A. Chiboust (Crème patisserie lightened with Italian Merengue)
6 egg yolks
350g whole milk
80g caster sugar
5ml vanilla essence or paste
60g room temp butter cubed
74g egg white at room temp
190g caster sugar
1. To make the Creme Pat; in a pot bring your milk and vanilla to scalding point on a medium heat (Just before boiling point- the milk will bubble on the side of the pot).
2. While waiting for your milk to come to scalding point, combine your egg yolks, cornstarch and the 80g caster sugar - whisk until well combined.
3. Once the milk has reached scalding point, you need to temper your eggs. To do so, slowly pour the milk mixture (little by little) into the egg mixture by continuously whisking the eggs.
4. Once all the milk has been added to the eggs, pour this back into the pot through a sift. On a medium heat stir this mixture with a whisk until it thickens. This mixture needs to boil for a minimum of 3 minutes, and remember to keep whisking.
5. Once it has boiled for 3 minutes, place this mixture in a bowl, whisk in your butter, and cover with plastic in contact with the surface of the custard to avoid a skin from forming.
6. Set aside while you begin the Italian Merengue. So in a pot, begin to boil the 190g caster sugar and 60g of water. Keep a sugar thermometer inside as you need to record the temperature of the sugar syrup.
7. Once the sugar syrup has reached 110C, begin to whisk your 74g egg whites on a high speed. This ideally needs to be done in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or with a hand-held electrical whisk.
8. Once the sugar mixture has reached 118C take it off the heat. In a slow thin stream add it to the SIDE of the stand mixer bowl to your egg white with the whisk still on high speed. The egg whites should be at medium peak level when you begin to add the hot syrup. Do not pour it over the running whisk, as hot sugar will go everywhere.
9. Once all the syrup has been added to the egg white, leave the whisk running until the bowl of the stand mixer is cool to touch. This takes between 6 to 8 minutes.
10. Once the bowl has cooled down, add one third to a half of this merengue mixture to your custard and fold it in so your custard is lighter in texture.
11. Cover the bowl containing your now chiboust cream, with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge to use for later.
*Don't throw away the rest of your merengue, you can make merengue kisses to garnish your tart or create a beautiful pavlova. Just pipe out what you want on a baking tray and bake for 1 hour in a 90C oven.
B. Sweet short crust pastry:
185g cake flour
85g icing sugar
50g corn flour
5 ml of vanilla essence
130g cold cubed unsalted butter
a 25cm tart tin (However you can play around with different sizes)
1. In a bowl combine your flour, icing sugar, salt, corn flour and cubed butter. It is very important that the butter is straight out of the fridge. With your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the flour resembles sand.
2. Once all the butter has been rubbed in, add your egg, and vanilla. Work the dough just until the egg and flavorings have been fully combined. You want your tart shells to be beautifully light and crisp - so don't overwork the dough! Wrap it in clingfilm and leave it in the fridge for minimum 30 minutes to chill.
*A sweet pastry dough needs to be very cold when working with it, so if at any time the dough starts to heat up too much when you are working it, pop it back into the fridge.
3. Take your pastry out of the fridge after 30 minutes of resting and put it on a floured surface. Roll it out into a big circle using flour to help the pastry not to stick to your rolling pin. Roll until it is 3mm thick all the way through. Using your rolling pin, wrap the dough around it and place the pastry into your tart tin. Make sure you have greased your tart tin before you did this. When the pastry is in your tart tin, lightly press the pastry along the sides of the tart tin and in all the crevices. Cut the excess dough off that is hanging over the edges, and place it back in the fridge for another 30 minutes. Pre heat your oven to 175C while you wait.
*You can make really cute and delicious cookies with the left over sable dough, so don't throw it away!
4. After 30 minutes, take your pastry shell out of the fridge, and lightly prick the bottom of the tart with a fork. On top of the pastry put baking paper and fill the tart with either uncooked rice or baking beans. Put the tart in the oven for about 10 - 15 minutes. This is called blind baking and it prevents your tart from having a soggy bottom when baking.
5. After 15 minutes, or until the sides of the tart are brown, take out the baking beans or rice and leave the pastry shell to finish baking for another 15 minutes or until the bottom is a light brown.
6. Place on a cooling wrack and leave to cool.
1. Begin to assemble your fruit tart, by filling the pastry base with your chiboust filling. Do not fill the tart all the way to the top. Leave around a 0.5cm space.
2. You can garnish with any fruit you want, however I used thinly sliced strawberries placed in concentric circles beginning from the most outer part of the tart, finishing in the center.
3. I then randomly placed merengue kisses over the tart to create contrasting colours.
4. Get creative with whatever fruit is in your fridge or whatever is in season for you :)