Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Nina L. Palmer

This is a revisited version of the classic lemon meringue pie recipe. It’s not innovative, but with the ideal proportions we’ll get a real treat. If you think it’s difficult, it’s not: you have to have some time ahead and be well organized. As often in pastry we get a good result with little patience! This Lemon Meringue Pie  an ideal dessert for Thanksgiving as it is lighter than a traditional cake after a good roasted turkey. You can also make individual tarts, and have some more meringues with coffee. I found the right mix sugar / acidity in the lemon cream: perhaps it won’t be up to your taste. Feel free to add a little lemon or a little sugar if needed.

Some useful tips for making this lemon meringue pie:

  1. Feel free to double the doses for the dough (it doesn’t take more time) and freeze half (you’ll get some ready to spread in a mold). This will serve you well and you will save time next time. I have prebaked tarts  in my freezer that will allow me to repeat this recipe when I feel it!
  2. The lemon cream or lemon curd, can be done the day before. you can prepare a little more than the needed amount (for about two pies).
  3. As said above, you can balance lemon zest and sugar to play with sweetness and acidity according to your taste.
  4. Italian meringue is very easy to make but must be done the day your serve the dessert. The syrup must boil at 120°c.

Ingredients: Lemon and meringue pie

For the pastry:

  • 2 1/2 cups (250 g) flour
  • 5 1/3 ounces (150 g) butter, softened
  • 3 3/4 tbsp (30 g) powdered sugar
  • 7 1/3 tbsp (60 g) of sugar
  • 1/3 cup (30 g) ground almonds
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 whole egg
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For the lemon cream:

  • The juice of 3 organic lemons (5 fl oz) and zest
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup (200 g) of caster sugar
  • 7 tbsp (100 g) butter

For the meringue:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup (150 g) of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) of water

Instructions: Lemon and meringue pie

The almond pastry: Mix flour, powdered sugar, icing sugar, ground almonds and salt (unless you use salted butter). Add the butter into small pieces and work with your fingertips to get a coarse sanding. Then add the egg and mix well. Form a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Keep in a cool place a few hours (the ideal is to make the dough the day before).

Spread the dough or on a floured surface or between sheets of parchment paper. Fill your pan, prick with a fork and line bottom with parchment paper covered baking beads. Bake at 360°F (180°c) for 30 minutes. Ten minutes before the end of cooking, remove the paper and the balls so that the bottom can be colored. Place in the refrigerator.

Lemon Cream: Wash and remove the zest of the lemons with a fine grater. Mix the zest with the sugar with your fingertips and let steep 5 minutes. Then add the lemon juice and beaten eggs. Pour into a saucepan and allow to thicken over low heat, whisking constantly. When the cream is smooth, remove from heat and let slightly cool before adding the diced butter. Mix well and let cool before refrigerate. Lemon Cream can be done the day before.

The meringue: In a saucepan boil water and sugar for 5 minutes. The syrup must reach 250°F (120°c). Meanwhile, get the egg whites. When the syrup is ready, pour the whites very slowly while continuing to beat. Beat well for about ten minutes until cool. The meringue should be firm and shiny.

The “construction” of the pie: On the bottom of pastry, spread the lemon cream (must you keep, keep it refrigerated for another use), smooth with a spatula. Pour the meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a fluted tip and spread it on top of the pie by making pretty designs (balls, spikes, spirals …). Make color the top of the meringue with a small torch or go very briefly under the broiler. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Recipe inspired by Dominique

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