Lindsay Ann Bakes: Lemon Meringue Pie Dip For Two

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lemon Meringue Pie Dip For Two

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For when you don't want to bake an entire pie, this pie inspired, refreshing treat is really simple to make and only needs about 10 minutes in the oven! The luscious, smooth lemon curd is topped with a light, fluffy cloud of meringue topping. Instead of a crust, scoop with cookies or graham crackers for a quick, simple and delicious summer time treat for two. Make it in a bowl to share or in 2 ramekins to serve as individual, single serving desserts! Alternatively, you can sub the meringue topping for a "lite" store bought whipped topping and use low sugar/reduced fat cookies, to guiltlessly indulge in moderation with my small batch, summer time take on a classic dessert. 



To make this dessert from scratch, you will first make the meringue topping.



Next, the lemon curd. The first step is to cook the sugar, cornstarch, salt, water and milk into a thick translucent/white gel, over the stovetop. I use a little milk to give it a custard feel and the rest water to keep the nice gel-like, classic curd consistency.


Next, slowly whisk in the yolks and cook until it begins to thicken.



Lastly, remove from heat and add the butter, lemon juice and zest. To get the most juice from your lemon, roll it around on your countertop. Then, slice in half and juice either by hand or with a juicing tool.


And there you have a beautiful, creamy batch of homemade lemon curd in just 3 easy steps!




Lemon Meringue Pie Dip For Two

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients
  • Cookies for dipping (nilla wafers, shortbread cookies, graham crackers, etc.)
Meringue Topping:
  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature (reserve yolk for the lemon curd)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon. cream of tartar
Lemon Curd (Yield: 2/3 cup):
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • pinch teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 2 tablespoons milk, whole or 2%
  • 1 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 large lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (outer skin of the lemon, avoiding bitter white layer), about 1/2 a lemon
  
Directions

Prepare Meringue:
Bring about 1 inch of water to a simmer in a large pot. In the meantime, in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg white until frothy. Slowly whisk in the sugar. Reduce the heat to low and place bowl on top of the pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk constantly to keep the egg white moving so it does’t cook, yet gently enough as to not incorporate air into the mixture. Keep whisking until the white is warm to the touch (115°F to 120°F on an instant-read thermometer) and the sugar is  dissolved, so when you rub the whites between your fingertips it is smooth and not gritty, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove from heat. Whisk in the the vanilla and cream of tartar on low speed. Very gradually increase the speed to medium high until the egg white forms thick, glossy, medium peaks, holding its shape with a slight curl at the tip, 2 to 4 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to top lemon curd.


Prepare Lemon Curd:
In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, water and milk until smooth. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until mixture comes to a boil and becomes a thick translucent/white gel, 2-4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook 1 minute more, stirring continuously (no longer or the cornstarch will loose its thickening power). Remove from heat and set aside. Lightly beat the egg yolk and whisk it into the pot of gel. Over medium-low heat, gently stir the mixture until it begins to boil and and starts to thicken and clump, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the butter, stirring until melted. Gently whisk in the lemon juice and zest. Pour into an oven safe glass bowl, or 2 oven safe ramekins to serve as individual, single serving desserts.


Assemble & Bake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread meringue over hot lemon curd all the way to the edges to seal in filling (this will also cook the bottom of the meringue so it will not liquify and become wet and soggy). Use a knife to lift peaks of meringues for a pretty presentation if desired. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes until top is golden brown. Cool 1 hour on a wire rack and transfer, uncovered, to the refrigerator to set up before serving. Serve with cookies of your choice.

Lemon meringue pie dip is best eaten the day it’s made, but leftovers will keep, loosely tented with aluminum foil and refrigerated, for up to 3 days. Do not cover with plastic wrap or condensation will form under the wrap and create a wet layer on your dip.
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