Tarte au Citron meringuée or Lemon Meringue Pie doesn’t need to be introduced.
It seems to be of English origin, but truth be told it’s in France where I ate the best ever.
French Pastry Chefs are true Masters, and you can easily understand their capabilities, having a look at the pastry counter of one French Patisserie belonging to Relais Dessert. You’ll find perfect shapes, which hide a great tecnique and an accurate selection of ingredients, and of course intense and balanced flavours.
[Here below, Patisserie LAC in Nice, France]
I love tarte au citron meringuée for its contrasts: between the crunchiness of the base and the creamy stuffing, between the acidity of lemon curd and the soft sweetness of Italian meringue.
It’s a recipe including 3 recipes. It’s an easy pie, but everyone could prepare it, provided that you have the needed tools; a food thermometer is essential to make the Italian meringue.
TARTE AU CITRON MERINGUÉE
Ingredients for a pie mould of 24 cm
Shortcrust base of pâte sucrée (of Philippe Conticini):
230 g flour
140 g cold butter, cubed
1 egg, 50 g
1 egg yolk, 20 g
90 g icing sugar
40 g almond flour
a pinch of salt
For lemon curd:
3 medium sized lemons (about 130 ml of juice)
40 g quality butter
150 g sugar
2 egg yolks
For Italian meringue:
3 egg whites, 80 g
145 g sugar
40 g water
First things first start with pâte sucrée.
In a stand mixer combine the two flours with the cold butter cubes. If you proceed manually, try to have cold hands and to be fast. You have to get a wet sandy mixture.
Add sugar and lemon zest and mix well; finally add salt, the whole egg and the yolk.
Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours.
Let’s prepare lemon curd.
Remove the skin from the lemons, paying attention to not include the white part. Keep them aside.
Squeeze the juice and weigh 130 ml.
Hand-whisk the eggs and sugar. Melt 20 g of butter in a heatproof bowl, placed over a pan of simmering water (bain marie method). Add the mixture of eggs and sugar, the lemon juice and lemon zest.
Continue stirring, until the curd will be dense.
Add the remaining 20 g of butter and filter the lemon curd to remove the zests.
As soon as it cools down, put it in a jar and place into the fridge for at least some hours.
Heat the oven at 175°.
Remove the dough of pâte sucrée from the fridge and roll it out 5 mm thick on a floured surface. Grease and flour the pie tin and place the rolled dough on it. Make little holes at the bottom with a fork, put a disk of baking paper on the pastry and cover with beans.
Place the shortcrust in the freezer for about 5 minutes.
Cook for about 15-20 minutes, then remove the baking paper with the beans and continue baking until the dough has a nice golden brown colour.
Let it cool, and then fill with lemon curd.
Now prepare the Italian meringue.
Put the sugar and water in a pan over medium-low heat and place the thermometer in the mix.
As soon as the sugar gets at 115° C, start whipping the egg whites at medium-low speed, so they get fluffy and yet not too firm.
When the sugar syrup gets at 121° C, remove it from the heat.
With the mixer running slowly drizzle in the eggs white the sugar syrup. Continue whipping for about 10 to 15 minutes, until you get the meringue will be firm and shiny (and it will be back at room temperature).
Put the meringue in a sac à poche and distribute it over the pie and give a quick blowtorch.
Place the tarte au citron meringuée into the fridge for at least a couple of hours.
This post is also available in: Italian