For father’s day, my husband told me he would love to have a lemon meringue pie. This has always been a favorite pie for him. His grandmother made lemon meringue pie for him as a kid and he loved it!
I’ve posted other lemon tarts and pie before but wanted to try something a little different. We both dislike the soggy weep that forms when the pie is chilled with regular meringue. So I thought I would us the Swiss method of making meringue. This was a success! It makes a creamy meringue that doesn’t sweat or weep in the humid weather we are having in Texas. The Swiss meringue is not quite as airy but still taste great.
Lemon Meringue Tart or Pie
Perfect Tart Crust Dough
Ingredients for one 9-inch diameter tart
1 1/2 cups all purpose (or “plain”) flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg, beaten
Making the dough — Pour the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the diced butter, and pulse 10 times or so just to break the butter up. With the machine running, add the beaten egg. Process until the dough just begins to mass on the blade — 15-30 seconds. Dump the mass onto a sheet of plastic wrap and gather it into a ball, Form the dough into a disc and wrap it in the plastic. Refrigerate for 2 hours (or up to 3 days). Or, freeze for 30 minutes (or up to 3 months).
Forming the tart shell
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temp. for 5 minutes.
On a lightly-floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch diameter circle. Then center the dough on the tart pan. Fold the overhang inside the tart, pressing it with your thumbs against the rim of the pan. This way the sides of the tart will be thicker than the bottom. Prick the bottom (not the sides) all over with the tines of a fork. Place a big piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper over the tart, pressing it into the contours of the shell. Then fill with pie weights or beans. Freeze for 20 minutes or longer if baking later.
Blind-baking the shell
While the foil-covered tart is chilling, center the oven rack, and preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake for 20 minutes, or just until the crust is set. Transfer the tart to your workstation, and remove the beans and foil. Return the shell to the oven, and continue baking until the crust colors slightly, and feels dry to the touch — 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 egg yolks save the whites for the meringue
- Zest of one lemon and juice of 5 lemons
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and salt, cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Set a strainer over a bowl near the stove. Cook the custard over moderate heat, whisking constantly until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the butter a few pieces at a time, gently whisking until incorporated. Immediately strain the filling into the bowl. Scrape the filling into the cooled tart shell and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
- 4 egg whites saved from the filling
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl.
Place the bowl in the double boiler and beat the egg whites and sugar until they are 160°F.
Remove from heat and continue to beat until the mixture is cool.
Top the pie with the meringue, then caramelize it with a torch or use the broiler. If using the broiler be sure to watch closely so not to burn the meringue.
Cool pie for 2 hours or overnight and serve