Clear Lemon Meringue Pie Exists, and My Brain Hurts Just Looking at It
Get this: you can make clear pie! While that may sound like a weird science experiment, it's actually a thing, and there are a handful of recipes out there for it, like this one from Tastemade. It basically takes a traditional lemon meringue pie and gives it a completely cool twist by making it clear. With the use of gelatin in the filling, your lemon meringue pie will be see-through rather than its normal lemony-yellow hue. Think of it as a clear Jell-O pie with whipped meringue topping. Sounds pretty cool, right? Make this very trippy recipe at home with all the instructions in the gallery ahead, then try your hand at ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies or even guava cream cheese rolls. So many desserts to choose from!
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 2 tablespoons powder sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, chilled
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup water, chilled
- Egg wash
For the filling
- 2 sachets (about 2 1/2 teaspoons each) gelatin powder
- 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon citric acid
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
For the meringue
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 7 tablespoons water
- 4 fresh egg whites, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- To make the pastry: Put the flour, sugar, and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times to mix it together. Cut the butter into cubes and add it to the flour. Process the mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, taking care not to overmix it, then add the egg and switch the motor on again until the pastry starts to come together. Once one large ball starts to form in the machine, tip it out onto a floured surface and bring it together quickly with your hands. (If the pastry is still dry, add 1 tablespoon water and pulse a few times to bring it together.)
- Roll the pastry out to around 1/4" thick. Use it to line your pie tin, pressing it firmly into the flutes, then trim the edges, prick the base with a fork, and refrigerate for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. After an hour, line the pie dish with foil and fill with baking beans, dry rice, or lentils. Blind-bake the pie case for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and foil, brush with egg wash, and bake for another 10-15 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.
- To make the pie filling: Put the sugar and water into a large saucepan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Don't let it come to a boil — or if it does, let it cool some before the next steps.
- Remove from the heat and sprinkle in the gelatin powder. Use a whisk to combine and dissolve the gelatin, returning the pan to the heat for a moment if it doesn't dissolve fully. Once totally combined, add the lemon essence and citric acid, and whisk through.
- Let the mixture cool, then put the pie case, still in its tin, into the fridge. Carefully pour the liquid filling into the pie case and leave it to set in the fridge for 5-6 hours or overnight.
- To make the meringue: Put the caster sugar and water into a small saucepan and stir until the sugar has melted, then bring to a boil. Leave the saucepan without stirring until it reaches a fast boil. Use a sugar or digital thermometer to check the temperature of the sugar syrup — it needs to reach 248°F.
- Meanwhile, put the egg whites and lemon juice into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until it reaches soft peaks.
- Once the sugar has reached 248°F, with the stand mixer still running, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the whipped egg whites. Keep whisking until the meringue has formed soft peaks and is cool, then switch off the mixer.
- Serving the pie: Carefully transfer the pie from its tin onto a serving board or plate. For a traditional-looking pie with a surprise clear center, pile spoonfuls of the meringue on top of the pie and use the back of a spoon to create billowing cloud shapes. Use a blowtorch to brown the meringue, starting slowly and taking care not to burn it. Serve within an hour or two of adding the meringue.