Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ottolenghi Passion Fruit Tart Meringue!

Lemon weekend torture for you. The twice annual trip to Ottolenghi (in the Guardian)for the superb passion fruit meringue tart is an essential.
Get out at tube stop, High Street Kensington, cross the road (carefully), seek out the almost hidden passage Kensington Church Walk. Turn right, walk to the end of the road to #1 Holland Street et voila! Heaven awaits.
Of course one must make a pretense of eating something sensible before dessert...
And there is certainly a plethora of sensible food here...

La salade.

This time I got as well the lemon marscaponi tart as well. It was unctously lemony with sugar as a low note thank goodness.

At last, la piece de resistance! This tart does not disappoint. The topping is just the right amount of sweetness with exactly the right texture - not crunchy as you might expect with the toasty look of the meringue. Just enough sugar to contrast the very tart custard below.

I'm salivating just attempting to describe this tart's perfection. The heights have been reached.

I'm a disgrace when it comes to crust :(
But calories have been saved is the positive take on this loss. Still, can one truly experience inner meringuenese (if there is such a thing) by skipping the crust? Perhaps not.

Later I met up with Karen of the delightful Pas Grand Chose. I'm addicted to her book reviews almost as much as tarte citron. We stop at Maison blanc to view my menu artwork.

Fortunately there are no meringue tarts on the premises.

In the evening at Piccadilly Prete a Mange for another sensible salad (balance is key) this lemony/gingerbread/cheesecake layered concoction beckons. The spoon must dive deep and then stir things - you feel you've had a hand in the making of it don't you?

This morning a friend mentioned her favorite toffee at Fortnum and Mason. Naturalement I must researche.
Somehow I resisted the toffee and instead went looking for lemon meringue flavors.
Fortunately there were none.
The club's lemony cat, Squeak, is guarding my seat at breakfast so I'll go down and start the day.
Do more lemon tarts await?


  1. I would die for one - maybe more - of those tarts right now!
    Your menu art work is beautiful! Very nice job.
    The meringuee thing looks huge in that shot of you (?) holding it! I thought that they were much smaller....
    Love the kitty!

  2. Anonymous5:23 AM

    Why on earth do you discard the pastry? Aberrant behaviour of this kind is utter madness and something of which you should be thoroughly ashamed.

    The whole point of a tart like this is the creamy, unctuous filling contrasting with the crisp, buttery biscuit shell. To have one without the other is to rob each of their full potential. You might as well head to your local supermarket and purchase some fruit flavoured baby food instead.

    Stop this childishness at once and eat a tart properly. Henceforth, I shall be keeping a close eye on you for signs of improvement. ;o)

  3. Oh, the menu looks wonderful,Carol! It should with all the research & work combined with you talent that you put into it.
    I love the lemony ginger cat- I wish cafes could have host/hostess cats or dogs here!
    both of the tarts looked so yummy I could almost smell the citrusiness! I would have had trouble selecting from the healthy dishes as they all looked scrumptious.
    thanks for London too!

  4. Geri, NJ8:13 AM

    I'm afraid I have to agree with the previous post ~ I can hear it now: Whatever I would leave, my would declare "You're leaving the best part!" How fun it must be for you to see your menu art there ... it's beautiful. I'm in love with the kitty ~ it's a very nice pic.

  5. Geri, NJ8:16 AM

    ...oops...I meant to say 'my mom would declare...'

  6. Oh, what a pretty little hidden street is Kensington Church of the first Patricia Roberts yarn shops was on that street. And I do hope that the church itself still has the big flower stall just outside?

    Lucky you to not only explore rich lemon pastries with and without meringue and pastry, but also to get to meet Karen!


  7. O deconstructer of tarts.
    Those rejected crusts look so forlorn in the box.
    Is this similar to eating the pizza sans crust? The meat ball without the pasta?
    The banana without the split?
    beautiful menu!

  8. Dear M. Lester,
    Yes I am somewhat ashamed of leaving fine pastry crusts, but not enough I'll admit.
    I've never much liked crust or cake for that matter from day one.
    i.e. the substitution of lemon meringue pie for the traditional birthday cake.My mother was most accomodating.
    I totally 'get' the contrast/textue angle you propose but still can't bring myself to succombe.
    C'est triste bien sur.
    At least I now eat pizza crust - the essential integration of sauce + crunch makes perfect sense to me here.

  9. Melody1:32 PM

    I noticed you have been in England. Maybe you could take some photos at Harrods dept. store?


  10. Anonymous2:13 PM

    I shall simply shake my head ruefully and say no more. Perhaps one day you will turn away from the dark side and embrace the paste.

    The next time I'm in Paris or Knightsbridge I'll keep an eye out for discarded pastry shells and chuckle quietly to myself. :o)

  11. Oh Kind, tolerant Lester...
    I really did try - I went through a phase of deep immersion in Japanese pastry books and studed all the pate in Japanese sort of...
    In 'Bonjour Pate Sucree' I gave my all. I noticed the pounds coming on but nevermind in the name of research!
    Old habits die hard.
    I went back to skipping crusts.
    c'est la vie
    Say hi to Vera for me.

  12. Carol just a bit envious!! Oh those lemon tarts and meringue!! Of course I would have to eat every crumb of the crust!

    I have a Designer Pillows Giveaway, I hope you will join!


    Art by Karena

  13. A good lemon tart means joy for the taste buds. (Not to mention good merengue.) At least for mine. And yours too, Carol. Just a lovely post.

    I would have eaten the crust. I have no will power. :)

    There's a bakery about fifteen minutes away from were I live in New Jersey which has a baker who studied in France. (How he wound up in NJ baking exquisite goodies is not known by me.) The fruit tarts are to die for.

  14. Oh!! Passionfruit tarts!! Passionfruit *anything*!!! And that beautiful lemony boy to boot. What a perfect post.

  15. WHERE in NJ Yvette???
    For future reference pls :)

  16. Oh that meringue tart looks Amazing. Wish there was something like that in my future today. I just love your sensible salad before dessert- and that you didn't bother with the crusts!

  17. The crust is sometimes the whole POINT of the pastry, madame!

  18. The meringue on the tarts in the first picture looks downright dangerous! I would brave eating one, though.

  19. Just discovered this post Carol. Looks wonderful and love the meringue's presentation - although I need to make you try my lemon and passion fruit meringue tartlets from "Teatime in Paris" and watch you eat the thin pastry base too!


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