I’ve always been exceedingly good at procrastination. Really, nothing gets done better than when you leave it for 20 minutes before it’s deadline. Particularly if its something you don’t actually want to do, like balance your account or cleaning out your closet. But I don’t stop at that…oh no. It can take me quite a while to start even on the things that I love doing, and that, I can tell you, is a terrible habit, because if one of those things happens to involve oven and chilling times and quite possibly an exact time to be served….well, really…you shouldn’t postpone getting started. Because you might just end up running around the kitchen with sticky meringue hands looking for the torch and leaving sugary fingerprints all over your house, encouraging your creamy tart filling to set with only 5 minutes time of fridge rest, and ruining your pajamas with flour and syrup because you also put off taking a shower before starting.
Which is so not what happened to me as I made these pies. So not. Really. Ok, it totally was. But in my defense, I did make two of them, and in spite of all the rushing, they turned out absolutely delicious (can key lime pie ever not be?) and gorgeous looking. I used Deb’s at Smitten Kitchen version of the filling, with my own shell recipe and a regular italian meringue topping. You can find both links after the jump.
Here are the recipe links:
For the shell:
Chocolate-peanut butter tartlets
For the cream:
Smitten kitchen – key lime tart
For the italian meringue:
5 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
Place the egg whites on the cold bowl of the mixer. In a small saucepan prepare the syrup; place the water and sugar and cook until it reaches soft ball stage (235ºF). Mount the egg whites just before reaching this temperature by beating on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the syrup in a very slow trickle, keeping the machine beating at high speed. Once you’ve poured the whole syrup in, keep beating for a minute or two, until the meringue is glossy and it starts to cool down.
Wait till the meringue is cool before spreading on the tart (if it’s gone grainy, just give it a good whipping) and then use the torch to give it a golden brown look.