Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Ilene Gilbert's Lemon Meringue Dessert
By Norene Gilletz @ 4:25 PM :: 19889 Views :: 357 Comments :: :: All, Desserts, Holidays, Passover

Ilene Gilbert's Lemon Meringue Dessert

Norene Gilletz


My friend and dietician, Ilene Gilbert, shared this winner with me.  Prepare and freeze it in advance.  To reduce fat and calories, omit the crust.  You need 6 eggs plus 6 egg whites for this recipe, but one serving contains just half a yolk.  This yummy dessert will disappear in a flash at your Seder meal!

Food Editor's notes:  This is a spectacular dessert for a Passover seder!  It basically tastes like a frozen lemon meringue pie, but it looks so elegant when released from its springform pan and placed on a beautiful round platter.  The filling is a little different – more like a lemon mousse – and the thin crust is nice and crisp.  Fresh lemon juice will taste best.  And be sure to freeze the dessert for several more hours after the meringue has been browned in the oven.  No one will expect a dessert like this to end a seder meal, but it really is perfect – sweet and tangy, cool and refreshing, light, and delicious!  And easy, too – it's all made in advance, in 3 different stages, and will keep in the freezer for days.  Garnish and serve with raspberries or sliced strawberries for some color and extra pizzazz. 




Passover Pie crust:
1 cup matzo meal
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup tub margarine or vegetable oil [for Passover]
2 tablespoons orange juice

3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks (reserve the 3 egg whites)
1/2 cup fresh or bottled lemon juice
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons additional sugar

6 additional egg whites
1 tablespoon additional sugar

1.  Crust: Combine ingredients in the processor and mix until blended, about 20 seconds.  Press into the bottom of a sprayed 9 or 10-inch springform pan.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes (a few minutes less if you use a 10-inch pan).

2.  Filling: Combine eggs, egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest and 1 1/4 cups sugar in the top of a double boiler over simmering water.  Heat until thick, stirring constantly.  Let cool.  Beat the reserved 3 egg whites until foamy.  Gradually beat in 3 tablespoons additional sugar.  Beat until stiff.  Fold into cooled lemon mixture.  Pour over crust.  Wrap with foil.  Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight.

3.  Meringue: Beat 6 egg whites until foamy.  Gradually add 1 tablespoon sugar and beat until stiff.  Spread on frozen dessert.  Broil until meringue is light brown.  Return to freezer.

Yield: 12 servings.  This freezes well.  Remove dessert from freezer 15 minutes before serving.

224 calories per serving, 6.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 106 mg cholesterol, 6 g protein, 37 g carbohydrate, 117 mg sodium, 87 mg potassium, <1 mg iron, trace fiber, 20 mg calcium.

* Variations: Omit crust.  Line sides of springform pan with Passover ladyfingers, placing the rounded sides outwards.  (Cut off tips from bottom end so they'll stand upright!)  At serving time, garnish dessert with long strips of lemon rind.

* In Step 1, omit Passover Pie Crust.  Crush 1/2 pound packaged Passover mandelbroit cookies.  Combine with 3 tablespoons melted margarine and mix well.  Press into the bottom of a sprayed springform pan, but do not bake.  Complete recipe as directed above.

Norene Gilletz is a valued contributor to ShalomBoston.com.  This recipe is from her book Healthy Helpings: 800 Fast & Fabulous Recipes for the Kosher (or not) Cook ($19.95 U.S., Woodland Publishing).  Norene lives in Toronto, Canada, and has several other kosher cookbooks to her credit, including one of my personal favorites, The Food Processor Bible (Whitecap Books).  See recipes, food tips, nutritional information, and more on her web site at http://www.gourmania.com/.