French lemon meringue pie with hazelnut

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A recipe that takes some time and can be a bit technical (especially the meringue part) but following the detailed steps, you will bake this delicious pie easy peasy!

A shortcrust pastry, filled with lemon curd, covered with Italian meringue slightly burned, and topped with lemon zests and slivers of hazelnuts.

There’s nothing like a sweet lemon meringue pie… so try it 🙂

French lemon meringue pie with hazelnut

Servings 8
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Resting time 1 d

Equipment

  • Pastry bag
  • blowtorch
  • 25 cm diameter pie tin
  • Food thermometer
  • Electric hand mixer

Ingredients

Shortcrust pastry

  • 175 g flour
  • 60 g hazelnut powder
  • 40 g powdered sugar
  • 70 g soft butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch of salt

Lemon curd

  • 100 g cane sugar
  • 150 ml lemon juice about 2 big lemons
  • Zests from half a lemon
  • 25 g cornstarch
  • 40 g soft butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 25 ml water

Italian meringue

  • 100 g sugar
  • 50 g egg whites at room temperature
  • 30 g water
  • 1 pinch of salt

Topping

  • lemon zest from ½ lemon
  • A dozen hazelnuts

Instructions

Preparation of the dough

  • Ideally, Prepare the dough a day ahead. Mix the flour, hazelnut powder, sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
  • Cut the soft butter into small cubes and add it to the preparation. Mix with your fingertips without kneading too much. You should get a sandy texture.
  • Make a well, add the egg and continue to mix lightly.
  • Form a ball of dough, crush it a little, then film it and place it in the refrigerator.
  • Take it out 30 minutes before rolling it out to warm the dough.

Preparation of the lemon curd

  • You can prepare the curd a day ahead or not. Grate the zest of half a lemon and squeeze the juice from the lemons.
  • In a salad bowl, vigorously beat the eggs with the sugar and zests.
  • Dilute the cornstarch with water.
  • Heat the lemon juice in a saucepan. Once it boils, pour it in the bowl with the egg-sugar mixture, mixing well.
  • Then, incorporate the cornstarch, whisk vigorously and put back in the saucepan on a low to medium heat.
  • Let the mixture thicken and continuously stir.
  • After about 5 minutes (more or less), when the mixture starts to thicken well and has the texture of a thick cream, turn off the heat.
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile cut the butter in small cubes and add them to the preparation once it has cooled a bit. Mix well to obtain a homogeneous texture.

Assembling the pie

  • Roll out the dough on baking paper until you obtain a circle dough about 3 mm thick. Check that the surface is sufficient to fill your pie tin and cover the edges of the tin (I use a 25 cm diameter tin).
  • Slide the baking paper into the tin and press lightly on the dough at the edges.
  • Cut off any excess dough with a sharp knife and prick the dough with a fork.
  • Cover the bottom with baking paper and place dried beans or baking balls. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 180°C. After 10 minutes, remove the baking paper and weights and leave to cook for another 10 minutes. The dough should be lightly browned and harden.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • When the dough has cooled down, pour the lemon cream over it with a pastry bag or spatula and smooth well to obtain a nice flat surface.

Preparation of the Italian meringue

  • Pour the egg whites in a salad bowl with a pinch of salt.
  • Then, make a syrup: pour 75 g of sugar in a small saucepan then pour the water over it. Do not mix and avoid putting sugar on the edges of the pan.
  • Let the syrup heat up while monitoring the temperature.
  • At the same time, start beating the whites at low speed first, then gradually and regularly increase the speed of the mixer.
  • When the whites begin to take shape, add the remaining 25g of sugar. Continue beating until the syrup temperature reaches 118°C.
  • Then remove the syrup from the heat, and pour it delicately on the sides of your salad bowl (stop beating so as not to make a splash of hot syrup…).
  • Continue beating and gradually increase the speed from medium to maximum for about 10 minutes. The meringue will cool down like this. It should become shiny, and when you lift up a meringue-soaked whisk, it should form a kind of bird’s beak and should not fall from the whisk. Set aside.
  • You can now finish assembling the pie: fill a pastry bag with the meringue and decorate the pie as you wish. Note that the quantities indicated in this recipe will not allow you to cover the whole pie but a little more than half of it (as on the cover photo). If you want to cover the pie completely, double the quantities.
  • Pass very quickly the flame of the blowtorch over the meringue to brown it slightly.
  • To finish, sprinkle some zest on the part of the pie not covered with meringue as well as some finely crushed hazelnuts.

Notes

I try to reduce the quantity of sugar in the recipe, but usually this type of recipe contains a lot of sugar… As indicated above, that’s why I reduce the meringue quantities. It still looks nice and tastes good without covering the whole tart!
If you don’t have the time, you can also simply make this tart without meringue or replace it with whipped cream!
 
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: lemon, pie

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