Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Curry Leaf-Infused Lime Curd Tartlets with Cardamom Rose Whipped Cream and Candied Curry Leaves, in a Coconut Almond Crust

"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.

The result?

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:
And so, in lieu of a proper recipe, I'll leave you with some pretty pictures. After setting these shots up, I realized that, whereas most people likely (and correctly) think of a proper high tea as a communal affair, the functional introvert in me prefers to re-imagine it as a time for quiet reflection and a solitary sip, perhaps while reading one's favorite old novel, in this case Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice.


Check out what everyone else brought to the tea party on Friday by following the link below.  I am certain that after doing so, you will feel nothing at all as Alice did after she left the Mad Hatter's tea party: "At any rate I'll never go there again!" said [she] as she picked her way through the wood. "It's the stupidest tea party I ever was at in all my life!"





22 comments:

  1. Lovely photos and an inspired creation. We'll wait for the perfected recipe.

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  2. This is brilliant. Can't wait for the recipe.

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  3. Every aspect of this is beautiful, Trix. The candied curry leaves especially really make it feel unique, but I love how all the flavors and textures play off each other. Keep us posted if you play with the recipe more!

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  4. The use of curry leaves make this really interesting. Gorgeous photos, too!

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  5. Brilliant.
    Just plain brilliant...

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  6. what an awesome way to use curry leaves

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  7. So clever a post.
    Your tarts look fabulous.
    I absolutely must make your candied curry leaves, brilliant!
    Loving the tea party theme, definitely not stupid :)
    LL

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  8. You know, taking tea is often a private pleasure for me. A bit of sweet and a cup of tea to calm the world for a bit... a guilty pleasure and one that I think these beauties would be perfect for. A delicious remake of a dessert, Trix. I love the spicy flavors and the leaves are a genius idea. I am terribly fond of lime custard.... with the cardamom and rose cream... wow.

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  9. oh my, these tarts look gorgeous!! and the flavors you put in there, absolutely phenomenal. can't wait for your perfected version :)

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  10. Sugared curry leaves are such an elegant garnish to these beautiful tarts! p.s.: craving a Pimm's cocktail all day today ;-)

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  11. Love the sugared curry leaves and the tart looks beautiful.

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  12. candied curry leaves- tht's a wonderful idea and loved its infusion in the recipe. bookmarking this

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  13. I'm with you! I never feel comfortable sharing a recipe unless I'm convinced that it would turn out properly if someone at home tried to make it. I do hope you'll make this again so you can tweak the recipe and share it with us. The photos are fantastic!

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  14. Honestly don't know where to start and what a mouthful...in title and in taste. i am so curious to try one of these beauties. Brilliant Trix!

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  15. now that's a mouthful, the title that is - a totally tasteful yet terrifying tartlet tea (for two) - my own mouthful...
    so many of my first attempts end up the same, but many times I fail to capture the end in photos, I just give up...
    oh, and a bounteous blessed and blissful becoming birthday

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  16. Trixie, you know I've got a whole tree of curry leaves outside my kitchen so now I'm totally dying to try out this tart recipe! Hurry up and post it soon, it sounds too yummy to pass up! In the meantime, I'll console myself with those candied curry leaves, but hmmm...need to think up an alternative for that egg white :). Brilliant blend of flavors, as usual, you are amazing!

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  17. what beautiful little tartlets and fabulous ingredients! really creative. so happy to have found your blog and very happy to follow :))
    mary x

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  18. I cannot wait for you to post the recipe! You know how much I love my Indian spices and flavors, and your creation sounds like heaven to me. Your photos are beautiful Trix. Like you I too prefer to sit quietly with some tea and a good book.

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  19. What a unique dish! Also, that teacup is gorgeous. Can't wait for the recipe!

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  20. You know how much it absolutely revolts me to say this but I could just lick my screen. What a glorious combination of flavors this is. All that and so perfect for, well, tea of course. But then can you even get a cup of tea large enough to suit this fine tart?

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  21. Oh, dear lord. This is inspired, so beautiful and I bet it tastes incredible. I'd never have thought to crystallize curry leaves. I'm in heaven!

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