It really got ugly all up in here.
My break from the world of the intertubes was a difficult one at first. You see, when I have a free moment, I usually surf my way through my google reader, tumblr, facebook, twitter, and the forums. These free moments turn into full half hours. Because I love just totally fizzing out my brain, spacing out, and enjoying the ride. It's how I relax and feel connected to the rest of the world.
When I couldn't check on what was going on online, I felt a little disconnected. A lot disconnected. What if there's a natural disaster and I don't know about it? What if there's a big piece of news from the Middle East? What if another celebrity I don't care about kicks the bucket? How will I know if twitter isn't telling me? OH GOD HOW I MISS YOU INTERNET.
After a while I got used to it. And I realized how productive I could be. I did laundry. Cooked dinner. Corrected a few hundred pages of my students' homework. And baked. Of course baked.
These little tarts are a throwback to a simpler time. It's an old school Irish recipe (and when I say old school, I mean hundreds of years before you could post the recipe on tumblr) but one that brings a great simplicity to the table. It's originally called an Apple Amber, but I'm just going to call it what it really is: a tiny apple meringue pie. Apple puree sits in a little tart shell and is topped with a fresh toasted meringue. Simple. Perfect.
I would recommend baking this up for your St. Patrick's Day party. It's nothing fancy, and it's not green or filled with booze, but that's okay. Let's step away from all those snazzy bookmarks you've got on your internet browser. Let's take a break. Eat a simple tart. And enjoy a simple day.
Unless you want to sit and goof off on the internet all day. Because that's totally what I'm going to do.
Apple Meringue Tarts
Makes about 15 to 18 tarts
Pie dough or pre-made tart shells
4 medium apples (cored and peeled)
2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3 eggs (separated)
1/2 cup sugar (separated)
1) Roll out your pie dough to fit in tart shells (this is my favourite recipe) or lay out your pre-made shells on a baking sheet. Set oven to 350 degrees.
2) Puree your apples in your food processor. It's okay if there are still some small chunks leftover - it's great for the texture. Pour the puree into a sauce pan with your water, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/4 cup of sugar. Heat on low until everything has been cooked down a bit. Take off of heat and, when it's cool, whisk in your three egg yolks. Pour your pie filling into your tart shells and bake for about 15 minutes, or until your tart shell is golden. Leave out to cool.
3) While your tarts are baking and cooling, put your three egg whites and 1/4 cup of sugar into your mixer and whip until you've reached stiff peaks. Pipe your meringue on top of your cooled tarts and toast with a torch when you're ready to serve. Enjoy.