Lemon Meringue Bars

lemon meringue bars

The hint of some sunshine again after bouts of moody, rainy weather gave me the inspiration for this summery, citrusy dessert. Everyone loves lemon meringue pie; it’s got the perfect mix of sour, tangy lemon and sweet meringue. So, I thought why not turn it into a bar and make this decadent treat a bit more fun! I have decided to go for an Italian meringue here because I love the cloudy, air-like billowiness of it, and of course the fact that it leaves you with the opportunity to use the blow-torch to finish it off. Of course, you don’t have to torch the meringue, it will still taste delicious, I just love the thrill of it. Being the glutton that I am I sliced these bars up into 12 portions, but that is not to say you couldn’t slice them into smaller pieces to feed more people. They are very rich and a few mouthfuls would be enough for most, but again, I am not most. Hope you enjoy 🙂

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Lemon Meringue Bars

Base and filling adapted from Donna Hay

Makes 12 bars

base

  • 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 cup (80g) desiccated coconut
  • 2 cups (300g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 200g unsalted butter, melted

lemon filling

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks, extra
  • 2 cups (440g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • ⅓ cup (50g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 cup (250ml) lemon juice (about 3 medium lemons)

Italian meringue

  • 175 gm caster sugar
  • 2 eggwhites
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 60ml water

 

Method: 

Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Place the sugar, coconut, flour and butter in a bowl and stir until combined and mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. You can also do this by popping everything in a food processor and pulsing it a few times.

Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the base of a lightly greased 20 x 30cm slice tin lined with non-stick baking paper. It’s important to press the base right into the edges and corners of the tin so the lemon filling can’t escape down any gaps.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool completely.

To make the lemon filling, place the eggs and extra egg yolks in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the sugar, flour, lemon rind and lemon juice and whisk until smooth. Carefully pour the filling over the cooked base and bake for 30 minutes or until just set. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

Meanwhile, for Italian meringue, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir until sugar dissolves and brush down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar particles. Increase heat to high and cook until syrup reaches 121C on a sugar thermometer (6-9 minutes). Meanwhile, when syrup reaches 110C, start whisking eggwhites and cream of tartar in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually pour hot syrup over eggwhites in a thin stream, whisking continuously until cooled, thick and glossy (10-12 minutes).

Remove cooled lemon slice from tin and cut into 12 pieces. Transfer meringue to a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe swirls on top of each piece. Brown with a blowtorch (optional) and serve.

Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes

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Sunday is the sort of day where you are allowed to treat yourself. You’ve come to the end of the weekend and you know you have to face the real world again tomorrow, you might be nursing a sore head or you might just be allowing yourself some well-earned relaxation time. Either way, it is my opinion that if it’s Sunday it is very much acceptable to indulge in some of the things you might not allow yourself to do during the rest of the week. And eating pancakes is one of them. And if you’re going to treat yourself you may as well do it right.

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These pancakes are fluffy and light through the combination of the beaten egg whites and the creamy ricotta. This duo ensures that the stodge-factor, which is present in many pancakes, will not be present here. I have added only a little sugar as I’m not as fond of overly sweet pancakes but this amount can easily be adjusted according to personal preference. I topped them with fresh berries as they were in season but lemon, butter and sugar is always a hit as well.

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Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes

Makes 12 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups self-raising flour
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ tbs caster cugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup fresh ricotta
  • Butter, to grease
  • Berries, to serve
  • Maple syrup

 Method:

  1. Place flour, egg yolks, caster sugar, milk and ricotta in a bowl and mix until just combined.
  2. Place egg whites in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer and stiff peaks form.
  3. Gently fold the egg whites through the batter mixture in two batches.
  4. Heat a fry pan over a medium heat. Melt a knob of batter in pan. Place large spoonful’s of the mixture in the pan and cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until the sides are golden in colour. Repeat until batter is empty. Serve with berries and maple syrup.