“Not too sour, not to sweet, not too heavy. Light and fluffy with distinctive layers and textures…”
Oh how springy this recipe is! To me, it’s the ultimate Lemon Pie.
I was taught how to make this incredible lemon Pie in a baking class I attended last year. I had forgotten all about it and, occasionally, fearing it would be too difficult or a predestined failure, I never attempted to bake it.
It was my first, and second in 1 week, time I made this pie and everyone who saw it and tasted it sighed over its deliciousness and smoothness. I am pretty sure that the home-grown lemons and the eggs from the chickens at my Dad’s orchard played a big part in this success. And in that bright yellow color, too! No artificial color included!
The flavors are totally balanced in perfect harmony. Not too sour, not to sweet, not too heavy. Light and fluffy with distinctive layers and textures, this pie is the best dessert you can prepare and please a crowd of various likings.
The base is the simplest and fastest tart crust ever, without eggs, and made in one pot in just 5′. Can you believe it? I used the same crust recipe in my Chocolate Lemon Tart with Berries. That time I added cocoa powder, but for this recipe now, you just leave it plain.
Follow me! The instructions might be long but the process is actually veeery simple! Don;t be intimidated at all and proceed! I am here with you!!! You got this!
WHAT YOU NEED:
for the crust
- 50 gr butter
- 50 gr vegetable oil or olive oil
- 100 gr water
- 5 gr sugar
- 250 gr all purpose flour
- 10 gr baking powder
- ground nutmeg
- In a medium pot, over medium heat, add the butter to melt.
- Once melt, pour in the water and oil and let it boil.
- In a bowl stir the flour and baking powder together.
- Once the liquids boil, add the flour mixture and the nutmeg in the pot and stir until incorporated, for 1′-2′.
- Empty the dough on your counter and knead it a bit, until it cools down a bit and becomes smooth.
- Line a tart pan with parchment paper or a muffin tin with cupcake paper holders.
- Place the dough inside and work it with your fingers to have a smooth surface and cover the walls, too.
- With a fork, create holes all over the dough so that the air doesn’t stay in, making it rise in places.
- Cover with parchment paper and top with any kind of legumes you have to create weight. This way the crust will remain even and straight.
- Bake at 170 C (340 F) for 40′. However, at the first 30′ take it out of the oven, remove the legumes (you can store them for similar future use ONLY as they cannot be cooked to be eaten now) remove the top parchment paper,too, and place it back to continue baking and gaining a golden color. (If you’re using a muffin tin, bake for 5′-10′ less). Once baked, remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. While the crust is baking, prepare the cream!
for the lemon cream
- 300 ml milk
- 200 ml milk cream (not light)
- 150 gr sugar
- 60 gr egg yolks (from around 3 medium eggs)
- 50 gr corn flour
- zest from 3 medium lemons
- 50 gr butter
- In a medium pot, over medium heat, add the milk, milk cream and sugar WITHOUT stirring, until it reaches 50 C ( 120 F). I don’t have a thermometer, so I just paid attention, and when a bit of steam started coming out, I dipped my CLEAN finger in. When I felt it hotter than warm, I removed the pot from the stove.You need the milk to be hot enough to help the eggs of the cream get pasterized but not cooked to an omelette!! That’s why you need a quite warm but gentle temperature. It took about 4′-5′.
- Add the lemon zest in the milk mixture.
- While the milk mixture gets warm, and in a seperate bowl ,add the yolks and the corn flour. To whisk them a bit take 1- 2 spoonfulls from the milk mixture BEFORE it reaches the desired temperature. Whisk for 1′.
- Once the milk mixture is off the stove, use a tablespoon and keep taking from it, LITTLE BY LITTLE, slowly and patiently, pouring it in the egg mixture, calmly, whisking swiftly and waiting for every spoonful to be well incorporated. You don’t want an omelette. I repeat, YOU DON’T WANT AN OMELETTE! So don’t pour it in all at once!
- After 5-6 spoonfuls, pour the egg mixture back in the milk mixture.
- Quickly place it back over medium heat and KEEP WHISKING until the cream thickens. It will take 4′-5′.
- Once thick, remove from the stove, add the butter and whisk until it’s shiny smooth.
- Pour in a wide pan, cover with plastic wrap touching the cream and set aside to let it cool. Well done!!!
for the egg whites meringue
- 100 gr egg whites (from about 4-5 eggs)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 160 gr sugar
- 40 gr water
- In a small pot, over medium to high heat, add the sugar and water and let it boil for 2′-3′.
- While boiling, in a mixer bowl, on low speed beat the egg whites until fluffy and airy, for about 5′-6′.
- Turn the speed to high and slowly add the sugar syrup.
- Add the vanilla and mix for 2 more minutes. Set aside.
for the assembling
- a medium bowl with any kind of jam- I used lemon syrup
- a smal bowl of finely crushed nuts- I used walnuts
- When the tart crust is a bit warm yet, use a brush dipped in the jam and brush the brim. (If you’re making small pies, take each pie crust and turning it upside-down, dip the brims in the jam a bit.)
- On the brim, sprinkle the nuts. (For the small pies, after dipping them in the jam, move on to dip them in the nuts.)
- Remove the plastic wrap from the cream, and stir it a bit to smoothen it.
- Fill the pie.
- Top with the meringue, either using a spoon, or a pastry cornet.
- If you have a blowtorch just use it to toast the meringue a bit. Otherwise, turn your oven to grill at medium to high heat.
- Place the lemon pies in a tray, at the highest position in your oven. Don’t let them touch the grill, be carefull.
- Let the meringue get toasted for 2′. NOT MORE! Be there to watch it!
You will definitely love this and you’ll get addicted!!