Thursday, August 23, 2012

Red Currant Meringue Tartlets

I have not always been a fan of red currants because they are very sour, but I have come to appreciate their taste. In parts of southern Germany there is a specialty called "Träubleskuchen". It is red currants folded into a meringue, sometimes even with ground nuts, served on top of a buttery pastry. I find that the tartness of the currants makes them the perfect match for something sweet like meringues. Eating these cloud-like fillings will make you feel like you are in heaven.

"Träubleskuchen" are very famous, and are usually served as a cake. This time, however, I have decided to make them into little tartlets. I think they look cute. Besides, I like the fact that you can put a little stem of red currents on top of each tartlet; they make excellent decoration. They are great for a tea time display.

Red Currant Meringue Tartlets

- makes six 8-cm (3-inch) tartlets -

150 g flour
50 g sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
100 g butter, cold and cut in pieces

300 g red currants
2 egg whites
70 g sugar
2 tsp. corn starch
2-3 tbsp. ground almonds

some red currant stalks to decorate

To make the shortcrust tartlet shells use a food processor and mix together the flour, sugar, salt, egg yolk and butter. Pulse a few times until the dough comes together. Put in saran wrap and lay in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F). Grease your tartlet forms with butter.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut out rounds to fit your tartlet forms, and put them in the forms. Prick some holes with a fork into the dough, line with parchment paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for about 10 minutes then remove the baking beans and parchment paper and continue to bake for another 5 minutes, until golden brown.

In the meantime prepare the meringue filling. Wash and dry the red currants and take them off their little stems. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar and continue beating until dissolved. Reserve a few tablespoons of meringue, while carefully fold in the currants in the remainder.

Spread the ground almonds into the pastry shells. Fill the meringue with the currants into the shells, and top with some plain meringue. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. In case they brown to fast cover with some parchment paper. Let cool on a wire rack. Decorate with some red currants.

Enjoy and Guten Appetit!

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