and very hard to handle. It kept breaking in my hands. Countless times back and forth to the fridge and freezer; I was about to give up and throw it all back in the freezer for another day. But, that upset me; I could not give in, I had to persevere, do my best and see what happened.
Eventually, I managed to fill the 12 pastry shells; just one for each of us, as part of the dessert trio. The oven had been on for ages contributing to the heart! Perspiration was dripping off me!
The blind baking and baking went well; they looked lovely and golde; and they even appeared to be crisp. Once cooled, I gently removed them from the shells, and placed them on the tray ready for filling at dessert time. And they turned out to be fabulous! I was thrilled and very pleasantly surprised.
From now on my mantra is rest, refrigerate, rest, freezer and persevere. Don’t give up on your pastry; let it rest in the fridge or freezer and just go for it!
I was so excited with the result, I forgot to photograph them!
These tartlets are made in our French Odyssey – Journey through France and the new French Bistro Desserts cooking classes at Cooking on the Bay. The lemon curd filling is smooth and delicious; yesterday, due to the heat, I decided to make mini, crispy meringues, which I did and placed one on top of each tartlet. I could not face the blow torch!