Lemon meringue pie, sweet, delicious and worth the trouble!
Ah sweet and delicious lemon meringue pie. I love it so intensely that I always order it anywhere if it is on the menu. Now of course sadly enough I’ve had my share of bad pies but this is easy to make (despite the trouble in the title) and so good!
Lemon meringue pie
What is it that makes a lemon meringue pie such a classic? Is it the combination of that sweet, sour filling or the fluffy meringue on top? Whatever the case, I can never get enough of this delicious pie. I had not made it myself at home but this time I figured I should give it a go. For the filling I used a combination of lemon and lime, but of course you can pick either one of the two. It is called lemon meringue so technically it should be lemon but I like the combination in this case.
Making the dough
Of course the first step to making the lemon meringue is to make the dough. It is an essential part of a good pie. You want the crust to be strong enough to be able to support the heavy filling but also crunchy and delicious. The key part here is to use ingredients that are really cold. So when you add the butter to the flour make sure you use really really cold butter. Also don’t over mix it in the machine. While doing so it will warm up and that is not what you want.
Also when mixing by hand, if you have warm hands that could have an impact on the end result. So minimal touching and cold ingredients. That’s key.
And of course chilling it in the fridge before you roll it out and use it in the baking tin.
Once you’ve rolled out the dough and lined your baking tin with it, it is time to blind bake the crust. For that I preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F) and line the dough with a piece of baking paper. This works best if you crumble the paper first and then uncrumble it. Place it on the dough and use weights to place on the paper. For weights you can use dried legumes of any kind, dried rice or special baking beans. The result is the same.
I first bake the pie with the weights for about 20 minutes. I take it out of the oven and remove the weights with the paper. I place it back in the oven and bake until the crust is cooked and golden brown.
Now comes the meringue part. For that you have to make sure you have whipped the egg whites to firm peaks. For disclosure; if you look at the photos you can see that my meringue here was not as high as I wanted it to be. I hadn’t whipped the meringues enough, but the taste was still the same. But yeah that should have been higher!
Now to burn the meringue you can either place it back into the oven and bake it for about 5 minutes or so until browned or you can use a brulee torch to do that. I actually prefer the latter as it gives you much more control over the end result. But if you don’t have a torch you can use the oven.
Make sure to have everything cooled off before cutting the cake. Especially if you’ve placed the curd and the meringue in the oven as that will have made the filling somewhat soft. Still delicious but it might run away.. 🙂
Lemon and lime meringue pie
- Round baking tin of around 22 cm
- 225 gr all purpose flour
- 160 gr butter
- 80 gr sugar
- 1/2 egg
- pinch of salt
- filling for blind baking beans, rice or baking beans
Lemon and lime filling
- 1 lemon
- 2 limes
- 50 gr cornflour
- 100 gr sugar
- 250 ml water
- 50 gr butter
- 3 egg yolks don’t throw away the egg whites
- 3 eggwhites
- 100 gr sugar
- Mix the ingredients quickly in the foodprocessor and bring together into a ball. Wrap in plastic and leave in the fridge for at least half an hour.
- Grate the lemon and the limes and juice them. Heat the cornflour, sugar with the juice and water on low heat in a small saucepan. If you've whisked out the lumps (with a wooden spoon) turn the heat up. The lemon filling should bind a bit and become translucent. Remove from the heat. Add the butter and let it melt into the sauce. Add the grated lemon zest. Whisk the three egg yolks and add to the sauce, stir well.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C. Roll the dough and line the baking tin with it. Crumble a piece of baking paper and place that on the dough. Add the dried beans or the baking beans on top to weigh it down. Blind bake for 20 minutes. Remove the baking paper and continue to bake for about ten more minutes until the pastry is golden brown but not too dark.
- Let the bottom and the filling cool completely. Divide the filling over the bottom. Whisk the eggwhites and while whisking add the sugar bit by bit. The eggwhites should be shiny and sticky and if you make little peaks with the mixer it should stay up for a bit.
- Preheat the oven to 180˚ C. Scoop the egg whites on top of the cake and make little peaks and swirls with a fork. Put into the oven and leave to brown for about 5 to ten minutes. Leave the cake to cool down for at least an hour before cutting.
The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.