Friday, July 1, 2011

lime meringue pie

This is a lime version of the classic lemon meringue pie. My general (or in fact rather specific) principle in cooking/baking is don't use a lemon where you can use a lime. Unless it's something like lemonade where the lemon seems essential to the concept. I also think with lemon desserts there's some danger that it ends up tasting like detergent, which seems less of a problem with lime. Lime has a tartier taste which complements the sweet and airy meringue topping.

For the pastry:
210 grams all purpose flour
pinch of salt
115 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
50 grams sugar
1 large egg

For the lime curd:
115 grams butter
3/4 cups lime juice, freshly squeezed
zest of 2 limes
3 large eggs yolks
3 large eggs

For the meringue:
4 large egg whites
130 grams white sugar
1/2 teaspoon lime juice

Make sure the butter is softened before you start. Beat the butter with a mixed then add the sugar and keep beating until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until just incorporated. Mix the flour and salt in a separate bowl, then add to the egg butter mixture and incorporate until it forms a ball. Flatten it slightly, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 30mins so it's firm.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry so it's a few millimeters thick. Make sure you keep moving it around as you roll it so that it doesn't stick to the surface. I used an 18cm tart pan so I had enough dough to make 2 pies, you can use a pan that's 23-25cm to make a single pie. Place the dough onto the pan, press it down and cut off the extra bits at the side. Prick the dough a few times with a fork to prevent it from puffing up as it bakes. Cover and refrigerate for 20mins. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. 

Cover the pastry in the pan with baking paper or aluminium foil, then fill it with rice or beans, and put it in the oven. Bake about 15-20mins so the pastry is golden brown. 

In the meantime, heat the butter, lime juice, sugar, lime zest and salt in a saucepan until the butter melts. Whisk the eggs and egg yolks, the gradually add some of the lime mixture and keep whisking. Transfer the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the lime butter mixture, and put it back on the stove at a very low heat. Keep whisking until the mixture thickens and becomes pudding-like (about 10mins). Then pour it into the baked pastry and put into the oven for 10mins at 180 degrees C.

Whisk the egg whites until foamy and doubled in size, then add the lime juice and keep whisking until you get soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar and continue whisking until the mixture becomes shiny and has stiff peaks. 

Spoon the meringue into the tart pan, working from the outwards in and making sure the meringue is touching the pastry (this is to make sure the meringue doesn't slide).

Put the pan into the oven for 10-15 mins until the meringue, turning half way through so both sides are equally browned.

Sources: David Lebovitz's blog, Joy of Baking

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