For lovers of intense sour lemony desserts, this is a pie for you. I prefer it even to my prevous lemon meringue pie, mostly because of the swiss meringue. A swiss meringue does not need to be broiled because the egg white and sugar mixture has been heated up before whisking to render it safely edible. The end result is the softest marshmallow-like fluff you could imagine.
The crust is a simple no-bake crushed biscuit one. And the lemon filling is quite simply lemon curd. It was (dare I say) a tad bit too intensely sour for me, so I think next time I might fold in a cup of whipped cream with the curd to cut down on the sharpness.
For the base:
16 digestive biscuits
1/2 cup melted butter
For the lemon curd:
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
8 large egg yolks (egg whites reserved for another use)
1/4 tsp salt
125g butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup whipping cream, extra
For the swiss meringue:
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Make the lemon curd in advance (the day before):
In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, zest, and egg yolks; whisk in lemon juice and salt.
Add butter and place pan over medium-high. Cook, whisking constantly, until butter has melted, mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and small bubbles form around the edge of pan, about 5-7 minutes (do not boil). Remove from heat and pour immediately through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl.
Press plastic wrap against the surface of curd and refrigerate until cool.
Next day, crush the digestive biscuits in a food processor, then add the melted butter.
Press the biscuit crumbs into the base and sides of an 8 inch springform pan; refrigerate.
To make the swiss meringue, stir the egg whites and sugar in a large bowl over a pot of steaming simmering water until the sugar is dissolves. Whisk at high speed for 7 minutes until thick and tripled or quadrupled in size. Stir in the vanilla.
To assemble, whip the cup of cream and fold it into the lemon curd. Spread the chilled lemon curd into the crumb pie base. Pipe or spoon over the swiss meringue.
Chill for 2 hours before serving. Best served on the same day as assembled.
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