Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Trefoils Salted Caramel Meringue Tart

Last year, I participated in the Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cooking Contest and had so much fun creating Thin Mint Grasshopper Cheesecake in a Jar. Scott enjoyed being my taste tester and Molly had her first taste of Thin Mint cookies. This year though when they contacted me to participate again, I hesitated. I have a newborn and a toddler and very little time to cook BUT I have the desire to bake everything! After thinking it over, I decided I needed the challenge. I put in my request for cookies and started thinking and plotting. 


Scott loves, loves, loves Salted Caramel so I decided it would be fun to create a dessert around that flavor. I love making tarts so I decided to combine the two ideas. While perusing my cookbooks for inspiration, I found a recipe in Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours for Lemon Meringue Tarts. I thought it would be tasty to combine the meringue idea with the salted caramel idea. 


In the end, I came up with this delicious dessert which is not really a tart but is a tart, piled high with meringue layered over a sweet, yet salty caramel. 


Trefoils Salted Caramel Meringue Tart

Trefoils Cookie Crust Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup finely ground Trefoils (about 1 1/2 sleeves)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
Caramel Ingredients
  • Scant 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch of Fleur del Sel 
Meringue Ingredients
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 
  2. Make Crust: Mix the Trefoils cookie crust ingredients together and press into the bottom of a 6-inch springform pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Cool to room temperature and set aside. Raise the oven temp to 350F. 
  3. Make Caramel: Bring heavy cream to a boil, set aside and keep warm. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 3 Tablespoons of sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts. Add 3 more Tablespoons of sugar and stir until melted. Add remaining sugar and continue stirring until melted. Add corn syrup and bring to a boil while stirring. Add butter and salt while stirring. Place caramel sauce in a heat proof bowl and place aside. 
  4. Make Meringue: Whisk the egg whites and sugar together until the sugar dissolves in a mixing bowl. Using a double-boiler, stirring constantly, stir the egg whites and sugar until the mixture is hot and opaque for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the egg mixture. Place the mixing bowl on your stand mixer, add the vanilla and whip the whites with the whisk attachment until the whites form stiff shiny peaks. 
  5. Assemble the Tart: Pour the caramel into the Trefoils cookie crust. Pipe the meringue into the tart using a 3/8-inch-diameter open-star tip. Bake at 350F until the meringue is tinged golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before serving. 

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