Saturday, 22 February 2014
Poppy Seed Tartelettes
It's a special person's birthday next week. And what's one to do to show the most important woman in the whole wide world alias mom how much you love her?
Arrange a small pre-birthday present i.e. bake mom an ultimate weekend treat starring one of her all time favourite ingredients, one that pairs up beautifully with her beloved good ol' british tea.
In this case that means a dessert loaded with poppy seeds - seriously not just a cake with some poppy seed speckles or a sweet yeasted loaf where you might accidentally stumble across some poppy seeds in the filling - no, just pure, honest and true poppy seed goodness: pitch black and with the lovely, characteristic nutty taste.
To achieve that I went for a lovely buttery whole wheat crust to wrap the velvety filling up, topped it with some streusel made from the same dough and then piped a little meringue on top to really give the poppy seeds a "canvas" where it can pop out and be the absolute star for the taste-tasting gourmet (or my sister, who started asking for more immediately while still munching on her first bit - if that's no sign for true poppy seed perfection I don't know what it is ;-)).
And oh boy, those were a hit in the whole family (of course especially my mom was suuper excited - mission accomplished!)- it was pretty hard to keep enough for next day's coffee time, every last crumb was gone in the end. To make it a really simple recipe, the dough for the crust and streusel can be prepared the night before the day when served and the meringue will only use the remaining egg whites of the yolks that are used in the filling, so you won't end up with any egg parts that have to be used up soon - easy peasy but a sure rock star when served!
Poppy Seed Tartelettes
- with Streusel and Meringue, makes enough for 12 Tartelettes, 4inch/10cm in diameter or one regular sized tart pan
- 2 and 1/2 cups/300g Flour (I used Whole Wheat, but All-purpose works great as well)
- 1 and 1/8 cups/200g Butter
- 1/2 cup/100g Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 cup/240 ml Milk
- 5 Tbsp Sugar
- beans from 1/2 a scraped Vanilla pod (omit completely or substitute 2 Tbsp of sugar with vanilla sugar, if you don't have one on hand)
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Tbsp Flour
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 2 cups/200g grinded Poppy Seeds (or grind them yourself)
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 egg whites
- 5 Tbsp caster sugar
1. Prepare the crust (this can be done a day ahead, so you save time on the day when served): Mix Flour, Sugar and Cinnamon, then work in the butter with your hands or a fork until a dough comes together. Wrap in plastic foil and leave in the refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes to overnight.
2. Preheat your oven to 180 °C. Grease and flour your tartelette pans/tarte pan well. Divide the dough into three equal parts. Crumble one part into a bowl and set aside for later use. Divide the remaining two parts in six smaller parts each, if using tartelette pans, so you end up with twelve equal parts for the crust. Press the parts into the prepared pan(s) and prick with a fork. Blind bake for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile prepare the filling: mix the milk with the sugar, vanilla, butter and cinnamon in a saucepan and set on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally so it won't burn, until butter is melted. Take off the heat and add in the flour and the poppy seeds. Let cool for a further 2-5 minutes until warm to the touch, then add in the egg yolks and mix until well combined.
4. Scoop the filling into the ready baked crusts and spread evenly. Add the Streusel on top, leaving some empty spots on top of the filling for the meringue. Bake for a further ten minutes.
5. Meanwhile beat your egg whites on high until soft peaks form, then carefully add in the caster sugar and continue beating until you've got a glossy meringue. Pipe or spread it on the empty spots on the still hot tarte/tartelettes and go for a final 5-10 minute bake until the meringue is slightly browned on top. Take out, let cool, carefully remove from the pans and enjoy!