This month’s Recipe ReDux is all about first cooking recollections and lemon meringue pie is one of my most prominent food memories. When I was growing up, my mum used to make lemon meringue pie for nearly every celebratory event or family get together, along with cheesecake and chocolate slice. And I loved helping to make these goodies because it meant I got to lick the bowls.
A low FODMAP twist on lemon meringue pie
While I’m not a fan of twisting up or ‘healthifying’ favourite recipes for the sake of it, since there’s nothing wrong with a treat here or there, the fact is that I can no longer eat a traditional form of lemon meringue pie. Firstly, the regular pastry case isn’t very good for sensitive tummies. Of course I could make a gluten-free and dairy-free pastry, but I haven’t been happy with the versions I’ve tried so far so I won’t inflict them on you. Also, the lemon curd normally contains butter, which is a problem if you have a sensitivity to dairy.
The easiest solution… get rid of the pastry case but keep the meringue and lemon curd, making sure to use a lemon curd recipe that doesn’t contain dairy. That way you get the essential flavours, can make it tummy friendly, and as a bonus cut out a lot of unnecessary fat and kilojoules in the process.
But rather than put the meringue on top of the lemon curd, I’ve reversed the order of the ingredients and turned the meringue into little nests that will hold the lemon curd. And then I’ve topped them with some fruit to freshen them up a bit and make them more filling.
These beautiful little desserts are wonderfully portion controlled, making it easier to keep the treat in check. While I certainly wouldn’t call them a healthy choice, for a special occasion they’re a good tummy friendly option that will suit most intolerances or allergies (except for eggs). I like to top them with berries and kiwi fruit, but you could also use passionfruit or whatever else is in season.
Meringue nests filled with lemon curd are an excellent dessert when catering for people with food intolerances and allergies.
- 2 extra large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1/2 cup caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- Tangy Lemon Curd
- 4 kiwi fruits, skin removed, halved and sliced
- 1 punnet of strawberries, washed
- 1 punnet of fresh blueberries, washed (or defrosted frozen blueberries)
- Pure icing sugar (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 100°C (fan-forced). Put a sheet of baking paper onto an oven tray.
- In a very clean bowl, use an electric mixer (stand mixer or hand-held electric beaters) to beat the egg whites and lemon juice until they become very white, dry and form stiff peaks. Add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating until completely dissolved and the meringue is thick and glossy. Transfer the meringue to a piping bag and attach a rosette nozzle.
- On a piece of paper, trace a 7cm circle with a dark pen. Put this circle underneath the baking paper close to one corner (you should be able to see the circle easily) and then begin to pipe around the circle. Continue to fill the circle by making smaller circles of meringue inside it. Then go back to the outer part of the circle and pipe two layers on top to form the nests. Do this same process for the remaining 7 nests by moving the circle to different areas of the baking paper. You’ll need to allow a few centimetres between the nests but they won’t spread too much.
- Cook in the oven for 2 hours or until they are crisp on the outside and easy to peel off the baking sheet. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and then store in an airtight container for up to a few days.
- Put the meringue nests on serving plates, add 2 dessert spoons of tangy lemon curd to each nest and top with blueberries. Arrange 1/2 a kiwi fruit and some strawberries on each plate. Carefully dust each filled nest with a little icing sugar if desired. Serve immediately.
- This recipe is suitable for a low FODMAP diet, provided that the recommended serving size for this recipe is not exceeded.
- This recipe is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free. However, if you have an allergy to any of these items, or have coeliac disease, please check the labels on any purchased ingredients to ensure they are safe for your requirements.
- To make this recipe, you will need an electric mixer (either a hand-held egg beater or a stand mixer) and a piping bag with a rosette nozzle.
- You can make the meringue nests and lemon curd ahead of time, but don’t assemble until just before serving because the moisture from the lemon curd will cause the meringue to start dissolving.
- To keep the overall fruit portion low FODMAP, each serve should have 1/2 a kiwi fruit, about 30g strawberries, and about 15g blueberries.
- Make sure that the icing sugar is pure and not an ‘icing mixture’, which has extra additives.
Low FODMAP Portion
- Serving Size: 1 meringue nest