Clementine tart with Italian meringue and caramelised macadamias

Graham Hornigold’s clementine tart recipe is a real showstopper. The perfectly set filling is decorated with blowtorched Italian meringue, caramelised macadamia nuts and clementine segments for perfect presentation – an amazing dessert for a dinner party.

First published in 2018




Clementine filling

  • 165g of eggs
  • 300g of sugar
  • 500g of fresh clementine juice, reduced to 250g
  • 100g of double cream
  • 100g of whipping cream
  • 3 clementines, zest only

Sweet pastry

Italian meringue

Caramelised macadamias

  • 20g of sugar
  • 10ml of water
  • 100g of macadamia nuts
  • 20g of butter

Caramelised clementine segments

  • 5 clementine segments
  • icing sugar


  • Rolling pin
  • 20cm pastry ring
  • Baking spray
  • Baking beads
  • Pastry brush
  • Blowtorch
  • Food mixer with whisk attachment
  • Temperature probe
  • Piping bag with plain nozzle


To begin, make the pastry. Cream together the butter and sugar very lightly – do not over-mix, or you will add too much air to the pastry
Gradually add the eggs, mixing well between each addition. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl so that all the ingredients are uniformly mixed
Add the flour and salt and mix until you have a combined dough. Flatten out slightly then rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
Scatter a light dusting of flour on your work surface, remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out to a thickness of 3–4mm, rotating regularly to ensure the pastry does not shrink in an uneven fashion
Trim the pastry into a disc slightly larger than the tart tin, taking care not to over-trim which requires tricky patching up. This will make it easier to line the case and minimise the risk of tearing
Spray the inside of a 20cm pastry ring with baking spray, then very lightly dust with an even layer of flour
Lightly spray a baking sheet and lightly dust with flour. Place the pastry ring on top
Roll the pastry round the rolling pin and drape over the pastry ring. Gently mould the pastry into the ring
Roll some of the pastry trimmings into a ball and use to gently press around the edges of the tart base for a nice even finish. Make sure the pastry is flush against the case all the way around
Run a knife round the edge of the ring to cut away any excess pastry. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour to chill
Preheat the oven to 210°C/gas mark 7
When the pastry has chilled, prepare a blind baking mixture. You can use baking beads, rice, or even flour for this. Line the tart base with heatproof cling film with plenty overhanging the edges of the tart. Fill the tart with baking beads, rice or flour, and gently bring the overhanging cling film over the top to encase the filling
Blind bake the tart case until the edges start to turn a light brown colour. Turn the oven down to 195°C/gas mark 5 and cook for a further 15 minutes, until the case is a nice rich golden colour
Remove from the oven, remove the blind baking mixture and lightly brush all over with beaten egg yolk. Return to the oven for 2 more minutes to seal – this stops the filling soaking into the pastry during cooking
Remove from the oven, and allow to cool completely before filling
Preheat the oven to 140°C/gas mark 1
To make the filling, whisk together the eggs and sugar until creamy – it’s important that you whisk as soon as the eggs hit the sugar, or the acidity of the sugar will start to ‘cook’ the eggs and they will become slightly lumpy
  • 300g of sugar
  • 165g of eggs
Whisk in the clementine juice
  • 500g of fresh clementine juice, reduced to 250g
Add the cream, then grate the zest of one of the clementines into the mixture and whisk. Allow to chill in the fridge for a few hours
  • 100g of double cream
  • 1 clementine, zest only
  • 100g of whipping cream
Remove the filling from the fridge and lightly whisk to combine, as the mixture will have separated. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir occasionally, gently heating the mixture until it reaches 60°C. If you don’t have a temperature probe, it should be warm to the touch but not too hot
Take your blind-baked tart case and grate zest from the remaining clementines over the base. The essential oils in the zest will be released as the tart heats and impart a wonderfully aromatic flavour
  • 2 clementines, zest only
Transfer the filling mixture to a measuring jug. Half-fill the tart, then place the tart case on a baking tray on the oven shelf, and pour in the rest of the filling. Make sure you fill right to the top of the case
Use a blowtorch to quickly go back and forth over the mix and remove any air bubbles on the surface
Bake for 25–30 minutes until the tart starts to set but still has a slight wobble. It may require an additional 5–10 minutes. If you undercook the tart, it won’t set. Overcook, and the mixture will split
Gently remove the tart from the oven – it should have a slight wobble. Allow to gradually cool to room temperature; if you try to cool it quickly in the fridge, it might crack
While the tart is setting, make the decorations for your tart
For the Italian meringue, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and place on a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil and using a sugar thermometer, bring to 121°C
  • 100g of water
  • 300g of sugar
Just before the sugar reaches the desired temperature, place the egg whites in a food mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk on a low speed until they begin to form soft peaks
Increase the speed slightly and slowly pour the hot sugar mixture into mixer. Increase the speed to full until the outside of the bowl is lukewarm to the touch. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a wide nozzle. Keep in the fridge until ready to pipe
For the caramelised macadamias, mix together the sugar and water in a pan to form a mixture with a similar consistency to wet sand. Place over a moderate heat and shake the pan while the sugar starts to dissolve, continuously moving the pan so the sugar keeps re-crystallising as the water evaporates
  • 10ml of water
  • 20g of sugar
Add the macadamias to the pan and toss to coat in the sugar mixture. Once the sugar looks to be drying and crystallising around the nuts, continue to stir until a caramel starts to form. As soon as it turns dark and golden in colour, add the butter and stir until all the nuts are evenly coated
  • 100g of macadamia nuts
  • 20g of butter
Remove from the heat and tip out onto a piece of greaseproof paper to cool
Place the clementine segments on a heatproof surface and sprinkle evenly with icing sugar. Use a blowtorch to lightly caramelise and blacken the surface of each segment. Allow to cool
  • icing sugar
  • 5 clementine segments
Remove the tart from the fridge and gently remove the pastry ring. Use two step palette knives to gently slide the tart off the base and onto a board
Pipe the Italian meringue onto the tart
Lightly blowtorch the meringue for a wonderful golden finish
Roughly chop the caramelised macadamias
Garnish with caramelised macadamias and clementine segments and serve
First published in 2018

Graham Hornigold’s expert pastry skills have been refined in some of the best restaurants and hotels in London, effortlessly adding delicate, refreshing touches to dessert menus. Previously group pastry chef at Hakkasan Group, he now travels the world with his pastry consultancy business Smart Patisserie (as well as producing the best doughnuts you've ever tasted under the Longboys brand).

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