This is one of those desserts that has been around since forever! I love it so much but hardly ever make it and that seems like such a shame. I made it last week for that dinner party that I keep going on and on about. See the Entertaining Friends post. This is the last recipe from that evening................I promise!!!
When you look through the ingredient list for this recipe you might just have a heart attack. That is because I used a dozen eggs in the filling. I made a lemon curd filing for this particular pie and it needed so much to fill it. My usual batch of lemon curd takes 6 eggs, but I had to double it for this pie. Then, of course, we had to make the meringue as well. More eggs!
I have a little story about how "easy" this was and not "time consuming" at all!!! NOT! I made the lemon curd and realized that I needed a double batch. So, lemon curd take two. When I made the pie crust, I accidentally baked it in a glass dish that does not have removable sides. I always use a removable side dish for this tart. Also, when I made the meringue, I beat it too long and it curdled. So, meringue take two as well. See, it doesn't always go smoothly in the kitchen. So, this is not one of those throw together in 15 minute dishes that I love so much. This is meant for those days when you have a whole free morning. Okay, it doesn't take that long, but with the clearing up (I am messy in the kitchen), it takes longer than you might expect. All that being said, it is totally 100% worth it! It serves a crowd, so that is even better.
As lemon and summer go together so well, and you will not be disappointed if you make this pie. Go ahead and treat yourself when you have the time!
Lemon Meringue Tart
For the crust:
1 1/2 Cups/190 grams of flour
1/2 Cup/110 grams of butter
1/4 cup/50 grams of sugar
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
12 large eggs
2 cups/400 grams white sugar
1 1/3 Cups/320 ml fresh lemon juice (about 10 lemons)
1/2 Cup/55 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
For the topping:
4 Egg whites
1 Teaspoon of vinegar
1/4 Cup/50 grams of sugar
Grease a 9 inch tart tin with removable sides.
Beat the butter on high speed until soft and add the sugar and continue mixing until it is light and fluffy. This will take about 3 to 4 minutes. Next, mix in your egg on high speed until incorporated. Add the flour and salt and mix until a dough forms. Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1/2 hour or until well chilled.
When your dough is chilled, remove it from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. A you are using a 9 inch tin, roll your dough out slightly larger than this so there will be enough dough to go up the sides of the tin. When it is rolled out as large as you need it, gently put it on top of your tart tin and press it down into the tin. Then with your fingers, start pressing the dough up against the sides. Trim off any extra pastry that may be hanging over the sides. Cover and chill again for about 10 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Remove your pie crust from the fridge and prick it all over with a fork before baking it. Next, bake your crust for about 15 minutes or until golden in colour. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once it is completely cooled, remove the sides of your tart tin.
Now, it is time to make your lemon curd. In a large stainless steel bowl placed over simmering water, whist together the eggs, sugar and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly. This is really important, otherwise you risk the chance of it curdling. Continue to stir until it becomes thick. I find it varies in cooking time. A batch as large as this will take some time to thicken. I would say at least 10 minutes if not more. Once it has reached a lovely think and creamy texture immediately remove from heat. Put through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. You may think there are none, but trust me, there will be. Cut butter in and give a good stir.
Now, have ready your cooled crust and fill it completely with the lemon curd and set aside while you make the meringue.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the vinegar and beat another minute or so until soft peaks form. Then, gradually add the sugar and continue mixing on high speed until stiff peaks form and it is glossy. As soon as this happens, stop mixing. You will risk the whites curdling if you over mix.
Now with a large spoon add dollops of the meringue all over the lemon curd mixture. Then start gently spreading it out until it is completely covered. With the back of your spoon, make peaks over the meringue. Put in a preheated oven only for about 8 minutes or until the meringue goes a light golden brown colour.
This can now be refrigerated and ready to serve within a few hours. Really delicious and worth all the work!
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