When Jonty tries to perfect a technique, he really tries to perfect it. We’ll have the same dessert for multiple weeks (or months!) in a row until he understands what he’s doing and knows how his ingredients behave. It’s in his nature! Lucky for me, his attempts are always edible, and it’s in my nature to never turn down a dessert!
Case in point? He started fiddling with making meringues almost a year ago! He has long since perfected his technique for the classic (French) meringue, so what comes next? Perfecting the lemon curd!
Lemon meringue pie is one of my favourites, so if my husband wants to make this pie over a few weekends, I will not stop him! The tweaks have been in finding the right balance of sweet and sour. With the meringue being fairly sweet, we like our curd on the tart side.
A typical recipe for lemon curd would use equal amounts of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and sugar. We use MORE lemon juice (plus the zest) and LESS sugar, making this lemon tart nice and lemon-y! He has tried more sugar, less sugar, adding a bit of flour (to thicken), and leaving it out. For our tastes, I think he’s found a winner with this one!
The great thing about lemon meringue pie is that you’re not left with unused egg whites or yolks. The yolk goes into the lemon curd, and the whites go into the meringue. Perfect!
The weekend is shaping up to be a soggy one and I’m pretty sure this pie is going to taste fantastic with a warm cup of tea!
- Serves: 1 - 9" pie
- Serving size: ⅛th pie
- Calories: 342
- Fat: 14.4 g
- Saturated fat: 7.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 53.9 g
- Sugar: 43.8 g
- Sodium: 109.3 mg
- Fiber: 2.1 g
- Protein: 2.9 g
- Cholesterol: 38.3 mg
- ¾ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice + zest (~3 large lemons)
- ½ cup superfine sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 - 3 tsp cornstarch or flour
- ¼ cup butter, cut into cubes
- 5 egg whites (150 g)
- 250 g superfine sugar
- Sometimes we'll use a frozen whole wheat pastry shell instead of making our own pastry (sometimes you can't do it all!!). If using, cook the pie shell according to directions, or use a recipe like this one.
- To make the lemon curd, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, superfine sugar, egg yolks and cornstarch. In the microwave, heat the mixture in 30 second intervals, whisking the mixture well after each interval, until the curd is thick and custardy. This can take 10 mins or so, depending on your microwave strength. If you make the curd on the stove top, heat the mixture over medium-low heat and whisk continuously until the curd has thickened. Add the butter cubes and whisk until the butter has melted and combined with the curd.
- To make the meringue, feel free to follow Jonty's directions here. By weight, he uses a 1.5 sugar to 1 egg white ratio. Basically, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form then add the sugar (a tbsp at a time) while the mixer is still running, whisking very well in between sugar additions.
- Pre-heat the oven to 300°F. Pour the lemon curd into the baked pie crust. Dollop the meringue onto the lemon curd with a spoon, edges first working inwards. The meringue should be stiff enough to create peaks.
- Bake the lemon meringue pie for 35 minutes, in the centre of the oven, until the meringue turns a gentle brown.
- Cool completely before serving. Yes, it's difficult, but slicing the pie while still warm will result in a lemon soup in your plate. Still delicious, but perhaps not picture-worthy 😉