Confessions of a Lemon Addict

Lemons are my most favorite citrus in the world. Oh no! Wait, I take it back. Calamansi is my MOST FAVORITE citrus in the world. It is. It has a very big space in my . But ever since migrating to Korea, I had to cheat on calamansi with lemon. I’m so sorry! But I have no choice. There are no calamansi in Korea. Although if I go to the black market (a.k.a. Filipino store) and there are smuggled calamansi, I would buy… well, not really. It’s like being robbed. They are too expensive! It’s like selling one of your spleens (does it make sense?). Anyhow, I am now left with my second choice which are lemons.

Now that I am an ex-calamansi lover, I became a lemon addict. Not only do I put lemon in almost all of my dishes, most of the things in our house are lemon scented: shampoo, lotion, candles, lip balms, you name it. We got everything that will make your lemon smile. (Am I drunk?) Hahaha. In fact, here is one of my favorite Korean songs (a Korean version of Fool’s Garden’s Lemon Tree): 레몬트리 by 박혜경 (Lemon Tree by Park Hye Kyoung).

Lemon Tree (version by Park Hye Kyoung). This song never fails to make me smile.

Moving on, what better way to profess my love for lemons than to make a lemon meringue pie. I’ve been wanting to try this because lemon meringue pies in Korea are quite expensive ranging from KRW 7,000  to KRW 10,000 (roughly around $6 ~ $9) a slice. They are so good, I usually end up eating two slices. And for a working girl like me, that’s a waste of money especially if you know that you can make a whole pie with that amount. So I took on a challenge to make my own lemon meringue pie. I was a bit scared at first because I’ve never actually made a meringue before. I don’t event know what a “stiff peak” or a “soft peak” should look like. But again, it is a challenge and I take it on myself to rise above it. And rise, I did. 😀

It’s not the most perfect lemon meringue pie and there are still more room for improvements. For one, the lemon curd was too sharp and the meringue was too sweet for our taste. Nonetheless, it was delicious. If you are wondering if I finish the whole pie, I almost did but the sugar got the best of me. 😛

Even though I was not successful in making this pie, I still hope that you will give this recipe a try. Who knows you might do better than me. After all, it is a no-bake recipe so you can make some adjustments along the way.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Ingredients:

  1. For the base:

100g of crushed digestive biscuits

(NOTES: in Korea it is called “Diget 다이제” Biscuit. Be sure to get the red package, the brown package is glazed with chocolate. For my 20cm diameter tart tin, I only used half of the package.)

35g melted butter

2. For the meringue

2 egg whites

1oog caster sugar

3. For the lemon curd

2 medium sized lemons

2 eggs

120g caster sugar

1o0g cubed butter

1tsp cornstarch

How to make:

1.Prepare the base by crushing the biscuits. You can use a food processor or you can put it in a ziplock bag and crush it. Make sure that you have fine crumbs. Pour in the melted butter and mix.

2. Press the biscuits into the tart tin using the back of the spoon. Make sure that it is pressed well and it is compacted. Set aside by putting it in the fridge.

3. Next, let’s start making the lemon curd. In a saucepan, zest 1 lemon using a grater. Then cut the lemon into halves and squeeze their juice into the saucepan. Whisk in the eggs.

4.Add in the cubed butter, cornstarch, and 100g of caster sugar. Heat the pan in medium heat. Whisk continuously. When the consistency became a little thicker, turn the heat into low and then simmer it for just a minute. (CAUTION: Don’t let it boil. You don’t want a very thick curd that almost has a doughy consistency. You want it firm but not runny and of course, not solid.)

5. Pour the lemon curd into the pie tin. Place the tin back to the fridge to help the curd set.

6. Make the meringue by whisking the egg whites into stiff peaks. Add the caster sugar gradually. Continue whisking until the meringue is glossy and there are no more sugar crystals. (You can try to rub a small amount of meringue between your thumb and index finger. If it is smooth, no sugar granules, then it’s good to go.)

7. Transfer the meringue into a piping bag.

8. Remove the pie from the tin and then pipe the meringue on top of the pie.

9. Torch the meringue and then serve. (NOTE: Do not over-torch your meringue. You just want a touch of brown for that.)

So there it is, our take on the lemon meringue pie. I forgot to mention that it was Mr. Kim who helped with the piping and torching of the meringue. Pretty pleased with what we accomplished.

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