Oh boy, I have been waiting for this. This is one of the main reasons I signed up for the 8 week Puff the Bakery pastry course. I much prefer sharp and tart flavours over excessive sweetness, and will generally always drift towards anything lemon or lime flavoured. Lemon meringue is a top contender for my favourite dessert ever, and it has been something I never considered learning to make as I thought it would be too far out of my wheelhouse. That is until today!
I was surprised to read that thanks to the brilliant Puff Bakery course (I can’t recommend it enough!) I already knew a lot of the skills needed to make a lemon meringue. The curd is basically a fruit custard, and the pastry is the same ingredients as with last week’s custard tart, just made differently, so the only totally new thing would be the Italian meringue on top. Probably the easiest bit right?
The pastry and the curd took most of the day to make, but on the whole, went very smoothly. I had a cheeky taste of the lemon curd whilst I was waiting for it to set and my eyes lit up – it tasted just like the real deal, I couldn’t believe it! I was so excited. I had no idea how simple it would be to make.
The only thing left to do was the Italian meringue. After realising I would be pouring incredibly hot sugar into egg whites, whilst mixing the egg whites, I realised I needed an extra pair of hands, thank goodness James was around to lend his. We were both a little nervous of messing this up right at the final stage, but thanks to the precise instructions we got to see the moussy egg whites turn into smooth, glossy, stiff peaks.
Eager to deliver something Instagram worthy to show off with, I tried piping my meringue in a nice pattern on top of the tart. It soon became clear however, that I hadn’t mixed quite enough, as my beautiful piping design started drooping before my eyes. After spending all day on it I was so ready to take a bite of it, so rather than re-mixing the meringue, I just spread it about on top – true Hannah style.
It tasted exactly as good as I hoped it would: zingy, tart, and sweet. It was so sweet in fact that I had an immediate sugar high and was pretty sure I discovered some new colours. It was incredible. Yes, my meringue could have been stiffer, but really as a first attempt, I am over the moon with it. I had enough of everything leftover to make mini lemon meringue tarts, so I can eat lemon meringue all week long. Best week ever!