Have you ever baked something you don’t really like, just because you had an idea in your head of what it would look like and you wanted to try it? Maybe not, maybe it’s just me. I mean I don’t hate lemon meringue pie, but if I saw it on the menu, I probably wouldn’t order it. Tart au Citron however, yeah I’d order that.
After seeing some of the amazing Fantastik patisserie by Christophe Michalak I was inspired by the spirals he used in his patisserie. I thought I’d make a tart au citron with a meringue topping. This lemon meringue pie was not nearly as neat as I’d hoped, it’s actually really hard to pipe in a spiral.
I’m convinced that he doesn’t pipe these by hand, they look so perfect. I imagine it’s just a matter of practice, the problem is I don’t really like lemon meringue pie, so I think I will have to practice this technique using another recipe. I’ve not made a cheesecake in a long time, perhaps I can practice with that.
I adapted this recipe from the Lemon Tart in Edd Kimber’s book Patisserie Made Simple. It’s a very easy recipe with a pastry case, a lemon cream filling and an Italian Meringue topping.
What makes this recipe even easier is that the lemon cream doesn’t need to be baked, it can be made and added to the cooked pastry case. The meringue is then piped on top and cooked using a chef’s blowtorch. It couldn’t be any easier.
To create this pie yourself, take a look at the recipe below, it’s the perfect make ahead dish for entertaining.
- ***Pate Sucree***
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 200g Plain Flour
- 17g Ground Almonds
- 40g Icing Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- 125g Unsalted Butter, diced and chilled
- 1 Egg Yolk
- ½ Tbsp Cold Water
- ***Lemon Cream***
- 150ml Lemon Juice (around 4 lemons)
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2 Large Egg Yolks
- 150g Caster Sugar
- 225g Unsalted Butter, diced and chilled
- ***Italian Meringue***
- 90g Egg Whites (3 eggs)
- 150g Caster Sugar
- 13g Liquid Glucose
- 40ml Water
- Put the flour, almonds, icing sugar, salt and vanilla in a large bowl and mix to combine.
- Add the butter and rub together using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg yolk and mix together just until the dough comes together. If the pastry isn't coming together in a uniform mass, add the water and mix until it starts to come together.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead it into a smooth uniform dough.
- Shape into a ball and wrap in cling-film, place the pastry in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- To make the lemon cream, put the lemon juice, eggs, yolks and sugar in a large pan over a medium heat. Stir the mixture constantly until it reaches 80C on an instant-read thermometer.
- Pour the lemon mixture through a sieve into a medium bowl and leave to cool for around 10 minutes.
- Add the butter a few pieces at a time and blend the mixture using a hand blender. Keep adding the butter and mixing it, until all of the butter is incorporated and the mixture has thickened up.
- Press a piece of cling-film to the surface of the cream and place it in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (160C Fan)/gas 4 and roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is about 2-3mm thick and will line a 23cm tin.
- Trim off the excess pastry and put the tart in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Line the tart shell with a layer of baking parchment and fill with baking beans. bake for 25 minutes then remove the parchment and the beans and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.
- Leave to cool completely before giving the lemon cream a stir and spreading it onto the base of the tart, smoothing it into an even layer.
- Put the tart in the fridge to chill and make the meringue. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl of an electric mixer.
- Place the sugar, glucose and water in a saucepan over a medium heat and boil until it reaches 121C.
- Gently pour the boiling syrup into the meringue and have the whites whisking on a slow speed while this is happening.
- After all the syrup has been added, increase the speed to maximum and whisk the egg whites until they are cool to the touch.
- When the meringue is ready, either pipe it in a spiral on top of the lemon cream or smooth it on with a palette knife.
- Using a chef's blowtorch, cook the top of the meringue. You can then serve the lemon meringue pie immediately or store it in an airtight container.
- It's not advised to store this in the fridge as the pastry will become soft and the meringue will break down.
Have you ever made anything, just to say you’ve tried it? Or is this just a strange obsession of mine?
Thanks for reading.
I’ve also added this recipe to #CookBlogShare hosted by Lucy from Supergolden Bakes.