Last Saturday my boyfriend and I went to meet with my Dutch family to celebrate St Nicholas. The entire family met up to chat, eat and exchange presents.
I decided that I wanted to participate to the feast by re-creating the Dutch St Nicholas evening in one tart.
Because we were not only going to eat a tart, I thought I should bake something not too heavy, so I said “no” to chocolate, “no” to caramel but “yes” to lemons! And because I wanted the tart to be festive I added some caramelized meringue on top.
Around this time of the year, speculoos are the cookies of the season in the Netherlands so I decided to re-interpret the lemon and meringue tart recipe by using speculoos.
I promise you, this beauty of a tart is anything but a sugary toothache. It’s fresh, light, tangy, and creamy all at once and has an added surprise of speculoos in the crust. You’re in for a real treat!
Lemon & Meringue tart with Speculoos crust
Serves: 12-14 persons
Cooking Time:: Prep time 20 mins(rest: 2 hours), cook 45 mins.
for the speculoos crust:
– 30 crushed speculoos cookies, about 2 c.
– 100gr unsalted butter
– 2 eggs
– 150gr of flour
– 60gr bittersweet chocolate, melted
for the filling:
– 5 eggs
– 150 grams caster sugar
– 90 ml lemon juice
– 2 tbs finely grated lemon zest
150 mls double cream
for the meringue:
– 3 egg-white
– 150 gr of caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°
Crush the cookies.
Mix together the cookie crumbs, the butter, flour & eggs.
Press this mixture into and up the sides of a 26″ round tart pan with removable bottom,
Freeze the crust for 20 minutes.
Bake the crust for 15-18 minutes until it feels dry to the touch and remove to a rack a cool.
Melt the chocolate and spread a thin layer on the baked crust. Chill for one hour.
Remove the tart form.
Place eggs, sugar, lemon juice and rind in a bowl and whisk to combine, then whisk in cream. Heat lemon mixture in a saucepan over a medium heat for 5 minutes or until warm, then pour into prepared pastry case and bake at 160°C for 25 minutes or until just firm.
Cool tart for 1 hour
Now prepare your meringue by whisking the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form (1-2 minutes). Add caster sugar, a tablespoon at a time, while whisking continuously until incorporated and mixture is thick and glossy (3-4 minutes).
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle, pipe 2cm-diameter rounds of mixture onto the top of you tart, finish it by caramelizing the meringue with a kitchen torch until golden brown.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
I recommend pairing this dish with a sweet white wine: either a Jurançon or a Sauterne but you can also easily pair this dish with a Champagne.
The Dutch boyfriend’s opinion:
Raphaelle spent quite a while baking this delicious pie. The different layers had to be prepared separately and needed some time to stiffen. But it was fun watching her crushing the speculoos and using the torch at the end.
The pie tasted great and was a real plus to the Sinterklaasparty we had at my mom’s. The family loved the soft feeling of the meringue and the sweet crumble underneath. My mother called it ‘a true Sinterklaascake’, creating a big smile on my girlfriend’s face. The cake was sweet and full of flavor without being to heavy on the stomach. A huge success!