Despite the wintery spell outside – temperatures dropping and snow falling – I still crave, all year-round, citrus. Lemons and limes are particular favourites (like you didn’t know!), but one fruit often overlooked is Grapefruit. Not only does it make a great breakfast with some yoghurt, but it also makes an epic curd. So zingy…the kinda curd that makes you squint a little but wanting more!
A few years ago I made my partner a three layered sponge cake, each sandwiching a different meringue (lemon, lime and grapefruit). I finished it off with meringue and it was a citrus paradise. I used that bake from yonder and instead encapsulated it in tart form instead. The ginger syrup on the pastry base kind of caramelises and if you’ve never tried ginger meringue… oh lordy, give it a go!
175g plain flour
65g butter, unsalted
65g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
2 tsp ground ginger
3 lemons, zest and juice.
1 grapefruit, juice
110g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
220g caster sugar
20g corn flour
4 egg yolks
3 egg whites
300g caster sugar
Combine the flour, ground ginger, sugar and salt in a bowl. Throw in the butter and combine with (cold) hands to resemble breadcrumbs. Incorporate the egg yolk and bit by bit add the cold water – no more than a teaspoon at a time – until you get a soft, smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge to chill for an hour or so.
Combine the sugar and the cornflour and place in a medium pan. Pour in the juices and heat until it starts to boil. Boil for two minutes, stirring now and again to prevent burning. Pour approximately a third of this mixture into the egg mixture. Pour gently to begin with, whisking at the same time to temper the eggs – you don’t want them to cook. Once combined, pour this back into the pan and heat until thickened, stirring continuously. Take the pan off the heat and add the butter, whisking in until it’s melted and glossy. Decant into a bowl and leave to cool completely.
Once chilled, roll the dough out on a floured surface. Once thin enough, line the tarlet tins (or a tart tin if using instead) – leave excess pastry around the edge to allow for shrinkage. Stab the bottom of the pastry with a fork a couple of times and transfer the tartlet cases to the freezer. Freeze for up to 20 minutes. This allows you to bake the pastry without baking beads. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, trim off the excess pastry and egg wash. Also brush with some of the ginger syrup (the syrup in a jar of stem ginger) and bake for a further 10 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Heat up the sugar and water in a pan over a medium heat. Heat up to 110 degrees. Once it’s reached that temperature, start beating the egg whites in your stand mixer. Once the temperature of the syrup reaches 118 degrees, take off the heat and pour slowly and steadily into the egg mixture. Beat together until cooled and stiff peaks form. Drizzle in a little ginger syrup and you should be left with semi-stiff peaks, perfect for meringue!
Pour the curd into the pastry cases and pipe the meringue. I toasted the meringue and also toasted some bits of grapefruit for texture and extra citrus pang! Sit in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.