I couldn't have put off this blog post much longer. Sorry about that. It's the busiest time of the year at work and He's flown in for a visit. I'm stretched pretty thin. But it's great that I can make my blog post from the same little apartment as Him. And we're going to bake something tasty together tomorrow.
The first step in making the strawberry meringue tarts was cooking the strawberry filling. I used what must have been the worst strawberries in Houston. I almost bought some pricier ones at Whole Foods, but I decided to be stingy and get cheaper ones from Fiesta. Good lord, they were terrible. A few years ago we were looking at produce at Fiesta, trying to find something good enough to purchase. Some guy said, "It looks like it's been kicked all the way from Mexico." Too true. When you're shopping for produce at Fiesta, you need to be flexible about what you're buying. Thankfully after the strawberries were cooked down, their secret past was veiled:
Then came the pastry dough, which was easy to make. I was excited about it, because I'd never tried brown sugar crust. It sounded promising. Plus it was fun putting it into these little tart pans I got at Sur La Table, and covering it with foil for blind baking:
Mine didn't darken up much in the oven, but they were definitely done.
Then came the syrup for the meringue. I'd never have guessed that I'd get so much mileage out of a candy thermometer:
And into the whipped egg whites it went!
The end was finally upon us. I spooned the strawberries into the shells:
Plopped some meringue on top:
And put them uner the broiler. Finis!
I'd give the end product a mixed review. The filling was just right. I couldn't taste the orange, lime or vanilla but they worked magic with the strawberries and came together for a lovely, sweet taste. When I combined that with the sweet, creamy merigue, these tarts were half win. But I wouldn't go so far as to say that they were delicious, because I made the crusts too thick which took away from the end product. Worse yet, the too-thick crusts didn't have much flavor, just crunch. A nice pasrty would have taken these much further. I'd guess that it wasn't the recipe, but me. Who knows? Try it out and let me know!