"Yes, that's it," said the Hatter with a sigh. "It's always tea time . . . "
--Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
As soon as I found out that the theme for this month's Five Star Makeover - hosted as ever by our fearless leaders Natasha of 5 Star Foodie and Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks - was to be a variation on a dish one might find at high tea, I knew that I wanted to incorporate Indian flavors somehow. After all, Indian cuisine has become an integral part of food culture in England, and I thought it would be fun to reference it in such an old British tradition as high tea.
My regular readers are no doubt aware that I almost always choose to make (and eat) savory over sweet, so I though I'd play against type and do something sweet for high tea. And so these curry leaf-infused lime curd tartlets with cardamom rose whipped cream and candied curry leaves were born.
A qualified success. Qualified because while the flavor in my curd was 100% there - tart, sweet, with just a hint of nutty curry leaf - the consistency was a bit looser than I would have liked. Good for spooning over a scone, not so good for setting up nicely in a tartlet shell. In retrospect, I needed to use one more egg. Similarly, the coconut almond crust tasted just how I wanted - subtly, but not overpoweringly sweet - but I would have preferred a bit more crispness in texture. A longer baking time would clear that problem up, I expect.
And so I will refrain from sharing the recipe until and unless I perfect it. I'm weird like that.
The whipped cream and the candied curry leaves on the other hand ... now, they came out just as I wanted. And so simple! The whipped cream is nothing more than a cup of heavy cream, whipped with a dollop of rosewater, a teaspoon of powdered sugar, and, at the very end, a whisper of cardamom.
For the candied curry leaves, brush whipped egg whites onto each leaf and then dip in sugar. Stick them in the fridge to dry and you end up with glittery, ethereal, crunchy little bites: