This recipe is based on one from “America’s Test Kitchen“. It would be best to do 1.25-1.5 times the filling if you use whipped cream. If you will decorate with Swiss merengue, this recipe will be enough because Swiss merengue will be a thicker layer.
Please see this recipe for the pie crust.
Lemon merengue pie
Gather your ingredientsTraditionally yellow lemons are used, but if you only have green limes they can be used. However, use only half the zest (since it will be bitter) and you may have to add more sugar since the lime juice will be more acidic.
Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Roll your pie crust so that it fits a 9-inch pie mold including the sides. Place it in the pie mold and crimp the edges, like you would for empanadas.
While the oven is heating, keep the crust in the fridge. Just before baking, lay the bottom with two layers of aluminum foil and add a good layer of beans (that will only be used for this purpose).
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edge looks a little matte. Remove the aluminum foil and beans. Continue baking until golden. The beans help the pie crust from shrinking.
Leave the crust to cool while you make the filling.
In a medium pan add water, salt, cornstarch, and sugar. Boil while stirring with a spoon or a whisk until it becomes translucent and thickens. Remove from heat.
Quickly whisk, adding two yolks at a time. Mix well before adding more yolks. Finally add the zest, lemon juice and butter. Mix well. Return to heat and cook until it just comes to a boil. Do not stop whisking.
Immediately strain the filling directly to the pie mold and cover with plastic film so that no skin is formed.
Cool for at least 2 hours or up to a day. Cover with whipped cream or chantilly and lemon zest is desired, and serve.
As was mentioned, traditionally this pie is decorated with Swiss merengue. However, this does not hold up well in the tropical climate in Ecuador. If you would like to try the traditional version, do the following:
- Before straining the filling, cover the filling in the pan with plastic film so that it does not cool. Prepare the Swiss merengue. Strain the filling according to the instructions and place the Swiss merengue directly on top of the filling while it is hot. Make sure that the merengue covers the entire surface to seal it.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 165°C for 15 minutes or until the merengue peaks are golden.
If you use whipped cream, decorate just before serving.
If you want a thicker filling, you can add an extra tsp of cornstarch.