For me, the best ambassadors of French cuisine are all the little bakeries that you find walking around the city. You can already smell the delicious breads and pastries after only a few steps in the street and even if you already had breakfast, suddenly your stomach might start grumbling. The scent is so intense it is impossible to resist. You need to have a quick look and then you feel your arm mechanically pushing the front door open. But it is even harder inside and when you see the shelves full of breads, pastries and tarts, you feel as if you want to taste everything.
In an ideal life, where we would never take on weight, I would love to have fresh bread and croissant for my daily breakfast as well as a lemon meringue pie with my afternoon tea.
Today I will share with you my recipe for lemon meringue pie (tarte au citron avec meringue). I am sure that you can easily find it in your regular bakery around the corner but it is definitely tastier when you bake it yourself!
It seems that the Lemon Meringue Pie was first baked in the 17th century. But the first recorded recipe in the 19th century gives the credit to Alexander Rech, a Swiss baker from Romandie (French speaking part of Switzerland).
Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe
Sugar crust pastry
• 250 gr. of white flour
• 125 gr. of diced butter
• 1 pinch of salt
• 100 gr. of powdered sugar
• 5 tablespoons of milk
• 2 egg yolks (keep the whites for the meringue)
Add the flour to a bowl and make a well. Mix egg yolks (keep the whites), sugar, salt and milk. Pour the liquid into the flour. Add the diced butter and knead until you have a homogeneous pastry.
Line a pie dish with the rolled pastry and blind bake at 180°C (350°F) for 10-15 minutes.
• 150 gr. of sugar
• 60 gr. of diced butter
• 2 eggs
• 1 egg yolk (keep the whites for the meringue)
• 3 lemons (organic if you can get them)
Zest one lemon. Juice the three lemons. Mix lemon juice, zests, sugar, two eggs and the egg yolk (keep the whites) in a small saucepan. Place on low heat. Stir constantly, do not allow mixture to boil. Add the diced butter at the end.
Pour the lemon curd into the sugar crust pastry and spread evenly. Place in oven at 130°C (265 °F) for 15 minutes then leave to cool.
• 3 egg whites
• 140 gr. of powdered sugar
Whip egg whites until stiff and foamy. Gradually add sugar while whisking. Spread the meringue on top of the lemon curd with a spatula or a pastry bag. Caramelize with a small kitchen blowtorch until meringue is golden brown.
Natacha Gajdoczki hails from Marseille and is the creator of the French Girl Cuisine Blog.