FOR THE CUSTARD FILLING
350g (12oz/1 ¾ cups) caster (superfine)
50g (1 ¾ oz/6 tablespoons) cornflour
finely grated zest of 2 ruby grapefruits
finely grated zest of 3 limes
360ml (12 ½ fl oz/1 ½ cups) ruby grapefruit
juice (from 3–4 large grapefruits)
90ml (3 ¼ fl oz/6 tablespoons) lime juice
(from about 4 limes)
4 large egg yolks
160ml (5 ½ fl oz/⅔ cup) double (heavy)
30g (1oz/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
FOR THE MERINGUE TOPPING
4 large egg whites
300g (10 ½ oz/1 ½ cups) caster
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
¼ teaspoon grapefruit (or other citrus)
The classic citrus tart filling can be made a few different ways. You can make a custard that is baked in the oven, a stovetop curd or a butter-rich citrus cream. While I have love for each of these methods, more and more I want something a little simpler. This recipe uses the easier pastry cream method. The grapefruit custard is made on the stovetop, using cornflour to thicken the custard, which makes the filling more foolproof.
To make the custard filling, place the caster sugar and cornflour into a large saucepan and whisk to combine. Add the remaining ingredients, except the butter, and whisk to combine. Cook over a medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a simmer, then cook for a further 2 minutes until thick.
Remove from the heat, stir through the butter until melted and smooth, then pour the custard into the baked tart case. Press a sheet of clingfilm on to the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Leave at room temperature for an hour, then transfer to the refrigerator for at
least 4 hours.
For the meringue topping, place the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar into a large, heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water underneath) and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. You can tell when this mixture is ready by rubbing a little between your fingers. If it feels smooth it is ready, if you feel grains of sugar cook for longer.
Remove the bowl from the heat and, using an electric mixer, whisk until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Add the vanilla and bitters and whisk briefly to combine. Scrape the meringue on to the tart and spread evenly over the filling. Using a blowtorch or under a preheated hot grill (broiler), burnish the meringue until toasted.
Kept in the refrigerator, without the meringue, this tart will keep for a couple of days, but my preference is to serve it as close to making as possible to keep the pastry at its crispest.
One Tin Bakes by Edd Kimber is published by Kyle Books, priced £17.99. Photography: Edd Kimber