Lavender Lemon Tart with Earl Grey Meringue
1¼ cups flour
¾ cup, divided + 1/3 cup sugar
4 oz. cold butter, ½-inch dice
3 egg yolks, divided
1 t. vanilla
2 whole eggs
Zest from 1 lemon
3 oz. lemon juice
1½ t. lavender buds, divided
4 oz. butter, diced
2 egg whites
1 t. Earl Grey tea
1) Combine flour, salt and ¼ cup sugar. Incorporate 4 oz. cold ½-inch dice butter until mixture looks like coarse meal. Add 1 egg yolk and vanilla. Stir; briefly knead to form dough. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate 30 minutes. Roll out ¼-inch thick. Line tart pan with dough; line with parchment paper, fill with baking beans. Blind bake at 300°F until edges begin to brown. Gently remove beans with parchment paper; continue to bake until light golden-brown.
2) Combine eggs, 2 egg yolks, ½ cup sugar, lemon zest and juice, and ½ t. lavender buds over bain-marie. Cook until thick, whisking occasionally. Whisk in 4 oz. diced butter; strain into tart shell. Bake at 300°F until set, 5-10 minutes.
3) Combine egg whites and 1/3 cup sugar in bowl of mixer. Whisk on double boiler until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot. In mixer, whip on high until light, glossy and fluffy. Whisk in Earl Grey tea.
4) To assemble, toast 1 t. lavender buds in pan until just begin to color (to release flavor and aroma). Pipe meringue on tart; torch gently. Garnish tart with lavender buds.
Reprinted with permission from the American Culinary Federation. Credit: Casto Unson, Chef Instructor, New School of Cooking, Culver City, California
The National Culinary Review, June 2016