Lemon meringue pie is one of those wonderful desserts that fill me with nostalgia and familiarity. A good lemon meringue pie is like a comforting hug from my mum. Crunchy pastry filled with smooth tangy lemon curd and topped with fluffy meringue with a crisp shell… Mmmm! It’s making my mouth water just thinking of it.
Now, mini lemon meringue pies excellent because they are all of that in a mouthful! What more do you want but twenty of them? They also look super cute and you don’t have the hassle of serving slices, making them excellent party food.
You can simply make your normal recipe and put them in tartlet tins instead of one big one, except for significantly shorter baking times they are exactly the same. As for the times, I admit I never actually timed them, I just kept an eye on their colour.
I think mini desserts are great, until buying the set of tartlet tins I have never had enough of anything to warrant making mini things. Coming from a big family I’m programmed to bake big. My standard cake tin is 28cm. Something I need to change because I have realised that all these cakes on beautiful blogs are most likely closer to being 20cm or even 18cm. Meaning you can make a few layers and not have cake for a week (or a regretted afternoon).
While I’m on the subject of lemon meringue pie, the other day I made a gluten and sugar free one with my little cousins. There was lots of ‘ooohhh, shall I pour the lemon in egg whites?”. But it was a success!
Here was our recipe:
All the ingredients used were organic
100g brown rice flour
70g maize flour
(on reflection a spoon of xanthan gum probably would have been good)
100g goats butter (you can use normal butter though, I prefer it but my aunt likes to keep them off cows milk)
3 tbs of water
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt and some lemon zest that snuck its way in with help from small hands
Zest and juice of 4 small lemons (about 200mls of juice)
2tbs of cornflour
3 egg yolks
I forgot to add a knob of butter and it came out fine
4 egg whites
2tbs of xylatol
Begin by making the pastry by combining the flour and butter.
I later read that as there is no gluten involved you don’t have to worry about having everything chilled or overworking making it a much quicker process (unless you use a processor anyway) and perfect for making with kids. You just put it in the fridge or freezer until its cold afterwards.
Add the liquid to combine it into a ball and chill.
When it came to rolling out it was pretty impossible, hence the after thought of xanthan gum. So we pressed it into the tart tin and blind baked with beans for 15mins at 180c and then until golden brown without the beans, that was another 20mins or so.
In the meantime make the curd by heating the lemon juice and zest. Combining the cornflour and water together and adding them with the egg yolks. Whisk or rapidly stir until it thickens, it should be easily spoonable. If you remember to add some butter its about now, I think it makes it creamer – curd was originally a flavoured butter.
When the pasty case is done, pour the curd in and make the meringue if you haven’t already by whisking the egg whites to soft peaks and adding the zylatol a little sprinkle at a time until glossy peaks form. Pile all that on top and bake until golden.
Now, it didn’t have a crisp edge 😦
I imagine its due to the little amount of xylatol, perhaps if you used more it would. I haven’t experimented further because the kids and my aunt loved it anyway so why add more?
Except that, I have no complaints, naturally the pastry isn’t the same as wheat pastry but its still pretty good. You could use a gluten free blend like doves but unfortunately they don’t have an organic one and my aunt is super conscious of gm corn and maize, rightly so too.