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Exploring vegan, vegetarian and sustainable cooking

Lemon-lime tart with Italian meringue

Source: Fine Cooking #38

Holiday dinner always requires a pie. Lemon meringue pie is always a hit, and works especially well after a heavy meal. This recipe from Fine Cooking (now defunct) elevates the classic lemon meringue pie in two ways: the custard is a mix of lemon and lime for extra tanginess, and the meringue is a deeply flavoured, sky-high brown sugar Italian meringue.

Most lemon-meringue pies feature a lemon custard that is cooked on the stovetop. This recipe features a classic custard that is baked on the oven, in a fully-baked pie shell. There’s just the right amount of lime juice added, making it extra tart while still coming across as lemon.

For my version of this pie, I made it in a tart pan with removable bottom. This way I could unmold for presentation at the dinner table.

It’s been a while since I’ve made an Italian meringue, so it was sort of like making it for the first time. But it’s relatively simple, especially if you’ve ever made a caramel. Italian meringue is the most stable type of meringue. You make a sugar syrup, and pour this hot syrup into the egg whites as you beat them. The sugar syrup cooks the egg whites and stabilizes them. In this recipe, brown sugar is used to add darkness and depth to the meringue. It’s not as cloyingly sweet as standard meringue.

To make the pie (or tart, I suppose) extra presentable, I piped the meringue in a mound of overlapping rosettes, and browned them in a hot oven on the convection setting.

This recipe comes together relatively easily. There are multiple steps since the pie shell needs to be fully baked, but the custard is mostly hands-off. This can all be made ahead of time, and finished with the meringue just before serving.

I’ll definitely be bringing out this recipe regularly!

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