Blueberry Meringue Tart with and lime curd, elderflower blueberry filling and meringue. The most magical Fairy Tarts as seen on Netflix show Crazy Delicious Episode 6.
The Afternoon Tea
The final challenge on the Netflix original show Crazy Delicious was to create a Feast for the Gods - the Afternoon Tea. As I've always loved high teas, I knew I wanted to create something truly magical for this challenge. For example, who can resist the cute finger sandwiches, delicious sweet treats and desserts?
For the Enchanted Garden Afternoon Tea each element draws inspiration from English and French cuisines. As a consequence, I have used classical French techniques and British flavours. I also wanted to make the afternoon tea look like a fairytale, therefore each element is quite special.
The inspiration behind the blueberry tarts
There probably isn't a creature out there that says 'magic' better than fairies. As a result, I wanted to pay homage to the playful winged wonders by creating small tarts shaped like Fairy Houses.
For this blueberry meringue tart dish I tried to bring in flavours that not only work together, but that my partner and I love. On the other hand, the aesthetic aspect is also very important to me.
All my dishes have a strong aesthetic element to them, and I put a lot of effort into the visual aspect. I love the planning in detail, drawing out and executing each dish to look magical.
Firstly, I created small chocolate decorations to adorn each meringue 'roof', made in the shapes of fairy doors. To do this, I used lustre dust combined with edible glitter. The lustre gives an incredible sheen against the immaculate white meringue. Moreover, I used edible flowers to decorate the meringue. Not only do they look stunning, but they will also give the blueberry tart a wonderful scent.
The Amazing Flavours
Although design was important, above all the most important aspect was to make the blueberry meringue tarts TASTE Crazy Delicious.
Firstly, the tart brings in acidity through fresh lime curd, tanginess from the blueberry filling. Secondly, it brings in a small hint of bitterness through the gin. Most importantly, sweetness is called in through the meringue and aromatic elderflower. Certainly, the key to this dish is using fresh blueberries and lime. This combination works wonder, because it creates the most intense flavour.
Italian meringue is generally very sweet, therefore the lime curd needs to have very little sugar and is very acidic. Although on its own it's quite intense, it's toned down by the other flavours. Blueberries and elderflower bring the sweetness down, thus making the tart perfectly balanced.
The Finished Tart
The Blueberry Meringue Tart was the centrepiece of my Afternoon Tea, as it had so many elements and flavours. In short, I think this tart won me the competition, as the 'food gods' - Heston, Carla and Niklas really loved my tart.
Above all, I was thrilled to see that world-renowned chefs enjoyed my blueberry tart so much. This tart has since become a staple in my repertoire, and I make it really often for friends and family.
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Blueberry Meringue Tarts from Crazy Delicious
- Kitchen scale in grams
- 8 cm (3-inches) Tart rings
- Fairy silicone moulds for decorations
The Tart Shell
- 250 g plain flour
- 100 g icing sugar
- 150 g unsalted butter
- 1 egg, large
- ½ teaspoon salt
The Lime Curd
- 100 g lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 5 g lime zest
- 60 g sugar
- 3 eggs, medium
- 100 g butter
The Elderflower Blueberry Filling
- 300 g blueberries
- 20 g icing sugar
- 1-2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 5 tablespoon elderflower gin
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
The Italian Meringue
- 100 g sugar
- 25 g water
- 50 g egg whites
- 50 g white chocolate or candy melts
- lustre dust
- edible glitter
- edible flowers
The Tart Shell
- In a food processor (or stand mixer) place the flour, icing sugar, a pinch of salt and unsalted butter (cold) cut into cubes. Mix until you get a sandy texture.
- Beat 1 egg quickly and pour it over the dough. Mix until the dough just about sticks together.
- Place in a cling film, and press it slightly into a flat rectangle for ease of rolling later on. Chill for 20 minutes.
- Once chilled, roll out thinly (around 3mm thickness) and place in your tart mould. If you need to trim the edges for a more even finish, chill the dough beforehand.
- Place aluminium foil inside the shape to avoid sides collapsing.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170°C (340°F) fan-assisted for 15minutes or until golden in colour. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then carefully remove from tart mould and let cool on a cooling rack.
The Lime Curd
- In a saucepan mix the eggs, sugar, lime zest and lime juice. Combine them by mixing.
- Place the pan over medium-low heat and stir continuously to prevent sticking.
- Once the curd thickens and the mixture starts to bubble, take it off heat and add butter chopped in cubes.
- Incorporate well until the curd is silky smooth.
- Place in a tray or tupperware and cover with cling film. The film should touch the surface of the curd, to prevent a crust from forming.
- Let cool at room temperature for 20 minutes, then place in the fridge to harden for 30-40 minutes.
The Elderflower Blueberry Filling
- To make the elderflower gin, place good quality gin in a bowl with dried elderflowers. Add 1 teaspoon of elderflower extract and let it infuse for 30 minutes. Sieve to remove the dried elderflower before using.
- Place fresh blueberries in a saucepan, along with icing sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. Mix slightly to combine.
- Place on medium heat and stir gently to prevent sticking. Cook until the blueberries start getting a bit sticky
- Add the elderflower gin and mix. The mixture will become quite thick and creamy.
- Take off heat, cover with cling film and chill.
The Italian Meringue
- In a small saucepan, place the water and sugar over low-medium heat to prevent browning.
- When the sugar mixture reaches 110°C (230°F), start whipping the egg whites until reaching soft peaks.
- When the sugar mixture reaches 120-121°C (250°F), pour it over the egg whites, whilst carefully mixing to incorporate.
- The hot syrup will cook the meringue making it safe to eat. Continue mixing until you reach stiff peaks.
- Place in a large piping bag with a large star nozzle.
The Chocolate Decorations
- Melt white/vanilla candy buttons in the microwave for 30 seconds initially. Mix with a spoon, then place in microwave for short bursts of 10 seconds and mix again, to prevent it from burning.
- Brush lustre dust in the silicone mould, then put the melted candy chocolate into the mould.
- Smooth out the top, then place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
Assembling the Tarts
- Place the lime curd inside a piping bag, then pipe it into each tart shell. It should come up to ¾ of the height of the tart shell.
- Place the blueberries in the middle, making sure they don't reach the sides.
- Pipe the meringue around the blueberries, making it into the shape of a cone or house roof.
- Spray some lustre dust over the meringue to make it extra magical.
- Place the chocolate decorations and edible flowers on top of the meringue. Sprinkle some fairy dust (also known as edible glitter) over the top.
- This recipe requires a kitchen scale in grams. Due to the complexity of the elements, cups cannot be used as measurements would not be accurate enough.
- Italian Meringue: as the meringue will be eaten raw, it is crucial you use Italian Meringue. This method actually cooks the eggs, making them safe for consumption.
- Blueberries: Use fresh blueberries, as they hold their shape much better when cooked.
- Decorations: are entirely optional, but they do make for one very pretty tart. A silicone mould is needed for this step.
- Storing: The tarts should be consumed within 1 day and kept in the fridge. If kept longer than one day, the meringue will become very sticky.