Deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie is composed of a light and fluffy french meringue shell, a smooth and zesty lemon curd, a delicious graham cracker crumble and a light lemon mousse, perfect for any occasion.
Deconstructed Lemon Meringue pies are much simpler to make than many expect. Although it contains four components, they are all easy and simple to make.
French Meringue is a lot easier to make when you know a few tricks. Why many beginners struggle to make meringue is because there are a few things that make or break your meringue. Firstly, make sure that all of your utensils, most importantly the bowl and your whisk attachment are completely dry and grease free. Also, wait until the egg whites have reached soft peaks before adding any of the sugar. Adding the sugar slowly, only a teaspoon or two at a time is also important so that the egg whites are not weighed down by the sugar and the meringue does not collapse.
Meringue shells can be piped into little bowls using whatever tip you want. No piping tips? No problem! Simply plop meringue on to your parchment lined baking sheet and hollow out the middle.
The Lemon Curd
The lemon curd in this recipe is smooth and fresh giving off a ray of sunshine. This lemon curd includes all of the leftover egg yolks that remain from the meringue. This is very convenient so that you do not have any leftover egg yolks left in your frig. Mounted with butter at the end, this curd is silky and rich with a perfect balance of sweet and sour. The most important part of making a perfect curd is to make sure that the egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice are mixed together completely before placing it on the stove. Also, make sure to constantly stir the curd while it’s on the stove so that it doesn’t curdle.
The Graham Cracker Crumble
Crumbles are one of the best things that happened to dessert. Crumbles are granolas without the healthy parts. It tastes exactly like the graham cracker crust on a classic lemon meringue pie, and it is just as easy to make. The secret to getting this crumble perfectly crunchy is baking it twice. First, place the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and pat into a thin sheet about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Once it has gone through its first bake and cooled a little bit, break it into small chunks and bake again for a perfect crunch.
The Lemon Mousse
This mousse is super easy to make. Although some mousses are harder to make this, one is as easy as pie. Whip some cream and stabilize it with a small amount of powdered sugar and some powdered milk. The addition of powdered milk is a trick I have found to help the whipped cream hold its shape. Next, add some vanilla and fold in some of that lovely lemon curd you made earlier. Voila! Easiest mousse ever! Again if you don’t own a piping bag, feel free to use a spoon to place it on the meringues.
These meringues are simple to assemble and decorate. Fill the well in the meringue shell with the lemon curd and sprinkle some of the crumble on top. Pipe or plop the lemon mousse on top and sprinkle with more of the crumble and drizzle with leftover lemon curd if you have any. There you have it! A beautiful deconstructed lemon meringue pie.
Deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie:
Yield: 12 Prep Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 2 hours
6 egg whites (Room Temperature)
1 1/2 cups (300g) Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup (155g) Sugar
10 tablespoons Lemon Juice
3/4 cup Butter (cool to touch)
Graham Cracker Crumble:
5 graham crackers
2 tablespoons Sugar
1/4 cup Melted Butter
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 1/4 cup Cream
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 tablespoons Powdered Milk
3 tablespoons Powdered Sugar
1/2 cup Lemon Curd (Recipe above)
Preheat the oven to 250F
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Place the egg whites in a dry, grease-free, mixing bowl.
Beat on medium-high speed until the egg whites form soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar one teaspoon at a time, while continuing to mix at medium-high speed, until all of the sugar is incorporated.
When the Meringue reaches stiff peaks, either pipe 12 meringue nests or plop the meringue into 12 even mounds. Make a small well in each mound of meringue. This is where all of the filling is going to go.
Bake the meringues at 250F for 45 minutes. Shut off the oven and place a wooden spoon in the oven door to crack it open. Allow the meringue nests to cool in the oven for at least 30 minutes. This rest in the oven helps them not to crack.
While the meringue is baking, combine the egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Whisk until fully incorporated. Place the saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly. When the mixture begins to bubble or reached 160 degrees remove it from the stove.
Press the mixture through a sieve and add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly.
Place plastic wrap over the lemon curd leaving no gaps for air bubbles. This prevents the lemon curd from forming a skin. Refrigerate until thick and creamy.
Graham Cracker Crumble:
Place the graham crackers in a bag and crush them using a rolling pin. Put the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and salt in a bowl. Mix until fully combined. Pat the dough into a thin disk on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 7-9 minutes. Or until golden brown. Let the disk cool and break it into small pieces. Bake again for another 4-6 minutes until the crumble reaches a lovely amber color.
Whip the cream on medium-high speed until it reaches soft peaks. Add the powdered milk, powdered sugar, and the vanilla. Mix the whipped cream with a spatula until all of the ingredients are completely incorporated. Fold in the lemon curd stirring lightly. The mousse will thicken as you continue to stir. Place the mousse in a piping bag and chill until you are ready to use it.
Assembly: Fill the meringue shells with as much lemon curd as you can, but leave enough room on the edge that the lemon curd will not overflow over the sides of the meringue nest. Sprinkle a small amount of the crumble on top of the lemon curd. Pipe the lemon mousse on top of the lemon curd filled meringues and garnish with the remaining crumble. Assembly is really up to you. Be as creative as you want! Allow the meringues to chill for at least 30 minutes.
The meringues will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.