For my friend Daniel's birthday I said I'd make anything he wanted, and the request was lemon meringue pie. I was happy with this request as I'd never made it before, and it was also practicing a couple of my new pastry techniques, custard and meringues. Lets not even mention the excellent excuse to buy a wicked torch from Home Depot!
I did a search and found this truly beautiful tart on foodbeam. I couldnt possibly reproduce her wonderful styling, but had a lot of fun making this, and everyone thought it was the best lemon meringue pie they'd ever had! I usually get comments on my goodies, but people sought me out to tell me how wonderful it tasted! We only needed a little sliver as it was very rich and satisfying.
The lemon cream is absolutely unbelievable, I'm sure I'll be finding any excuse to try this in various guises!!
She said it made 1 large tart and 4 small ones, although I found myself with 1 large lemon meringue pie, two smaller ones and I ran out of meringue for the third mini tart.
Recipe: Adapted from foodbeam who adapted Pierre Hermé and Dorie Greenspan’s recipes
Pastry shell (I used the Jamie Oliver one again)
finely grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
130ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 4-5 lemons)
300g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into big chunks
2 egg whites
35g caster sugar
5g dehydrated egg whites (optional)
pinch of salt
Fill a large bowl with cold water
Mix the sugar and the lemon peel together to release the juices in a heatproof bowl.
Whisk in the eggs and then the lemon juice.
Place the bowl over a saucepan of gently boiling water and slowly and constantly stir until the temperature reaches 85c or 185f. As soon as it reaches temperature, place in the cold water and cool to 60c 140f.
Slowly incorporate the butter, whisking constantly. Blend for up to 8 minutes with a hand held blender until completely smooth.
Place plastic wrap directly over the cream and chill for at least a day before using.
Whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add the sugar and salt and either dehydrated egg whites and a pinch of cream of tartar. Whisk on high until the egg whites reach a soft peak.
Meanwhile, combine the sugar and the water and heat until the mixture reaches 240f or 115c.
Carefully pour the hot mixture into the side of the bowl of the egg whites while whisking. Increase to a high speed and whisk until the temperature cools to warm.
Spoon the lemon cream onto the cooled pastry shell, smooth and cool for an hour, then pipe the meringue on. Finish by caramelizing the meringue with a blow torch.