Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Chocolate. Lime. Meringue. All in one pie.
Trust me when I tell you that the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts. Tangy lime filling, chocolate biscuit crust, soft yet crunchy meringue on top.
After I made this pie I went to a house party. You know you’re getting old when you have to leave a party by 11pm to get to bed. And you’re not ashamed to tell that to your hosts. I probably should have told them I wanted to get home to eat this pie. Actually I’m not sure what sounds worse. And they’re both the truth!
You have to make this today.
Chocolate Lime Meringue Pie
I’m so excited right now! There are a few steps to this, but the end result makes the effort worth it. And people will think even more highly of you for pulling it off. And you will.
- 500g plain chocolate biscuits (not chocolate coated or filled)
- 200g unsalted butter
- 2 tins condensed milk (400g each)
- Zest and juice of 5 limes
- 6 egg yolks
- 6 egg whites
- 400g caster sugar
- 125ml water
First things first – preheat your oven to 170C.
Crush the biscuits till they’re fine crumbs, then melt the butter and mix the two together. Press the mixture into your pie dish, using either a spoon or your hand. I recommend the spoon, it’s less messy. You need to press the crust down firmly, otherwise there’s no point in doing it at all. Bake the crust for 20 minutes. It should look something like this:
Leave to cool.
Now you can get onto the filling. This is so simple it’s actually quite ridiculous. Just whisk the ingredients together, pour into the cooled pie dish and bake for 30 minutes at 170C.
Yup, it’s that easy…
Leave it to cool until it’s cool.
Then start on your meringue. The oven should be at 150C for this stage.
Bring the sugar and water to the boil. You need it to reach soft ball stage. I test for this by dipping a spoon in the syrup and then placing it in cold water. When you can make a little ball out of the cooled syrup it means that it’s ready. You have to be careful here because not only is the syrup hot, so be careful not to burn yourself mmkay, it also changes from softball to hardball really quickly. To be honest though, without throwing caution to the wind, if you’ve boiled your syrup for 8-10 minutes that’s probably enough. So don’t get too freaked out about it.
Now this is the bit where it gets exciting. This is what I’ve been waiting for. I’m going to teach you how to make Italian Meringue. Sounds fancy doesn’t it?
Okay, so beat your egg whites until they reach soft peaks, and then slowly pour the syrup into the whites while continuing to beat on slow. What happens here is the the egg whites are cooked by the syrup and you’ll see the white start to change. After pouring in all of the syrup turn the beaters right up. Woohoo!
Then, unless you’re lucky and you either have a standing mixer, or a
slave child who’s old enough to entrust with this task, you’ll have to stand there and beat these whites for 10 whole minutes. You can see the whites change in consistency, though, so it’s not quite as boring as watching grass grow. Comes pretty close though.
The pictures below show the whites after 1 minute, 5 minutes and 10 minutes. Can you see how they are becoming stiffer?
Right, so all you have left to do is stick the meringue on top of the pie and bake for 20-30 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
Look how stiff the meringue is – I was making an abstract sculpture on top of my pie until I realised I was wasting pie cooling time, and I’d have to wait even longer to eat it…
Start checking on the pie after 20 minutes – burnt meringue is nasty!
You will need to practice great restraint here, because you can’t eat the pie yet, but you’re really going to want to. Leave it to cool completely before slicing into it. In fact, chill it in the fridge if you need to. The outside of the meringue is really crunchy so please use a sharp knife and some care, or you’ll completely mangle it. This only matters if you care about presentation. If you don’t, power to you, and just dig in with a spoon. And leave all dignity at the door.
This post was inspired by, and adapted from, the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.