What screams of summer more than a light lemon dessert? Keto Lemon Meringue Pie is deliciously sweet cut with the tart flavor of lemon. It's the classic pie with an almond flour crust and a sugar-free, custard filling.
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The History of Lemon Meringue Pie
I don't know if I should admit to you I've been researching the history of lemon meringue pie.
But really, why not? I find the history and development of foods and recipes fascinating. So much depends on the people of the era and place and what's going on at the time. By that I mean, what ingredients were available to them? Why did the dessert come about?
I've found all sorts of stories about the origins of the lemon meringue pie. Some say it goes back to lemon custard in medieval times in England. Others disagree, with the claim a lemon meringue pudding pie must have meringue or meringue and a crust.
Many sources state the lemon meringue pie was born in Victorian-era Philadelphia by a woman named Elizabeth Goodfellow. She owned her own pastry shop and ran what is thought to be America's first cooking school for young ladies.
For more information read Mrs. Goodfellow: The Story of America's First Cooking School by Becky Diamond.
Her pastry shop was unique to the time period because she didn't supply the normal bread of a bakery. Oh, no! She provided delicate cakes, tarts, pies, and other desserts for elegant dinners.
One of her students, Eliza Leslie published her own cookbook in 1847. Titled, The Lady’s Receipt-Book: A Useful Companion for Large or Small Families, she says: “Any very nice baked pudding will be improved by covering the surface with a meringue.”
Most likely, in looking not to waste the egg whites when creating a pudding or pudding pie, they turned to the delightful fluffy meringue.
Why keto lemon meringue pie?
I have always been a fan of custard and especially of anything with that summery sweet tart lemon flavor.
I've made keto lemon cream pies in the past. However, it's always bothered me to try to save the egg whites for another recipe. Because, more often than not, I forget about them or don't get around to making something out of them.
A keto lemon meringue pie solves the egg white waste problem. All I have to do is whip them up with a few key ingredients. Then just give it a nice browning on top of the pie, and voílà! Keto lemon meringue pie.
But if they were afraid of lemon meringue pie, this would be an irrational fear, because lemon meringue pie is delicious and has never hurt a soul.- Lemony Snicket, The Wide Window
TO MAKE KETO LEMON MERINGUE PIE YOU’LL NEED:
How to make keto lemon meringue pie
To begin, get out all the ingredients and kitchen utensils so they're close at hand. I don't like to scramble for something when I need it in a hurry.
First, to make the crust. I use an almond flour crust as I do in many of my other desserts like the Low Carb Chocolate Pie. It's a simple press-in crust you bake.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the almond flour, sweetener, and salt. Then, pour in the melted butter and mix completely until the mixture is crumbly.
Now press it evenly into the pie plate and up the sides. I like to use a glass or flat measuring cup to press the bottom down evenly. Also, you can just use your hands. Bake the crust at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.
How to make the sugar-free lemon filling
First of all, to make the filling, prepare the gelatin. Sprinkle two teaspoons of good gelatin over one-third of a cup of cold water and leave it for 5 minutes to bloom.
What does bloom mean? To bloom gelatin simply means to let it absorb the cold liquid. Usually you want about four times the amount of liquid to the measurement of powdered gelatin.
Second, take out a medium bowl and whisk the egg yolks together. Now set them aside as well and turn to the stove.
Next, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk the water, sweetener, salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Once it all begins to simmer, add in the bloomed gelatin to melt it. Then whisk it well to combine.
How to temper the egg yolks
Next, take one spoonful of the hot liquid mixture and whisk it into the egg yolks. Be sure to stir constantly to temper the eggs so they don't curdle or become scrambled. After success with one spoonful, pour in several more and whisk it together well.
Now, in a slow stream, whisk the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and turn the heat up to medium. Then cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it thickens and well coats the back of a spoon.
Once it's ready, pour the filling into the baked crust, and put it in the fridge to chill for at least an hour. This will also allow time to clean up and prepare the meringue.
How to make the meringue topping
For many people, meringue can be a bit intimidating or even unappealing. I know it used to be for me. It wasn't something I'd had much of except for the super-sickeningly sweet storebought pie topping.
Once I finally had a good meringue, and a sugar-free one at that, I was sold. Now I use it all the time. It works great not only for pie toppings, but for cookie or pie bases, or even a big pavlova.
Start out by making sure the bowl you're using to beat the egg whites is perfectly clean and free of any crumbs or debris. Then begin to beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment of a stand or hand-held mixer. Start on a low setting, and as they begin to bubble, increase the speed.
Add the cream of tartar and beat on high speed until soft peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. After that, add in the sweetener and salt and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, which should be about another 2-3 minutes.
Now's the fun part! Carefully, spread the meringue on top of the filling. Start around the edges so the meringue seals the crust and the filling. Then fill in the center with the rest of the meringue.
