Friday, 14 February 2014

' deconstructed LEMON MERINGUE PIE .'

Deconstruction of a Lemon Meringue Pie - Lemon Curd , Crumbled short crust pastry , Toasted Meringue, Crumbled meringue , Lemon gelato , Lemon zest , Lemon sherbet and micro lemon balm leaves. 

                   Those that follow the blog or have browsed before may remember the deconstructed carrot cake. Lately this dish has attracted attention and raced up the most viewed in particular the states. Well I decided to release the second of my deconstructed desserts ' Lemon meringue pie'. In this dish I've pulled apart an old classic pie in a modernist fashion played with the elements of the recipe and presented the peoples favourite pie deconstructed. There are four lemon elements and two meringue elements, and there is the lemon balm leaves and of course the crumbled pie base. Lemon meringue is one one of my lovely wife Melanie's favourite dessert pies and she gave this dish a big thumbs up, with comments of incredible if I recall proudly.
                  The lemon gelato was the first prep and was started the night before by juicing some lemons and in a saucepan adding the juice and half that amount of sugar. This was gently brought to the simmer reducing by a third until thick and syrupy before being set aside to cool. In the meantime in a bowl I beat egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy, to this I added some cream and milk and poured the mixture into a saucepan on low to medium heat stirring while cooking until the custard becomes thick and coats the back of the spoon. The custard was then removed from the heat and the lemon syrup was added gradually before pouring the mix into an airtight container. The mixture was allowed to cool before being placed into the freezer overnight, the next morning the the gelato was scooped onto a blender and processed until smooth before being poured back into the airtight container to be placed in the freezer for a further four hours.
                While this was freezing I let egg whites stand in a bowl at room temperature for half an hour before beating the egg whites with a little lemon essence, and cream of tartare on medium in an electric mixer until soft peak stage. Gradually I beat in some sugar tablespoon at a time on high to form stiff peak stage. I then spooned the meringue into a piping bag with a large star nozzle fitted and piped the meringue in strips onto a baking paper lined flat tray. The meringues were then placed into a 140 deg.c. oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until hard, dry and set. The oven was turned off and the meringues were left to harden in the oven with the door closed for around an hour before being removed and set aside to fully cool. Once cooled I broke some large pieces apart and toasted them and crumbled some more into a large crumb. The lemon curd was next and was made by placing butter, sugar, lemon rind and lemon juice in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water avoiding the bowl from touching the water I cooked, stirring constantly for around five minutes dissolving all the sugar. The bowl was then removed from the heat whisking in beaten eggs the mixture was returned to the heat and cooked for a further 8 or so minutes until the curd coats the back of a spoon.
                 To make the sweet short crust pastry crumb I simply brought flour, butter and sugar together in a food processor to make a fine crumb. To this I added egg yolks and brought the dough together, this was then turned out on to a floured board and rolled out to 5mm thick and placed between baking paper and placed in the fridge for half an hour. The pastry was then removed and baked until golden before being crumbed fine. The lemon sherbet is a mix of caster sugar, lemon oil, and a little citric acid. This was placed in a coffee grinder and ground to a fine powder.


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