12 June 2015
This is quite possibly my favourite dessert of all time. Something about the zing of the lemon combined with the smoothness of meringue and the crumbly base just seems to tick all the boxes for what I want in a dessert.
I know that this isn’t a ‘proper’ Lemon Meringue Pie, but as you should know by now, I do things my own way. I suppose this is the illegitimate child of Lemon Meringue Pie and Key Lime Pie.
It is worth noting that this also requires NO BAKING, which is an advantage over the traditional Lemon Meringue as it means you can probably eat it sooner. Isn’t that what cooking is all about?
There is some blowtorch work at the end though, so make sure that you’re up to it!
350g Digestive biscuits
175g unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp icing sugar
The easiest part of the recipe, and can also be used as a base for cheesecakes, etc.
I suppose the type of biscuits doesn’t really matter a huge bunch. Try it with chocolate biscuits instead for an extra degree of flavour!
1. Place biscuits into a food processor and blend until fine crumbs. (You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your food processor.)
2. Add the butter and icing sugar and process again until combined. (Do this in a bowl if your processor is too small.)
3. Press the mixture into a tart dish (or loose-bottomed cake tin), ensuring that it is distributed evenly and that it comes up the sides.
4. Place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is ready to be added.
A video of this part of the recipe is also available - https://youtu.be/yIA_cu__oeM.
4 large lemons
200g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup caster sugar
2 whole eggs
6 egg yolks
50ml cold water
2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
This is a fairly basic lemon curd that I’ve tweaked here and there. Because it is already cooked on the stove, it does not require any additional baking. It has quite a strong lemon flavour, which is what I prefer. If you would like it sweeter, add an extra ½ cup of caster sugar, but keep in mind that there’s already sugar in the base, and the meringue is also quite sweet.
You could also use this to replace the store bought lemon curd used in my Lemon & Raspberry Tartlets recipe from Season 1.
1. Zest and juice the lemons. (You should end up with a couple of tablespoons of zest and approx. 250ml of juice.)
2. Add the zest, juice and caster sugar to a medium-sized pot and place over a medium-low heat until the sugar has melted and it just begins to bubble.
3. In a jug, whisk together the water and cornflour until combined, then add the eggs (all of them) and whisk again until combined.
4. On the stove, slowly pour the egg mixture into the lemon mixture while whisking constantly. (Unlike crème patissiere you need to keep a close eye on this as the bulk of the mixture is eggs.)
5. Continue to whisk until the mixture has thickened to a custard-like consistency (approx. 2-3 minutes) and then remove from the heat.
6. Whisk in the butter a few cubes at a time, adding more only when the previous cubes have melted. (I would add it in 5-6 batches.)
7. Once all of the butter has melted in and been combined completely, pour the filling into the chilled tart base and return to the fridge for approx. 30 minutes or until set.
8. Once set, it is time to add the meringue topping.
A video of this part of the recipe is also available - https://youtu.be/FVqQ_2M9Ah4.
4 large egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
¼ cup water
Italian meringue is one of the 2 types of “stable” meringue. Basically, boiling sugar syrup is whisked into egg whites, which cooks them, meaning that no further baking is required. It is similar to the first few steps of my Basic Macarons recipe from Season 1.
I will touch on the other meringues at a later time to explain why I have used this particular one here.
1. In a small pot over medium-high heat, bring the sugar and water to the boil, and allow to bubble until reduced slightly. (You don’t have to stand there and watch it like a hawk, but don’t be too far away, and check on it regularly.)
2. Using a benchtop/stand mixer, whisk the egg whites to a soft peak.
3. While the mixer continues to whisk, slowly pour in the hot sugar syrup.
4. Leave the mixer going for approx. 10 minutes, or until the mixer bowl is cool to the touch.
5. Your meringue is now ready to be piped, so transfer it into a piping bag fitted with whatever nozzle you think looks nice.
6. Pipe the meringue on top of the lemon curd in any design you like, then place the tart into the fridge for 10-15 minutes. (This will allow the meringue to form a slight skin, which makes is easier for the next step.)
7. Using a kitchen blowtorch, colour the meringue as much or as little as you want. (COLOUR GUIDE – White: No colour (or hardly any). This is fine, but a bit of colour adds visual appeal, as well as a hint of extra flavour and texture. Light Brown: Ideal colour for this type of meringue. Overall, a combination of browns is best. Dark Brown: Still okay, but approaching too much colour. Ease off a bit or you may burn it, and you can’t really undo that without replacing the meringue and starting again. Black: You burned it. As mentioned, there’s not really much you can do here, either leave it or do it again.)
8. Share the love. Or don’t. Both are good!
Serves as many as you let it.
A video of this part of the recipe is also available - https://youtu.be/PjmH9t1i394.