I’m not going to lie friends, I’ve been feeling a little cheated as of late. I know I’ve come back to the Pacific Northwest in late spring where the weather can change faster than you can blink. I guess I really shouldn’t have had any high weather-related expectations for an area that’s popularized the phrase, “Don’t like the weather? Wait 5 minutes, it’ll change.” But in recent weeks, Norway, in all it’s northernly arctic cold-weather glory has had sunnier, warmer, NICER weather than we have here.
Seriously Pacific Northwest, WTF? What. The. Fudge-filled muffins.
Don’t get me wrong, I love many things about you, Pacific Northwest. I love your cuisine, coffee (So. Much. FANTASTIC. Coffee.), diverse and beautiful natural landscapes, your abundant outdoor activity opportunities… But the shenanigans you’re pulling with the weather right now… Not so much. I’d like to breakup with your weather. Seriously, I will never be anything other than Norwegian winter level ultra-pasty if you keep this up.
Seriously guys, I am SO pasty right now, that my mom recently described my skin color as “pearl.” Apparently I’m not just pasty, I’m translucent pasty.
Seriously Pacific Northwest, I need me some Vitamin D and some warm sun rays!
But until this weather gets its act together, I’mma be in the kitchen whipping up some sunny day flavors of my own. If my skin can’t enjoy a little sun, at least my taste buds can, right?
And what could be sunnier tasting than a little bit of ginger and homemade graham cracker crust goodness, and a whole lot lemon and toasted meringue? Trust me, THIS is where your taste buds want to be. RIGHT. HERE.
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about one large lemon)
- ½ tbsp. lemon zest
- 1" piece of ginger, peeled and quartered
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, cubed
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 3 tbsp. whole-wheat flour
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temp.
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 3 egg whites
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- I recommend starting with the lemon ginger curd as it will need at least a few hours to set up in the refrigerator before use (alternatively, you can make it the night before). In a small saucepan, whisk together the granulated sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, ginger, and egg yolks over medium heat.
- Whisking occasionally, cook the curd until has thickened and reached approximately 172F/78C on a candy thermometer. Strain the curd into a clean bowl, and stir in the butter until completely incorporated. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap pressed against the surface of the curd and refrigerate until firm.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and honey for the graham cracker crust. Beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and continue beating until they form a solid, firm ball of dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Divide the graham cracker dough into 6 equal pieces, rolling each out to about ¼" thick. Gently press each crust into a 3" tart pan and trim the excess around the edges. Generously prick the bottom of the tart with a fork and allow to firm up in the freezer for 30 minutes. Bake the shells at 350F/175C for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. If the bottom or sides of the crust have puffed up during baking, just gently press them back into place while still warm.
- Once the shells have cooled and the curd has firmed up, spoon a few teaspoons of curd into each shell, filling each shell about ⅔ of the way full. In the bowl of a stand mixer placed over a pot of boiling water, whisk together the egg whites and granulated sugar for the meringue. Cook until hot and the sugar has dissolved completely. Transfer the bowl to your stand mixer, add the vanilla extract, and, using the whisk attachment, whip the meringue until it has cooled and holds stiff peaks.
- Spoon the meringue into a piping bag with a large, round tip, and pipe onto the tarts. Use the back of a teaspoon to spread the meringue to the edges of the crust. Toast the edges of the meringue with a chef's torch.