Tip: Use the back of a wooden spoon to make decorative peaks in the meringue. Swirl the back of the spoon on the meringue and lift straight up.
Now it's time to crisp and brown the top of the meringue. There are a couple of ways to do this. The first option is in the oven. Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the pie for 5-10 minutes or until the top begins to brown. Be very careful when removing the pie from the oven as it may begin to melt the gelatin.
Alternatively, if you have a mini blow torch (butane torch) as is used to make crème brûlée, it can be used to brown the top. Simply, move the torch over the meringue gently back and forth. You want it to slightly brown the top, not burn it.
Last but not least, move the pie to the refrigerator to chill and set. Let it chill at least three hours and serve!
Tip: I've found that because meringue does wilt and separate with time, the pie is best if eaten on the same day prepared.
How to store keto lemon meringue pie
If you've worked much with any meringue pies, you'll know meringue is best eaten sooner than later. On a wet pudding or pie filling, it will disintegrate or break down the longer it's stored.
I advise to serve and eat the pie the same day it's made. However, if this isn't possible, keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It will keep for several days and still taste good, but liquid can form between the meringue and the filling the longer it sits.
When life gives you lemons, make lemon meringue pie!- Unknown
What are your favorite lemon desserts?
The flavor of fresh lemons is one of my favorite flavors to pair with cream or custard. In fact, I find the tart lemon cuts the sweet richness of the cream and takes it from pretty good to pretty fabulous!
Another of my favorite lemon desserts is this Creamy Keto Lemon Mousse. If you're a lemon fan like myself, you'll find this dessert incredibly decadent and delicious.
What are your favorite lemon desserts? I love to pair lemon with blueberry or blackberry. There are so many options!
Go ahead and give this classic pie a keto go. Keto lemon meringue pie. The classic tang and taste you love in sugar-free, gluten-free form.
Yum. I'm hungry.
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More keto summer dessert recipes:
- Strawberry Keto Meringue Cookies
- Keto Blackberry Cobbler
- The Best Keto Berry Trifle
- Low Carb Lemon Blueberry Cream Cake
Almond Flour Pie Crust
- 1 3/4 cups finely ground blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup powdered sweetener
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup melted butter (or coconut oil for dairy-free)
Sugar-free Lemon Filling
- 5 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup powdered sweetener
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 2 tsp powdered gelatin
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp room temperature butter (or coconut oil for dairy-free)
- 5 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup powdered sweetener
- 1/8 tsp salt
Almond Flour Pie Crust
- Mix together the almond flour, sweetener, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
- Add the melted butter and mix completely until crumbly.
- Press evenly into a pie plate. Use a glass or flat measuring cup to press the bottom down evenly or just use your hands.
- Bake at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.
Sugar-free Lemon Filling
- Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of gelatin over 1/3 cup of cold water and leave it for 5 minutes to bloom.
- Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium bowl and also set those aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk the water, sweetener, salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Once it begins to simmer, add in the bloomed gelatin and whisk to combine.
- Take one spoon of the hot liquid mixture and whisk it into the egg yolks, stirring constantly to temper. Pour in several more large spoonfuls and whisk in well.
- Next, in a slow stream, whisk the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and turn the heat up to medium.
- Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it thickens and well coats the back of a spoon.
- Pour the filling into the baked crust and put it in the fridge to chill for at least an hour while you prepare the meringue.
- Beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment of a stand or hand-held mixer. Add the cream of tartar and beat on high speed until soft peaks form, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the sweetener and salt and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, another 2-3 minutes.
- Spread the meringue on top of the filling. Start around the edges so the meringue seals the crust and the filling. Then fill in the center.
- Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes or until the top begins to brown. Alternatively, use a mini blow torch over the meringue to brown the top.
- Carefully remove the pie from the oven to the refrigerator to set. Let it chill at least three hours and serve.
- Because meringue does wilt and separate with time, the pie is best if eaten on the same day.
Servings 12.0 Amount Per Serving Calories 162 Total Fat 15 g Saturated Fat 5 g Monounsaturated Fat 2 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g Trans Fat 0 g Cholesterol 106 mg Sodium 169 mg Potassium 22 Total Carbohydrate 3 g Dietary Fiber 2 g Sugars 1 g Protein 6 Vitamin A Net Carbohydrate 1 g
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 162
Please be aware I am not a medical specialist or nutritional professional. On this blog, I share recipes and what works for me. Please do not take anything on this blog as medical advice and always consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.
I use MyFitnessPal.com to calculate nutrition facts as a courtesy to my readers, and I remove erythritol from the final carb count and net carb count because does not affect my own blood glucose levels.
This is as accurate as possible, but it’s best to independently calculate nutritional information on your own with the specific ingredients you use. I expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website.