Mango & Lime Meringue Tartlet

Sometimes you just feel the need to experiment with flavours and texture. Today was one of those days and here is the rather fun result. It's not a masterpiece but I think the blend of citrus, mango, sweet meringue Italienne all in a pate sucre tart shell works well enough. The trick here I believe is to get the lime prominent enough without overshadowing the heady tropical mango.

Ever since I produced my mango souffle at my restaurant back in the nineties and having lived for so long in Africa, mango has always been my firm favourite. It's a little similar to avocado in as much the ripeness is everything. Under ripe it's hard and almost tasteless, over ripe and it's a pretty gross mush ! Just right, the mango and the avocado are both one of lifes joys. If you can get hold of the Alphonse mango so much the better but any mango when it's perfectly ripe is just fine.

Here I have created a mango and lime curd using four egg yolks, sugar and butter. Some gelatin can be added for a slightly firmer texture if desired.

A slice of fresh mango and some fine lime zest finishes this little tart quite nicely but even a small soft piece of semi dried mango could be used to great effect.

'Europain' 14 Paris ......(No 1)

Something is very right with the world when you find yourself in Paris in Spring. When the sky is pure blue and despite it only being ten days into March and the outside temperature is 20 degrees and you are in Paris to look at cakes, then the world is more than just right !

This was my first visit to Europain and it wont be my last. One of the largest gatherings of bakers, patissieres, chocolatiers and confectioners in the world and with hundreds of exhibitors this is the place to be. If you cannot be enthused by the sheer size, passion and diversity of this remarkable show then you cannot be enthused by anything !

Personally I had several suppliers and equipment manufacturers to see and all of them were so accommodating, enthusiastic and inspiring.  One can only respect the immense style and organisation of the French. When it comes to food there are few nations that come close. When it comes to patisserie the French are 'past masters'. Here at Europain were many who are at the top of their profession and like in any walk of life one can only stand back and admire such craftsmanship and excellence.

Europain is a 5 day event situated at the Parc de Exposition, Villepinte in Paris Nord. It is very much similar to the NEC in Birmingham but seemingly on a much larger scale with many exhibition halls.

Many of the 'new wave' patisserie techniques which I have written about before and the results of those techniques were on display here in profusion. Also it was extremely interesting for an artisan patissiere like myself to have a look at the enormous machines that the industrial bakers use with the bowls of the mixing machines, for example, at least the size of a small car !

Europain was a 'shot in the arm' of pure patisserie heaven and in the coming days I will expand further and post more photographs of this wonderful event. Enjoy !!

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