I haven’t made many fancy puddings for a while and the girls get so fed up with dairy-free yogurts, (particularly since the flavours available are so limited), or fruit which they’re both pretty fussy about. So some tasty, pretty puds have been on my ‘to do’ list for a while. Sweet, billowy meringue makes some of the most ‘wow’ puddings and after a trip to an Ottolenghi deli last week where I spied some beautiful little meringue topped mini tartlets, I got thinking about making some equally beautiful mini tarts at home.
One Instagram follower likened these to little smurf hats, which I think is pretty accurate, although it wasn’t the intended result! I think this way of piping a pointy dollop on each individual pie is as pretty as can be, especially once toasted and glazed with a blow torch. I decided to fill these tartlets with a rich chocolate ganache which is the perfect dark accompaniment to the sweet and pillow like Italian meringue. As a note, unexpectedly I had a few of the tartlets left over and found that they keep beautifully well in the fridge for a couple of days, which is a total bonus.
Chocolate Meringue Pies
(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)
makes 6 mini tarts
- 75ml oat milk
- 50ml water
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp corn flour
- 85g dairy free dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 block shortcrust pastry
– Line the six cupcake tins with pastry, prick all over, fill with cling film and baking beans and blind bake.
– Once it’s browned and cooked through [about 20 minutes in a medium oven], remove the baking beans and leave to cool.
– Meanwhile, make the filling.
– Place the water and oat milk and sugar into a saucepan and gently heat.
– Take 1/2 tbsp of the warmed milk mixture and mix to a smooth paste with the cornflour
– Pour the cornflour mix into the oat milk and stir well, bring to a bubbling boil and add the vanilla.
– Place the chopped chocolate into a bowl. Pour over the hot oat milk and stir to until its a smooth mixture. Season with a pinch of salt.
– Pour into the chocolate into the pastry cases. Level off and refrigerate for a few hours until set.
To make the meringue topping:
water from one tin of chickpeas or beans
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
pinch of zantham gum
pinch of cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
- Whisk 1/3 cup chickpea water with a pinch of zantham gum and a pinch of cream of tartar until it forms soft peaks
- Melt together the remaining 1/4 cup chickpea water (or use water instead) and sugar and bring up to 242-248 degrees F/116-120 degrees Centigrade. If you use the chickpea brine to make the sugar syrup you may not get to the required temperature as it will start to caramelise, so as soon as it starts to turn golden, it’s time to use it.
- With the stand mixer on medium, slowly drizzle in the hot syrup into the meringue mix
- Turn up to high for a minute or two until you have piles of white glossy clouds of meringue, beat in the vanilla.
- Pipe onto the chocolate tarts and glaze with a blowtorch or under the grill.