Forget Lemon Meringue Pie, Lemon Meringue Slice is where it is at! This is one of the most delicious things I've made all year and so easy to make requiring just a bowl and a whisk. I am SO excited to share this recipe with you. Clouds of meringue top the easiest lemony filling and delicious buttery coconut base. This comes with a warning-it's highly addictive and is definitely a pushy recipe Dear Reader!
I've never quite perfected lemon meringue pie but after perfecting this lemon meringue slice I am not really worried. This is really so delicious and gives you all of that tangy delicious flavour of a lemon meringue pie without the fiddly pie crust. I actually think that this base is better than a lemon meringue pie crust as this base has so much more flavour to it and is buttery and crispy edged with coconut in it.
Anatomy of a Lemon Meringue Slice
This lemon meringue slice has three layers:
1 - The base made with melted butter, coconut, flour, sugar, vanilla and a fat pinch of salt. This salt is really necessary to balance the flavour of this lemon meringue slice
2 - The filling which is made like a key lime pie filling using condensed milk, yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. This is so much quicker than making a curd which you have to cool to thicken. You literally whisk these ingredients together and the lemon juice sets the condensed milk within seconds. I make my lemon filling very lemony to contrast against the meringue but if you like it less tart reduce the lemon juice to 1/2 cup.
3 - The meringue topping. This is easy, just egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar. The egg whites must not have any egg yolk in them and the beaters and bowls must be spotlessly clean otherwise your meringue won't stiffen hard. The cream of tartar helps the meringue hold its shape and you should be able to tip your bowl of meringue upside down and it should not move. All you need it to bake it in the oven for 10 minutes to brown it! I know I have specified 4 egg whites and 2 egg yolks but I always seem to have lots of egg whites in my fridge. You can make it with 2 egg whites if you don't want to crack two more eggs but obviously the meringue topping won't be as voluminous and the balance of the meringue, base and filling is what makes it so moreish.
I ended up giving half of this lemon meringue slice to Valentina. She loves classic slices and I wanted to give this to her as she gave me dozens of eggs from her backyard chicken and the lemons from her farm. She's so generous with her produce and getting dozens of wonderful eggs and fresh lemons is such a treat. When we went to see her we brought Teddy along but left him in the car as she was dog sitting her daughter Katie's enormous American staffy Nox. He is a nice dog but Katie recommended that we keep the two dogs separate just in case. Valentina came out to say hi to Teddy in the car and we wound down the window so that he could say hello to one of his favourite aunties.
Then it all went crazy in a flash. Nox had escaped from their front door when Val's husband Pete lost his grip on him (Nox is pure muscle) and he ran towards the car and jumped up trying to say hello to Teddy and barking loudly. The two dogs were barking frantically at each other with Nox trying to jump up to Teddy and I was trying to close the window. Mr NQN pushed Nox away from Teddy and then I closed the window. Now bored, Nox started running down the street at breakneck speed. It was as if he tasted freedom for the first time. "He's probably halfway to Croydon," a neighbour said who was watching this whole spectacle as Nox disappeared off into the distance. Pete, Mr NQN and I just froze, I was still confused about what was happening and then Valentina had to run down the street after Nox in her fluffy slippers.
Luckily a neighbour had managed to somehow curtail Nox's break to freedom and Valentina got a hold of Nox, who now looked sheepish like he knew he'd be a naughty boy. And I dare say nobody deserved a slice of this lemon meringue slice more than Valentina!
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever lost control of a situation really quickly? Do you like the combination of lemon and meringue?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Lemon Meringue Slice
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 5 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
- 1 1/3 cups/200g/7ozs. self raising flour
- 3/4 cup/65g/2.3ozs. desiccated coconut
- 160g/5.6ozs. butter, melted
- 145g/5ozs caster or superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Fat pinch of salt
- 400g/14oz tin sweetened condensed milk
- 2/3 cup/165ml/5.6flozs lemon juice
- 2 egg yolks
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 egg whites (around 160g/5.6ozs), room temperature
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 160g/5.6ozs caster or superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Baked base layer
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F/ gas mark 4 and line the base and sides of a 18x26x2.5cm/7x10x1 inch rectangular lamington or brownie tin. I scrunch up a sheet of baking parchment and wet it, shake it dry and press it into a tin. In a large bowl mix the flour, coconut, butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together and then press into the tin (I use a flat bottomed glass to press the crumbs down). Bake for 15 minutes until golden on top.
The filling before being baked
Step 2 -While it is baking whisk the condensed milk, lemon juice, egg yolks, lemon zest and vanilla together. Pour into the tin once the base is done and bake for 15 minutes.
The filling after baking-looks sort of the same but a bit firmer
Step 3 -Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy and starting to get soft peaks. On medium speed gradually add the sugar in while whipping and then increase the speed to high and whip until glossy and firm. Add the vanilla in and whip to incorporate for a few seconds. The meringue should be completely stiff and you should be able to turn the bowl upside down without the meringue moving. Spread on top of the filling once baked and return to the oven for 10 minutes for it to brown a little. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack and then remove and cut up.
Browned in oven