Tart des Tropiques (Tropical Meringue Tart with lime, coconut & sesame)

INGREDIENTS:
makes one 9-inch round tart, or equivalent thereoffor pastry:

  • 260 g all-purpose flour
  • 72 g sesame seeds
  • 50 g sugar
  • ⅛ tspn salt
  • 7 Tbspn butter, cut in pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tbspn sesame oil
  • 3–3½ Tbspn water
  • 1 large egg white

for lime curd:

  • 8 Tbspn butter, cut in pieces
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 125 g sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of 2 limes

for meringue:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 94 g sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 tspn coconut extract
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • toasted coconut chips

METHOD: 

  1. for pastry. Combine the flour, sesame seeds, sugar, and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the egg yolk and sesame oil and pulse to combine. Add the water, one tablespooon at a time, while processing, just until the dough holds together when pressed between two fingers. Do not overmix. Remove the dough from the food processor, form into a small, flat disc, cover tightly with plastic wrap or parchment paper, and refrigerate for at least one hour. The dough should be firm to the touch.
  2. Preheat oven to 220° C. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the cold dough to ⅛-inch thickness. Transfer to tart pan, press in the bottom and sides, and prick the bottom a few times with a fork. Return the pastry to the refrigerator if it has softened. Line with a piece of parchment paper, fill with pie weights or beans, and bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Remove the weights and the parchment paper, brush the insides of the pastry with a small amount of egg white, and return to the oven for 3 to 5 minutes more, until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. for lime curd. Preheat oven to 190° C. Suspend a bowl over simmering water. Place the butter, lime juice, sugar, and salt in the bowl and let cool, whisking occasionally, until the butter has completely melted. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, beat the eggs and yolks to combine. When the butter has melted, temper the eggs by gradually and slowly pouring about half of the butter mixture into the eggs, whisking continuously. Continue to cook over simmering water, stirring and scraping the bottom of the bowl with a spatula, until thick, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the zest, and pour the curd into the prepared tart shell. Bake the tart for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
  4. for meringue. In a bowl suspended over simmering water, beat the egg whites, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar until hot to the touch (60° C on an instant read thermometer). Immediately add the coconut extract and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat just until stiff, glossy peaks form. Do not overbeat! Immediately pipe the meringue onto the cooled tarts, and brown under the broiler or with a kitchen torch. Top with toasted sesame seeds and coconut chips.

Cardamom, Orange & Honey Granola

IMG_0671

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 4-6 Tbsp. honey, depending on how sweet you like it
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom (1 1/2 if you love it like I do!)
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3 C gluten rolled oats
  • 1/2 C finely chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 C finely chopped prunes or dried pears
  • 3/4 C raw nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, chopped brazil, pecan, or a mixture)
  • 2 Tbsp. flax seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • Zest of one large orange

METHOD:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180˚C and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. (You can make this recipe raw if you have a food dehydrator, just set the temp on low and let it dry for a couple days)
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the oil, honey, orange juice, salt and cardamom. Heat on low and stir well.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until well mixed.
  5. Dump the whole lot out onto the parchment paper and spread out evenly.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring once about midway through cooking.

Traditional Greek Pasteli: Sesame, Pistachio, and Honey Candy

INGREDIENTS:

  • Mild vegetable oil for the work surface
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios, broken in half
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup mild-flavored runny honey

METHOD:

  1. Lightly oil a wooden spoon and a flat, heatproof work surface, such as a slab of marble, a plastic pastry sheet, even a large, flat plate. Have a small bowl of ice water ready and your rolling pin ready.
  2. Place the sesame seeds and pistachios in a nonstick skillet and toast them lightly over low heat just until they take on a hint of color. (Editor’s Note: You want to be careful not to overdo the toasting, as the seeds and nuts will remain in the skillet and will continue to take on a deeper, richer hue and taste. If you happen to turn your back and accidentally toast them a little too much, transfer them to a plate and continue with step 3, melting the sugar without the seeds and nuts in the skillet. Then return the seeds and pistachios to the skillet when you add the honey. Trust us. We’ve been there.)
  3. Add the sugar to the seeds and nuts in the skillet and cook, without stirring, over low heat until the sugar melts and takes on a pale golden hue.
  4. Standing back so as to avoid any potential splatters, carefully add the honey to the skillet. Working quickly, stir the honey into the sesame seeds and pistachios and mix it while you can, as the mixture will soon turn sticky and thick. Scrape the pastelli out onto the oil-slicked work surface and flatten it a bit with the back of the oiled spoon. Still working fast and furious, dip your hands in the cold water and then use them to form the pastelli into a rectangular shape. Grab your rolling pin and level the surface, stretching it to a rectangle that’s about 1/4 inch thick and roughly 6 by 7 inches in length.
  5. Let the pastelli cool for just a few minutes, and then cut the pastelli into 1 1/4-inch squares. But don’t dally or the pastelli will become too hard to cut. (The pastelli keeps in an airtight container for many days.)

Version 2: A simpler method

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/3 cups of honey
  • 3 cups of hulled white sesame seeds
  • 1 strip of lemon peel (about 1/4 x 1 inch) (optional, lemon peel will give to the pasteli a light hint of lemon.)

METHOD:

  1. In a saucepan, bring honey and lemon peel to a boil. Add sesame seeds stirring continuously and continue to cook while stirring to mix completely and thoroughly. When the seeds are fully mixed in and the mixture has boiled again, remove from heat. Remove and discard lemon peel.
  2. Spread a piece of baking parchment on a cool work surface and spread out the hot mixture thinly and evenly, on the paper (about 1/4 inch high).
  3. When the pasteli cools to room temperature, refrigerate, as is, on the parchment paper (it doesn’t need to be covered). Chill for at least 2-3 hours.
  4. With a kitchen shears, cut the pasteli into small pieces, together with the parchment paper on the bottom, and serve.
  5. To eat, peel off the parchment paper.
  6. Store in the refrigerator.

Serving suggestions: Pasteli can be eaten as a candy at any time, as an energy booster, and it goes wonderfully well as an accompaniment to tea. Because it is very sweet, cut in small pieces. Those with a sweet tooth can always select several!

To increase or decrease quantity: The recipe calls for equal parts by weight of sesame seeds and honey.

  • 1 pound of honey (16 ounces) = approximately 1 1/3 cups
  • 1 pound of sesame seeds = approximately 3 cups