Pomegranate Meringue Tarts with Spicy Chocolate Ganache
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: Six 4-inch round tartlets
 
ingredients:
Pate Sucree
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup ice water plus 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Spicy (or not) Chocolate Ganache
  • 3 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter, cut up
  • ⅛ - ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Pomegranate curd
  • 1 cup POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice
  • Half a lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks *
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon powdered gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons grenadine, for color
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
Swiss Meringue
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
directions:
Make and Bake the Pate Sucree
  1. Place flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add butter to flour mixture, and process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 20 seconds. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolks and ice water until combined. Pour egg mixture through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, with the machine running. Process just until dough holds together, no more than 30 seconds.
  2. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface, then scrape it onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Gently pat it into disk. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place six 4-inch tart rings or molds on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pate sucree to ⅛ to ¼ inch thick. Cut out six 6-inch circles of dough with a sharp paring knife, using a 6-inch round cutter or an overturned 6-inch bowl as a guide. Press dough into tart rings; trim excess with a sharp knife. Dock tart shells by piercing the bottom all over with a fork. Transfer to the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.
  5. Cut out six 6-inch parchment paper circles, and line rings; fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and carefully remove parchment and beans. Return to oven, and continue baking until golden brown all over, about 10 minutes more. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Carefully remove tart shells from tart rings, and set aside.
Make the Spicy Chocolate Ganache
  1. Place chocolate in medium bowl. Pour heavy cream into heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Pour cream over chocolate and let sit for about a minute. Add cayenne and whisk until smooth. Stir in butter until combined and uniform. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour about 2 to 3 tablespoons of ganache into each tart shell, dividing any extra ganache evenly between the tarts.. Cover each tart with plastic wrap and let set in the fridge.
Make the Pomegranate Curd
  1. In a small heat proof bowl or cup, sprinkle gelatin over the tablespoon of pomegranate juice and let sit until softened. When ready to add to curd, place cup or bowl it's in in simmering water until the gelatin is completely melted, dissolved and smooth. or just nuke it for a second or two.
  2. Whisk egg yolks and salt together in a medium sized bowl. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, combine juices and sugar. Stir and heat to just below boiling.
  3. Pour some of hot pomegranate juice sugar mixture into the yolks, stirring constatntly so not to scramble the yolks, then pour the yolk mixture into the pot, whisking it in rapidly. Over medium heat, whisk the mixture constantly and fairly quickly until thickened (temp will be about 160 degrees F, if you're using a thermometer and it will coat the back of a spoon, enough so that you can draw a line through it with your finger, and it stays).
  4. Remove the pot from heat and stir in melted gelatin and then butter, a little at a time until it's all melted in. Pour the curd into a wire strainer over a bowl or large glass measuring cup (4 cup), then stir in grenadine until uniform in color, and pomegranate seeds if using. Let cool for about 15 minutes. You don't want it to melt the ganache and turn into a chocolate marbled mess! Refrigerate for those 15 minutes if need be, with plastic wrap pressed on top of the curd.
  5. When cool, pour curd over set ganache in each tart shell, dividing it evenly. Cover each tart with plastic wrap, pressing it on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let set in the fridge until firm.
Make Swiss Meringue
  1. Place egg whites and sugar in te bowl of your stand mixture and place over a pot of of simmering water, making sure the water does not come in contact with the bottom of the bowl., Gently whisk egg whites and sugar together over simmering water until egg white mixture is hot to touch or a candy thermometer reads 140°F, being careful not to cook the egg whites via constant shirring.
  2. Place bowl on stand mixer, and beat until double in volume and thick and glossy, holding firm peaks that just curl at the tip. Quickly beat in vanilla extract.
  3. Spoon evenly or pipe decoratively over tarts. Brown meringue with a kitchen or blow torch or place tarts on a baking sheet in a preheated 375 F oven for about 15 minutes until meringue is browned.
notes:
* If you want to err on the side of caution, add 1 tablespoon cornstarch to yolks and salt prior to mixing and tempering, and decrease gelatin to ¼ teaspoon.
Recipe by parsley sage sweet at http://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2009/04/10/pom-is-wonderful/