Meringue lemon pie

Impress your friends and family with this amazing meringue lemon pie.

You may think this is a very complicated recipe but, actually making this meringue lemon pie is easy but the result is a real show-stopper!

I discover this tart a few years ago, and I must say I would have never imagined that meringue and lemon jam would be so perfect together. The sour taste of the lemon and sweetness of the crust and the meringue create an amazingly balanced dessert.
Preparing the meringue might seem tricky but I can assure that it’s easy! The best part is that you won’t need to go through the long slow cooking process the merengue usually need.

Lemon merengue tart

Meringue lemon pie: reduced sugar version

Usually meringue is prepared with a lot of sugar, but you can actually reduce the quantity, a lot! Since the lemon jam or curd is already sweet, I like my desserts to be more on a milder side so I use less sugar for the meringue topping. However if you like a sweeter dessert you can double the amount of sugar used for the topping.

I usually use my home made lemon jam. I prepare the jam with the amazing lemons that grow on my parent’s backyard. They’re big and juicy and I also use the zest to make it more tasty. Making it at home allows me to reduce the sugar quantity. I like the jam to be tart and not sugary.
When you use lemon curd instead  you’ll get a heavier pie since the curd is made using eggs, butter and more sugar than the classic jam.

The last tip, as usual, is to use a less refined flour, organic if possibile, and not bleached. White flour as we all know has a very high glycemic index (it’s just plain carbs) whereas if you use whole wheat you’ll also get important nutritional value from the wheat germ and the fiber of the husk.

Meringue lemon pie: variations and serving suggestions

Even though a large pie is always beautiful, you could impress your guests even more if you make mini individual pies. This variation is perfect for buffet or brunches where everyone can have a single mini pie instead of cutting larger one. Mini pies are useful also to control the amount of dessert you’re eating if you want to reduce your sweets intake.

If you do not have lemon jam or curd, you could swap it for a tart jam like orange or raspberry or blackberry. You could also use fresh berries instead of jam. In this case I would add some sugar to the fruits or double the amount of sugar in the meringue.

You can also try my crostata recipe if you prefer a simpler dessert.

Ingredients for a 24cm (9inch) round baking tray

  • 300gr of lemon jam or lemon curd
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 120gr butter or coconut oil (room temperature)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 300gr flour + 50gr to dust the board
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda

 

For the meringue

  • 2 egg whites
  • 50gr of powdered sugar

Method

Step 1
To make the pastry, sift the flour into a large bowl. Add salt, sugar and stir well. Tear the butter with your fingers into the bowl and mix it with the flour mixture until it becomes crumbly.

Step 2
Make a hole in the center and add the beaten yolks. Mix the dough by squishing it through your fingers until it becomes soft and smooth. Squishing instead of kneading will slow the formation of the gluten bond that will turn the pastry hard when cooked. Let the pastry sit in the fridge for half an hour, covered with a plastic wrap.

Step 3
Remove the pastry from the fridge and flatten it with a rolling pin. Lay the flattened dough in the tray and fill it with the lemon jam or curd. Cook in a preheated oven at 190/200°C for about 40 minutes.

Step 4
As the tart cools down, prepare the meringue. Whisk the egg whites with the sugar using an electric whisk. As it starts to set, add a little at a time the powdered sugar and keep whisking until it form very stiff peaks.

Step 5
Put the meringue in a piping bag and decorate the pie. Put the tart back in the oven at 50/80°C for 15 minutes. Broil it for 3 minutes to golden the merengue on top of the tarte. Serve it cool.

Lemon merengue tart

 

 

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