I have a lemon lover in the family. Besides me, that is. Love, love, love lemons! But it’s the littlest kid who asked me for a Tarte au Citron the other day. How can you say no to that face?
There are many recipes for lemon pie, with or without meringue. I remember making it with sugar syrup and all kinds of fiddly things in the past, but when I came across the recipe in the Migros customer newspaper about 15 years ago, I just knew I had found a winner. I have tweaked it over the years, but it’s still pretty much the same recipe (Migros is THE Swiss supermarket – a staple of my childhood and youth). It is EASY, it is QUICK, and it achieves that perfect balance between tang and sweetness. There is nothing worse for a not-sweet-tooth like me than a bad combination of acidity overcompensated by too much sugar.
I tend NOT to top it with meringue unless I know the pie is likely to be finished off the same day. Meringue tends to weep when left overnight and the tart keeps better without. But everybody loves Lemon Meringue Pie. It is a beauty!
What you need for the dough:
A pinch of salt
Optional: a drop or two of vanilla and/or almond essence
What you need for the filling:
4 lemons (untreated)
1 orange (untreated)
3 sachets of vanilla sugar
3 tablespoons of double cream
What to do for the dough:
- Mix all the ingredients (optional: add a bit of lemon zest to the dough) until you get a smooth dough
- Press into a baking tin with your fingers making sure the dough is as even as possible ( I use a round spring form baking pan)
- Pre-bake for 10-15 minutes at 200 degrees C (the base should be light brown)
I used to do the whole blind baking thing – cutting out a disc of baking parchment, placing my beans on top, baking it, then removing the beans – but now I don’t bother anymore. The sides of my dough slide down a little when I pre-bake, so I take a fork and press it back up the walls a bit as soon as it comes out of the oven. Works for me.
What to do for the filling:
- Mix all the ingredients
If you don’t have any double cream, liquid cream will do.
Bake for another 35 minutes.
Allow to cool. Or not. The Hubby has a habit of sneaking a slice before it’s properly set.
The edges on this tart aren’t pretty… but Pierre helped me, hands-on, so Mum has to hold her tongue and put her aesthetic aspirations aside. It still tasted gorgeous.