If you attempt the following Google search “what to do with egg whites”, you will get recipes for thousand different versions of meringues. I don’t dislike meringues, but let’s say I got a kind of sick and tired of the classical version and I wanted to try some different recipe.
It was probably because of that that I thought about tarte citron meringuée: a pie filled with lemon custard and decorated with a voluptuous meringue. Tarte citron meringuée is a classic of French patisserie, an indulgent and decadent pie as only French people are capable of :)
I have used Ducasse’s recipe for the shortcrust pastry, while for the lemon custard I relied on Mercotte. For the meringue, the proportion of albumen and sugar was 50/50.
Tarte citron meringuée
For the base
· 400 g of shortcrust pastry (for the recipe, please, see here)
For royal au citron or lemon custard (from Mercotte, recipe of Thierry Mulhaupt)
· 100 g of eggs
· 20 g of yolks
· 100 g of sugar
· 25 g of corn starch
· 160 g of fresh cream*
· 160 g of lemon juice**
· Grated lemon peel of 1 lemon
For the meringue
· 70 g of egg whites
· 70 g of sugar
Prepare the shortcrust pastry as explained here. Prepare the lemon custard by beating the eggs, the yolks and the sugar. Add then the starch, the cream and finally the lemon juice and the grated peel. Spread the shortcrust pastry over a backing pan of about 20 cm of diameter. Pour the lemon custard in that. Bake the pie in convected oven at 180 ˚C for 20 min. Then, set the oven at 170 ˚C and keep backing for other 10 min. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool down. Prepare the meringue: beat the egg whites with a whisker and, once frothy, add the sugar little by little. Transfer the meringue in a pastry bag and decorate the surface of the pie with that. Put the pie back in the oven and broil the meringue for 2-3 min. As soon as the meringue turns brown, remove the pie from the oven. Serve cold.
*The original recipe wants crème fleurette entière, a cream with a fat content between 20 and 30%. As I didn’t find it here, I have used a regular whipping cream with 35% of fat content.
**I found this amount a bit too much: the custard was too acidic. Next time, I will try 100 g of juice.