Tarte de tomates vertes (green tomato pie)

Yield: 6 To 8

Measure Ingredient
2 larges Lemons
⅓ cup Water
½ cup Granulated Sugar
½ pounds Puff Pastry; thawed
1 Whole Egg
1 tablespoon Arrowroot; (May substitute cornstarch)
⅓ cup Unsalted Butter
3 pounds Green Tomatoes; cored, peeled, seeded, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 larges Egg Whites
1 tablespoon Confectioners' Sugar

Recipe-a-Day is celebrating our first birthday and you're invited to the dinner party. We've offered you a variety of tarts over the past several days, to choose as a side dish or as a finish to our French feast. Today's recipe is one that will keep the conversation going long after the dinner party has ended, because it's difficult to believe the ingredients utilized can produce such a light, rhubarb-like, pie.

If you're a gardener in search of an idea for using those green tomatoes that just won't ripen on the vine at the end of the growing season, we've got a great little recipe for you! If you're not a gardener, get to know one, because you'll need green tomatoes as the main ingredient of this fantastic French dessert.

Pre-heat oven to 400-F degrees and assemble your mise-en-place, now.

(Mise-en-place defined: French cookery method whereby you arrange each ingredient in the portion and sequence you'll require to prepare your recipe.)

Use a sharp knife to carefully remove the zest (lemon peel) from one of the lemons, and then slice it into fine julienne. Make sure to leave the white, bitter part of the peel behind. Grate the zest from the remaining lemon and reserve.

In a small saucepan, combine the julienned lemon peel, water, and 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and cook for about 5 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated. Drain the lemon peel and set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a 12-inch circle, about ⅛-inch thick. (If you used the Puff Pastry recipe from yesterday's Lemon Tart, you'll have enough puff pastry to prepare two green tomato pies.) Transfer the pastry to a 9-inch tart pan, preferably with a removable bottom. Gently fit the pastry into the pan and trim off any excess. Prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork, for even baking. Then cover it with aluminum foil and weight the foil with dried beans or rice. Bake the pastry for about 15 minutes, or until it is lightly browned. Remove the foil and set on a wire rack to cool.

In a small mixing bowl, mix the arrowroot with the egg and reserve.

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the tomato slices for about 5 minutes, or until soft, working gently so as to not tear the slices as they're turned. Sprinkle 3 table- spoons of the sugar over the tomatoes and stir gently. Spoon some of the liquid from the pan into the egg and arrowroot mixture to temper it, that pour the egg mixture into the pan and continue to stir gently. Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the julienned lemon peel. Spoon the tomatoes into the pastry shell and pour the remaining liquids over the top. Let the filling cool slightly before proceeding.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks with an electric handheld mixer. Add the remaining two tablespoons of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the grated lemon zest into the meringue.

Use a spatula to spread the meringue evenly over the tomato filling, swirling it into peaks for an attractive final presentation.

Bake for about 5 minutes in the same 400-F degree oven, or until the meringue is golden.

Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.

Posted to dailyrecipe@... by Recipe-a-Day <recipe-a-day@...> on Oct 8, 1998, converted by MM_Buster v2.0l.

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