It’s not a birthday cake but it’s what my husband is getting this year for his birthday.
After 40 years of being married and cooking 98% of the meals we have ever eaten, I have yet to make a decent lemon meringue pie.
In the first couple of months of marriage I think I probably made at least 7 lemon meringue pies. Or, should I say attempted. My husband always liked the clear type filling instead of the creamy custardy type. I just never mastered that pie, so I gave up trying and I moved on to other cooking endeavors.
I ran across this recipe 10 – 15 years ago, clipped it, thinking one day I would try my hand again. Never got around to trying it, I guess because I thought I’d have to chalk that up to another failure.
Then, I took another look at the recipe, and with 40 years of cooking experiences since my first attempts at pleasing my husband with some kind of lemon “delight” I decided to try something different from the traditional lemon pie.
With the thin slices of lemon covering the crust and the absolutely wonderful curd and meringue this was everything he wanted.
Now, what other things are out there that I want to master?
Next time, I will watch my meringue a little more closely because it got a tad too brown.
6 tablespoons lemon juice
4 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons whipping cream
3 large egg yolk
1 cup flour
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chilled, unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons ice water
1 large lemon, cut into 1/16″ slices, quartered
3 large egg whites
6 tablespoons sugar
Combine lemon juice, sugar, cream and yolks in heavy small saucepan and whisk to combine. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture thickens and just begins to bubble, stirring constantly about 7 minutes.
Immediately transfer to a bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface of curd to prevent skin from forming. Chill until cold, 2 hours.
For crust: Combine flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt in food processor. Add the chilled butter and process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add 3 tablespoons water and blend using on/off turns until mixture forms moist clumps. If dough is too dry, add more water by the teaspoonfuls. Gather dough into a ball. Flatten to disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for about a hour.
Preheat oven to 450. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12″ round. Transfer to large baking sheet. Sprinkle dough with 2 tablespoons sugar. Place lemon pieces on dough, leaving 1 1/2″ border. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over lemon pieces. Fold dough border in over lemon pieces; press edges lightly to seal. Bake until crust is golden, piercing through lemon pieces with toothpick if crust bubbles, about 25 minutes. Cool tart completely. Can be made 4 hours ahead
For meringue: Preheat oven to 450. Using mixer, beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Add sugar and beat until mixture is stiff but not dry.
Spread lemon curd over lemon pieces in crust, covering completely. spread meringue over, covering curd completely and sealing to crust edges. Bake until meringue is golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer tart to platter.