Arthur Lou Tart

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Greg Collier shares his grandmother's tart recipe.

Arthur Lou Tart
Photo: Brie Williams
Active Time:
35 mins
Chill Time:
6 hrs
Bake Time:
1 hrs 5 mins
Cool Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
Stand Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
10 hrs 40 mins
Servings:
6

In Charlotte, North Carolina, Subrina and Greg Collier have transformed the local dining scene and manifested a vision that uplifts Black chefs beyond the city limits. Their lauded Charlotte restaurant, Leah & Louise, opened in 2020; the "modern juke joint" pays homage to the South and the ingredients that make up the Black culinary canon. "The older I became in this industry, the more I understood that everybody has a space," Subrina Collier says. "So I created one that everybody can participate in, but it's rooted in Black foodways."

The Arthur Lou Tart is a prime example of the Colliers' celebratory, reverent spirit. Vibrant in flavor and color, this dessert is a modern play off the oatmeal cookies and Tang that Greg's late granny Arthur Louise Prewitt would give him as a snack. With an oatmeal piecrust, orange custard, Swiss ginger meringue, and sliced fruit on top, the Arthur Lou Tart is a guaranteed showstopper. This dessert is layered and elegant—a true pastry marvel that you can recreate at home. Top the tart with whatever fruit is in season, or serve it as is.

Ingredients

Oatmeal Piecrust

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. oat flour 

  • ¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface and hands

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening

  • 3 tablespoons cold water

Orange Custard

  • 6 large egg yolks (save 3 egg whites for meringue)

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. orange powdered drink mix (such as Tang) 

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Swiss Ginger Meringue

  • 3 large egg whites

  • ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup light corn syrup

Additional Ingredient

  • Sliced seasonal fruit (optional)

Directions

  1. Prepare the Oatmeal Piecrust: Stir together oat and all-purpose flours, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut cubed butter and shortening into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal (pea-size bits with a few larger bits of fat are okay). Drizzle in cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until dough begins to form large clumps. Transfer to a floured work surface. Dough should come together easily and should not feel overly sticky. Using floured hands, fold dough until it's combined (there should be no dry bits visible) and fats are speckled throughout. Shape into a ball; flatten into a 1-inch-thick disk using your hands. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 5 days.

  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Unwrap dough roll into a 13-inch round on a lightly floured work surface. Transfer to an 11-inch tart pan, pressing into bottom and up sides of pan. Coat a piece of parchment paper with cooking spray; place, greased side down, on crust. Fill with pie weights. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Carefully remove parchment and pie weights. Return to oven; bake at 375°F until crust is set, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

  3. While Oatmeal Piecrust bakes, prepare the Orange Custard: Whisk together egg yolks, eggs, whipping cream, granulated sugar, drink mix, and salt in a large bowl until well combined. Let mixture stand until room temperature, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.

  4. Fill a large baking pan with water to a depth of 1 inch. Place on bottom oven rack. Preheat oven to 300°F. Pour Orange Custard into cooled Oatmeal Piecrust. Bake until center of filling is set, 45 to 55 minutes. Turn oven off; let tart cool in oven with oven door ajar for 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool to room temperature, 1 hour. Chill, uncovered, until cold, about 4 hours or up to overnight (12 hours).

  5. Prepare the Swiss Ginger Meringue: Beat egg whites with a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium-high speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Add cream of tartar; beat 1 minute. Beat in cornstarch, ground ginger, and salt until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Turn mixer off.

  6. Cook sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan over high, stirring occasionally, until a thermometer registers 240°F, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low, and slowly drizzle about 2 tablespoons syrup mixture into egg white mixture. (If you add too much syrup at once, the whites will scramble.) Slowly drizzle in remaining syrup mixture. Increase mixer speed to medium-high, and beat until meringue is stiff and glossy, about 6 minutes. Spread meringue evenly on top of cooled tart. Using a kitchen torch, lightly toast meringue. If desired, garnish with sliced seasonal fruit. Serve immediately, or store, covered, in refrigerator up to 1 week.

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