Dulce de merengue de coco – Sweet coconut meringue
This is a variation of our very own ‘Old English Lemon Meringue Pie. As I have said before, the Spanish cooks use everything that is in season to produce some wonderful desserts and these variations are no exception. The recipe I am going to give you today is a standard lemon meringue pie, which forms the base for a dozen different ‘Spanish Style’ variations.
By changing the lemon juice in the recipe for orange, pineapple, peach, lime, nectarine, apricot etc., you change the whole nature of the pie. You can change the texture by adding finely chopped pieces of fruit to the custard base.
In the Spanish version I have shown you in the photograph, the custard is simply a vanilla custard with shredded coconut sprinkled on top of the meringue before finishing off in the oven. A very basic dessert which is greatly improved by the variations I have suggested.
Lemon Meringue Pie
grated rind and juice of I large lemon
80 fl oz (250 ml) plus 1 tbsp cold water
4 oz (115 g) plus 6 tbsp caster sugar
1 oz (30 g) butter
3 tbsp cornflour
3 eggs, separated
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cream of tartar
F0R THE PASTRY
5 oz (140 g) plain flour
2 1/2 oz (70 g) cold vegetable fat or lard, cut in pieces
2 tbsp iced water
1 For the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the fat and cut in with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. With a fork, stir in just enough water to bind the mixture. Gather the pastry into a ball.
2 On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry about 1/8 in (3 mm) thick. Transfer to a 9 in (23 cm) pie dish and trim the edge to leave a 1/2 in (2 cm) overhang.
3 Fold the overhang under and crimp the edge. Refrigerate the pastry case for at least 20 minutes.
4 Preheat a 400°F/200°C/Gas 6 0ven.
5 A Prick the case all over with a fork. Line with crumpled greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and continue baking until golden, 6-8 minutes more.
6 In a saucepan, combine the lemon rind and juice, 8 fl oz (250 ml) of the water, 4oz (115 g) of the sugar, and butter. Bring the mixture to a boil.
7 Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, dissolve the cornflour in the remaining water. Add the egg yolks.
8 Add the egg yolks to the lemon mixture and return to the boil, whisking continuously until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
9 Cover the surface with greaseproof paper and let cool.
10 For the meringue, using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar until they, hold stiff peaks. Add the remaining sugar and beat until glossy.
11 A Spoon the lemon mixture into the pastry case and level. Spoon the meringue on top, smoothing it up to the pastry rim to seal. Bake until golden, 12-15 minutes.
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Dessert Recipes – meringue with Bill & Sheila