food, Recipes

Marilyn Monroe-inspired lemon meringue tart

Concept and styling Raphaella Frame-Tolmie; Photographs Russell Smith


For the strawberry purée:
  • 500g strawberries n 50ml water
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • juice of one lemon

For a stock syrup:

  • 100ml granulated sugar n 100ml water

For the sorbet:

  •  1 gelatine leaf n 100ml water n 100ml
  • stock syrup n juice of one lemon

For the lemon tart:

  • 100g digestive biscuits, crumbled
  • 70g butter, softened
  • 2 egg yolks n ó cup lemon juice
  • 1x 385g tin condensed milk

For the almond crumble:

  • 50g flour n 60g butter, softened
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 60g granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt

For the champagne jellies:

  • 1 gelatine leaf n 2 cups of good-quality Méthode Cap Classique n 50ml stock syrup
  • juice of one lemon

For the meringue:

  • 70g egg whites
  • 150g castor sugar

To finish the dish:

  • 4 strawberries, finely chopped and mixed with 1T of strawberry purée
  •  a few spearmint leaves

To make a strawberry purée, place the strawberries, 50ml water, 50g granulated sugar and the lemon juice in a heavy-based saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove from the stove and blend in a food processor until smooth. Pass the purée through a fine sieve and set aside to cool.

To make a stock syrup, combine the 100ml granulated sugar with 100ml water in a saucepan, and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Let it cool.

To make the sorbet, soak the gelatine leaf in cold water until soft. Combine 150g of the strawberry purée with 100ml water, 100ml stock syrup and the juice of one lemon in a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Squeeze any excess mixture out of the gelatine leaf and add it to the hot mixture, stirring to dissolve. Pour the mixture into an ice-cream churner and then freeze it.

To make the lemon tarts, preheat the oven to 180ºC. Combine the biscuit crumbs with 70g of softened butter and press the mixture into 15cm diameter cylindrical moulds, making sure that there are no gaps for the filling to run out. Mix the yolks, lemon juice and condensed milk and pour the mixture into the moulds (about 3–4cm in height). Bake the tarts for about 10 minutes, or until the custard has just set. Leave them to cool slightly, then refrigerate.

To make an almond crumble, mix the flour, 60g softened butter, ground almonds, granulated sugar and salt well. Spread the mixture onto a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes. Agitate the mixture every few minutes so it resembles breadcrumbs. Let it cool, then store it in an airtight container.

To make the champagne jellies, soak the gelatine leaf in cold water until soft. Place the Méthode Cap Classique in a small saucepan and reduce to 100ml. Add 50ml stock syrup and the lemon juice. Add more stock syrup or lemon juice to taste if necessary, then squeeze any excess liquid out of the gelatine and add it to the hot mixture. Pour into a rectangular mould and refrigerate to set. Cut the jelly into small cubes, remove them from the tray and then place them in an airtight container in the fridge until needed.

To make the meringue, beat the egg whites in an electric mixer and slowly add the castor sugar. Increase the speed of the mixer and whisk until it forms stiff peaks. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag. Remove the lemon tarts from their moulds and place them on  serving plates. Pipe the meringue mixture in a swirl on the top of each lemon tart and, using a blowtorch, scorch the meringue until golden brown. Decorate each plate with the jelly cubes and chopped strawberries. Serve the strawberry sorbet on top of the almond crumble, and garnish the tarts with spearmint. Serves 4 

The Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenhort, 93 Brommersvlei Rd, Constantia, Cape Town, 021-794-2137, collectionmcgrath.com

This recipe originally featured in the August 2013 Issue of Home and Leisure.