Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Lemon Meringue Pie (Grain, dairy and refined sugar free)

The title is not a lie!

Seriously, for some reason I obsess over recreating classic dishes to fit in with my lifestyle. I really don't think it's healthy to live a life of deprivation... it's all about moderation, and when I make desserts like this, it's usually when I'm visiting someone, or when I'm cooking for a group. Basically what I'm trying to say, I make sure that there's no possible way I can sit down and eat it all myself with a giant spoon! Since I changed my eating habits, I don't crave sugar or sweet things anymore, so it's pretty easy for me to just have a tiny taste and settle for that.

And yeah, I do realise that by bringing friends cake that fits in with my lifestyle, I'm kind of pushing my views on them... but hey, I've never had any complaints yet, and it's good to help people realise that recipes don't actually need to be sugar laden to taste good. Mind you, I do know which friends I need to bring full blown sugar explosion desserts to, and that's ok too...not everyone has to eat the way I do.

So back to the Lemon Meringue pie..strange one really, it's not a dessert I'd go mad for, but for some reason I decided to recreate it at the weekend. Most likely because I had no idea how to manage pastry, custard and meringue without grains, dairy, and refined sugar... It seems I like a challenge!

Pastry crust
  • 165g almond flour
  • 80g coconut flour
  • 80g tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs 
  • 3 tbsp raw organic honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted 
Preheat oven to 160d (fan oven).
Sieve dry ingredients twice. (Don't be lazy, do it twice... it adds far more air to the mixture, and will make a lighter crust) 
Mix all the liquid ingredients together in a bowl and whisk until incorporated. 
Add 3/4 of the liquid to your flour mix, and using your hands mix well. 
At this stage, your pastry should still be crumbly. 
Add the remaining liquid in stages, a little at time. You're looking for a pliable dough, and don't want it too sticky or it'll be difficult to work with. It shouldn't be crumbly either though! (I really should have taken photos as I made it!) 
If it's too sticky, add a little more almond flour just to make it easier to work with. 
No need to roll the pastry out.. it's going to be a little more fragile than standard pastry so you can just press it evenly into your pie dish (use a 9" dish). Be patient, press it in well into the corners of the dish.. there's plenty of dough, just keep at it until you have an even crust. 
Next you need to place a circle of parchment paper onto the crust and weigh down using baking beans or even dry uncooked rice. (This is called baking 'blind'). This stops the crust rising too much, and browning too quickly. 

Bake for 15 minutes, then remove baking beans and parchment. Bake for a further 5 minutes until pale golden brown. 

Lemon filling
  • 4 lemons, zest removed and juiced
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 cans of full fat organic coconut milk refrigerated overnight (thick cream can use the coconut water for smoothies later)
  • 5 tbsp raw organic honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot starch 
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 2 gelatin leaves softened as per packet instructions
Add the first 5 ingredients to a saucepan, and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes. Keep stirring so it doesn't go lumpy and you don't end up with scrambled eggs! 
Mix arrowroot and boiling water to make a thick paste (if you add it to the custard as powder it will go lumpy)
Add your paste, and gelatin leaves (discard the water). 
Keep stirring until custard comes to just below a boil. Simmer until thick. 
You can check if it's going to set by dropping a teaspoon of the mixture onto a plate. If it forms a skin quickly, then your custard will set. 
Once ready, add to your pastry shell. 

Meringue topping
  • 4 egg whites
  • 4 tbsp raw organic honey
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until opaque and stiff. 
Add honey 1 tbsp at a time, whisking well in between additions. 
Whisk until you have glossy, stiff meringue. 
Pile onto your lemon filling, and swirl with a fork to create peaks. 
Bake at 170d (fan) for 10-15 minutes until golden. 

Allow to cool before serving. 

I have to say... I was thrilled nobody realised until after they had eaten it that it wasn't my normal recipe! Success!! As I said before, dessert isn't an every day thing.. and just because it has healthier ingredients, doesn't given you licence to go crazy eating it. Keep it as a treat... 

No comments:

Post a Comment