One of the best desserts I've ever made: perfect combo of sweet and tart, delicious crust worth eating on its own, and the whole think held up beautifully. The Italian meringue is not difficult, but you do need a candy thermometer and remember to add the sugar syrup very slowly along the side of the bowl as you're beating the whites from soft to hard peak stage. I followed the recipe exactly except for adding some sliced almonds on top of the meringue and letting them toast slightly as the meringue browned.
The curd and crust came out pretty well, but I wish the recipe said how much time to boil the syrup to reach 250 degrees. I didn't have a candy thermometer; so I overcooked the syrup and ruined three egg whites. I decided to do a simple meringue topping (from Alton Brown's lemon meringue recipe on FoodNetwork.com), with much better results.
This turned out really delicious and beautiful. I didn't do so well with the straining of the berries, though I didn't have cheesecloth, so I had to improvise. It was very good nonetheless. The meringue was the best I've ever had.
Yes,I agree w/steponme, did the curd the day ahead, awesome flavor! Thanks again CLight. Just my husband and I, so i froze part, now I know what you are thinking... What a waste! Well when I thawed it, the topping actually was intact and the crust, but the curd was more runny. "chopped" stirred the whole thing in to vanilla ice cream. Better than the original? Close. I definitely will do it again. Maybe I should patent and send to Ben & Jerry's?
Loved this tart! Great way to enjoy blackberries w/o the seeds. For time sake, I cooked the crust & curd one day and the meringue, the next day. Also looks beautiful.