Making Lemon Meringue Pie in a Jar
A friend of mine gave me a link for desserts in jars and I thought they were absolutely ingenious. It’s a great use for those jars that have accumulated from the jams and/or exotic dish pastes you’ve bought (because there’s no way in hell you’ll ever be able to make them). And it just seems more personalized to serve a person their own individual dessert in jar rather than have them cut a piece from one dish. Anyways, I thought lemon meringue pie would be good inside a jar, partly because I was too lazy to make a cake. And this really is the express recipe, only requiring about 30 minutes because there’s no fussing about with making a shortcrust pastry and the leftover lemon curds can be used for…just about any other desserts.
Lemon Curd (recipe from Simply So Good):
[ 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened + 1 cup sugar + 2 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks + 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice + 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest ]
First things first: separate the eggs and juice the lemon. You might want to pass the lemon juice through a tea strainer once just to get the seeds and pulp out.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and yolks and beat another minute. Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.
In a medium, heavy saucepan, cook the mixtue over low heat until it looks smooth. The curdled appearance will begin to disappear as the butter in the mixture melts. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. It should take about 15 minutes. It should leave a path on the back of a spoon when you run a finger through it and will read 170 degrees on a thermometer. Don’t let the mixture boil.
Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator
To make the pie in a jar, all you need is some crackers (Graham, or any other kind for that matter) and use the leftover egg whites from the lemon curd recipe to make a meringue.
[ 1 1/2 cup of crackers + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter + 1 tablespoon sugar ]
Crush the cracker using a food processor or a rolling pin. Add in the sugar. Melt the butter and mix until combined. Set aside.
[ 2 large egg whites + 110g caster sugar ]
Put the egg whites in a large clean mixing bowl. Beat them on medium speed until soft peaks form.
Turn up the speed and add the caster sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating 3-4 seconds between each addition. Don’t over beat or the meringue will weep (turns watery). Set aside.
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C.
Prepare your jars. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of cracker mixture into the bottom of the jar and press down to make a firm base.
Use a piping bag to fill the jars with the lemon curd until up to 2/3 of the jar height.
Use another piping bag to pipe the meringue on top of the lemon curd layer.
Put in the oven until the meringue firms and browns.
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