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Craving lemon meringue pie but not the work? Try this “cheats” lemon meringue pie.
Cheats Lemon Meringue Pie: Easy!
Here’s another one of Mary Berry’s special puddings. In case you don’t know, any dessert is referred to as “pudding” by the British. That’s a weird thing for Americans to hear because pudding to us is that creamy custardy stuff. I guess the British just call dessert that because of that famous Christmas pudding. But enough of that.
Since the filling of a proper lemon meringue pie is tricky and fails for a lot of people, this filling is so easy and only uses three ingredients. Plus, it never fails.
The filling consists of condensed milk lemon juice and zest and egg yolks.
Now, since it does contain raw eggs, I strongly suggest you either use organic free-range eggs, cage-free eggs or pasteurized eggs. That way the risk is minimal. If you have friends who keep chickens, get the eggs from them because fresh is best.
The lemon juice is what actually “sets” the filling. When stirred, it’s liquidy but once in the crust, it will set–although it will be soft.
This pie is meant to be served slightly warm so your slices won’t have sharp edges. Chilling does help there but the meringue will suffer from refrigeration.
Speaking Of Meringue…
You may think that there’s way too much sugar called for in the recipe. I know I did and had my doubts about this being overly sweet. I was surprised that it really wasn’t as sweet as I thought it would be. The meringue is actually marshmallowy and it’s lovely.
For the crust, I used digestive biscuits. Digestives are the most popular cookie in the UK. If you haven’t tried them, once you taste them you’ll see why. They are readily available in most grocery stores. If my stores have them, I bet yours does too but if not, digestives are available online. If all else fails, graham crackers are a great substitute. They’re actually a lot like digestives but have a different texture.
Cheats Lemon Meringue Pie
- 5 tbs butter melted
- 1 tbs demerara or brown sugar
- 6 oz digestive biscuits crumbs or graham cracker crumbs about 1.5 cups
- 14 oz can condensed milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 large lemons juice and zest
- 3 egg whites
- 6 oz superfine sugar
- Mix all crust ingredients well then press into a 9-inch/23 cm tart dish or quiche pan (I used one with a removable bottom) bringing crumbs up the sides on the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 375F/190C.
- Place condensed milk in a bowl, then whisk in the egg yolks and lemon juice and zest. Pour into the tart pan on top of the crust.
- To make the meringue--make sure your bowl is free of any grease--don't use a plastic bowl. Glass or stainless is best. I usually re-wash the bowl and rinse it well then swish some white vinegar around in the bowl then rinse again and dry with a clean paper towel.
- If using a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl and beat at very high speed until the whites look like clouds, then slowly add the sugar about a tablespoon at a time, until the whites form stiff peaks.
- Place the meringue in dollops on top of the filling--this makes it easier to spread (trust me on this). Using the back of a spoon, gently cover the filling and up and over the crust top. Use the spoon to make gentle swirls
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until meringue starts to get golden on the swirls.
- Let stand for about 30 minutes, then serve when warm
Adding Cream of Tartar to meringue makes it lighter and fluffier. Be sure and “seal” to edge of pan so it doesn’t leave gaps when browned.
This is the lemon meringue pie I grew up on and always make. I didn’t know until I was an adult that there was a different kind. Sometimes I’ll substitute key lime juice for a wonderful key lime pie.
I am in love with this recipe. I have tried it at my home my husband also loves it as well. Thanks for sharing.