My last post was on lemon curd – a comparison between the stovetop version and the microwave version. As you may recall, I prefer the stove top version to the microwave version. However, after making both versions I still had two pots of delicious, tangy, creamy lemon curd, just crying out to be eaten in some or other fashion. So what did I do? I made Lemon Meringue pie. But seeing as how it’s me making it, I couldn’t do what any normal person does and make a normal Lemon Meringue pie. No. I had to get complicated… The result was insanely good, even if I do say so myself. So, if you have an extra pot of lemon curd floating around, and you don’t know what to do with it – do this. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.
In fact, these were so good that all three were gone in two days. Don’t worry – I didn’t eat them all myself (though I could have) – the one I took to work, where it was quickly scoffed down, and the other two I took with to friends’ houses, where I proceeded to get a plate of food for myself and my husband in exchange for a slice of pie. It really is that good. So how do you make it? Like so:
- 1 x packet marie biscuits
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 2 tablespoons syrup, melted
- 1 x recipe of lemon curd, recipe here (I used the microwave version for this – though either would work)
- 250ml whipping cream
Italian Meringue Topping:
- 4 egg whites
- 200g castor sugar
- 200ml water
For the pie base:
In a food processor, chop the marie biscuits until there’s nothing left but fairly fine crumbs. It should look like beach sand almost. Pour in the melted butter, syrup and cocoa, and pulse until everything is evenly combined. The mixture should stick together slightly. Divide this mixture into three 20-25cm shallow pie pans. spread the crumbs evenly and then compact them together using the bottom of a clean glass – this will insure that the crumbs become a cohesive base. So the more you compact it, the better. Put it into the fridge until you have made the filling.
For the filling:
Whip the cream. Fold in the lemon curd. Yes, it really is that simple. Pour the filling into the bases and put back into the fridge until the meringue is ready.
For the meringue:
This is where it gets complicated. For best results, a candy thermometer is a good idea, especially if you don’t have any experience in candy making (which I don’t). Firstly, whip the egg whites until they reach the soft-peak stage (when you lift the mixer head, a peak should form but then flop over). While they are whipping, put the sugar and the water into a small saucepan and heat until the syrup reaches 112C – 116C (otherwise known as the ‘soft-ball’ stage. With your mixture on medium speed, slowly pour the hot syrup directly into the beaten egg whites. Now walk away. Go make yourself a cup of tea, wash your dishes, play with the kids – for 10-15 minutes. Yes, really. Yes, with the mixer still going. Come back, and check to see if the bowl of your mixer has cooled to room temperature. If it hasn’t, go away again until it has. Once the bowl has cooled down – your meringue is ready. And the eggs have been cooked, thanks to the hot syrup. Your meringue should look glossy, stiff and beautiful.
Now all you need to do is put the meringue onto the pies. Again – divide the meringue evenly between the three pies. Using a spatula, spread it nicely over the curd. I took the back of a spoon and used it to make texture onto the pies – but you can do as you wish. Leave it the way it comes out, put it into a piping bag and pipe it onto the pie from the beginning – the choice is yours.
Now, the meringue is completely cooked. I promise. BUT if you want, you can take your trusty blowtorch and lightly brush the flame along the meringue – just to give it some colour. That’s what we did – but be careful. This stuff is like marshmallows – it may just catch alight!
Please go and make this this weekend – the chocolate base offsets the sweetness of the lemon and meringue beautifully – I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.
G O A S-S B