The lemon yellow color can bring sunshine into our homes! This delicious dessert could become the center piece of your Easter celebration instantly. The tart and tangy lemon filled cake is topped with the fluffy sweet meringue. I like using lemon in baking because it offsets the sweetness of a dessert and gives it an interesting flavor … and it is packed with the important theme of Easter, eggs of course. It is super easy to make and delicious at the same time. In our house, my daughter will be making it for Easter.
- 12 Tbsp (165gr) butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla concentrate
- 1 1/2 all purpose flour, cut and sifted
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice + the zest (2-3 fresh lemons)
- 1/4 flour
- 3 egg white, room temperature
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/3 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 325F (170C). Set the rack in the middle of the oven. Grease and line a 9″ baking dish with parchment paper.
Seperate the 3 eggs for the meringue now as it is easier to do when eggs are cold. Make sure they are at room temperature when you beat them.
Make the crust. Cream the sugar, vanilla extract and the butter. Gradually add the flour with salt mixing by hand just until a crumbly ball forms.
Place the prepared dough in the pan. Using your hands press against the bottom and about 1 inch (2cm) up the sides. Poke the dough with a fork about 6-8 times. Bake for 20 minutes or until the dough has a nice golden brown color.
Make the lemon filling. In a medium sized bowl whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and zest and the flour together. Make sure you grade the lemons before you can them up. (It is almost impossible to zest a cut lemon).
When the crust is done baking, remove it from the oven. Pour the lemon filling over the crust and return it to the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the filling no longer jiggles and the center is mostly set.
Make the meringue in the last 5 minutes. In a clean, dry medium bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Add about half of the sugar and the cream of tartar, whip for 30 seconds, then add the rest of the sugar and whip until combined. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a large tip or zip-lock bag with a corner snipped off.
I piped the meringue on the top covering the entire surface making large peaks each time. (Make sure you put the meringue on the top of the cake right away so it stays fluffy and does not deflate. You can wait until the pie is baked and then start beating the eggs once you are sure that the cake is ready).
Return to the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the meringues are lightly browned.
Let cool completely, then refrigerate for 1 hours.
Serve at room temperature.