PALAZZETTI MAGAZINE

Are you looking for the perfect recipe for lemon meringue pie? Has making it at home always seemed like an impossible task? Then you’re reading the right post. The lemon meringue pie we’re talking about today is a bit laborious and – like all the finer things life has to offer us – requires time and dedication (and a good dose of patience too), but the result will repay all the effort.

Lemon meringue pie is a traditional pie, at once simple and sophisticated, characterised by a surprising play of textures, flavours and colours. A shell of fragrant shortcrust pastry encloses a heart of melting and incredibly fragrant lemon cream, topped with a hat of delicate flamed Italian meringue.

Sweet, but not too sweet. Light on the palate but buttery to the soul, as befits a pie. Unforgettable once tasted, like desserts with a capital D. Ready to discover the step-by-step recipe for making the perfect meringue pie at home?

Lemon Meringue Pie – the recipe

INGREDIENTS (serves 8)

For the shortcrust pastry with no yeast:

  • 190 g butter
  • 130 g caster sugar
  • 3 egg yolks (approx. 60 g)
  • 300 g 00 flour
  • the zest of 1 lemon
  • a pinch of salt

For the lemon curd:

  • 130 g lemon juice
  • 150 g butter
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 230 g sugar
  • 1 sheet of isinglass (5 g)
  • the zest of 1 lemon

For the Italian style meringue:

  • 50 g sugar
  • 140 g egg white
  • 230 g sugar
  • 50 g water
  • a pinch of salt

METHOD

Prepare the shortcrust pastry shell for the lemon meringue pie: by following our recipe, it will roll out easily, won’t break and will be fragrant and fluffy.

  1. Cut the fridge cold butter into cubes; mix with the sugar, grated lemon zest and a pinch of salt.
  2. Briefly knead by hand or in the food processor using the paddle attachment, until smooth.
  3. Then add the egg yolks. Continue mixing until well incorporated.
  4. Now add the flour. Knead until completely absorbed into the dough, resulting in a smooth pastry (this step is best done using a food processor, so as not to heat up the mixture too much).
  5. Create a rectangular shape, not too thick (this way the dough will cool faster), wrap it in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for a couple of hours. You can also make it the day before and let it rest overnight.
  6. Once cool, take the shortcrust pastry out of the fridge and knead it briefly, just long enough to soften it slightly and give it the right texture for rolling.
  7. Roll out the shortcrust pastry to a thickness of about 5 mm. Line a cake tin 26cm in diameter with baking paper.
  8. Transfer the shortcrust pastry into the mould and be sure to leave an edge of about a couple of centimetres in hight.
  9. Prick the base with a fork and bake in a static oven at 180°C for about 30 minutes, until golden brown.
  10. Remove from the oven, leave to cool and transfer the shortcrust base to a serving dish.

How to prepare the lemon curd without flour (and gluten)

  1. Soak the isinglass in cold water for a few minutes.
  2. Melt the butter together with the juice and sugar in a saucepan.
  3. Break the eggs into a bowl, add the egg yolk and grated lemon zest. Stir with a hand whisk for a few moments.
  4. Add the butter mixture to the eggs, stirring vigorously so as not to break them up.
  5. Return the saucepan to the heat and cook, stirring constantly. When the cream has come to the boil, let it simmer for 1 minute, and continue stirring.
  6. Remove from the heat and incorporate the isinglass, having squeezed out the excess water; stir again until fully dissolved.
  7. Pour the lemon curd into a bowl and cover with cling film. Allow to cool to room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator for at least one hour.

How to make Italian meringue: the fool proof method

  1. Whisk the egg whites with 50g sugar and a pinch of salt. Meanwhile, heat up 230 g sugar with water in a saucepan until the resulting syrup reaches a temperature of 121 °C.
  2. When it reaches the correct temperature, very carefully pour the boiling mixture into the food processor while it’s still on incorporating into the eggs and sugar.
  3. Continue whisking for a few minutes, until the mixture is lukewarm (we recommend not overly whisking or allowing the Italian meringue to cool down too much, otherwise you will struggle in the decorating phase).

How to put everything for your home-made lemon meringue pie together

  1. Take the lemon curd out of the fridge, stir with a spoon if necessary to make it creamy again; spread it over the shortcrust base, until it covers the entire surface of the pie.
  2. Transfer the Italian meringue into a piping bag and decorate the lemon meringue pie however your imagination fancies. You can make little tufts or ribbons or even set aside the piping bag completely and spoon the meringue directly onto the top, creating a dome shape as we have done.
  3. When the decoration is complete, flame the meringue with a kitchen torch until golden brown.
  4. Let the pie rest in the fridge for about 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!

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About us

Kristel è food blogger per The Eat Culture e, su di lei, nemmeno una nuvola. Cogitatrice impegnata, alla costante ricerca di ispirazioni, dentro e fuori dalla cucina. Grazie al cielo tutto scorre: panta rei. E alla fine, come in uno splendido giardino bahai, verrà estasiata da un’illuminazione.