Hello all! I’ve got a delicious recipe and an exciting announcement to share with you today.
I’ve made you lemon meringue pie. The recipe I like to use isn’t your traditional lemon meringue pie, it’s more like the best lemon bar I’ve ever, ever had, baked super thick so there’s lots of gooey filling, then piled high with silky, glossy meringue. Yummmm.
A few years ago, I made Tartine’s brown butter lemon bars for the first time, and they changed my life.
I loved that the pastry was super easy to whip up, doesn’t need to be chilled in the fridge before it’s baked (amazing!!!) and bakes up as a lovely, crisp, golden brown shortbread.
The filling is also really quick to pull together, and is thick, unctuous, gooey and so, so lemony. The citrus really sings, and packs a punch. It’s almost, almost, too tart, but that’s when…
Lashings of smooth, silky, airy, light, meringue come in to cut through the acidity, add sweetness, and round the whole thing out.
It’s lemon meringue heaven, I tell you.
You can make/decorate this any way you like. I basically made a square pie, then portioned it up because I really wanted to decorate each piece separately. You can keep your square pie whole to decorate it, or you can even make a round pie.
And put on as little or as much meringue as you want! I made two versions, so people could have meringue options.
Anyway, speaking of Tartine and onto my exciting news, I’m coming to America (again!) in August. I’m really excited about the trip! I’m so looking forward to be able to actually go to Tartine and try all their pastries. I have a list of bakeries and restaurants I want to visit as long as my arm already, but if you have any must-eat (or even must-do!) tips for San Francisco or New York, please do share! We’ve both been to both cities before so we aren’t going to any tourist sites, we just want to take the cities in and eat our way through them.
Hope you love these. X
- FOR THE SHORTBREAD CRUST
- ½ cup icing sugar (55g, 2 oz)
- 1½ cups plain flour (215g, 7½ oz)
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened (170g, 6 oz)
- pinch of salt
- FOR THE LEMON FILLING
- ½ cup plain flour (70g, 2½ oz)
- 2¼ cups sugar (455g, 1 pound)
- 1 cup lemon juice (250ml, 8 oz, about 8-10 lemons)
- zest from 1 lemon, grated
- 6 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- pinch of salt
- FOR THE MERINGUE
- 100g caster (superfine) sugar (about ½ cup)
- 70g egg white (about 2½ oz, or 2 egg whites)
- Pinch of sea salt
- Drop of vanilla paste
- Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and grease and line a 8 x 8 inch square pan with baking paper. You can also make this as a regular round pie, just butter an 8 - 9 inch round tart tin with removable base.
- To make the crust, sift the icing sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the flour, salt and butter. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on a low speed until a dough forms.
- Put the dough in the base of the pan and press it evenly into the base and about an inch up the sides. This will take a little time and is annoying, but keep at it.
- Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust about 25 - 35 minutes, until it evenly colours and is a deep golden brown. I had to uncover mine for the last 5 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, make the filling. Combine the flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix to dissolve the sugar.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and the egg yolk with salt.
- Add the eggs into the lemon and sugar mixture and whisk until well combined.
- Once the crust is golden, pull the oven rack with the crust on it out of the oven slightly and pour the filling into the crust. Push the each back into the oven gently and close the door.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 150 C (300 F) and bake for 30 - 40 minutes, until the center is just set. Allow to cool completely and refrigerate.
- You can now cut this into 9 squares in order to decorate each one individually, like I did, or you can leave the pie whole and top the whole thing with meringue.
- To make the meringue, place all the ingredients in a medium heatproof bowl and whisk to combine. Place the bowl over a small pot of simmering water and heat the mixture, while constantly whisking, until it reaches 60 C (140 F) on a thermometer.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, and whip on a high speed until firm peaks are reached.
- Transfer the meringue to a piping bag with the nozzle of your choice, and decorate as you wish. Alternatively, you can dump all the meringue on top of your whole pie and swirl it around a little. Blowtorch for those lovely caramelised bits.
- Serves 9. Keep refrigerated. This also freezes very well, with or without meringue.
- Happy baking!