Nothing quite says 'truly, madly over-the-top frothy fun' like lemon meringue pie, yet it started, in a way, with the Quakers, a group more typically associated with sobriety, broad-brimmed hats and oats. The Quakers, you see, are widely credited with inventing lemon custard in the late 18th century; no lemon custard (or curd), no lemon meringue pie.
The term pie is used somewhat unusually here, as a pie is typically covered with a lid of some sort, while a tart is open. The argument among pie authorities, then, is whether meringue constitutes a lid.
The hair-splitters say a classic lemon meringue pie has lemon custard as its filling, thickened with cornstarch, while the same dish made with a sharper lemon curd filling is best termed a lemon meringue tart. The recipe we present here is a hybrid, the best of both worlds, if you will, so call it by whichever term takes your fancy.
A tart by any other name…
Daniel Alps at Strathlyn
Lemon curd topped with slow-baked meringue, served with zest-spiked lemon syrup. 95 Rosevears Dr, Rosevears, Tas, (03) 6330 2388.
Le Paris Brest
Tarts with buttery lemon curd on sweet shortcrust pâté brisée. Shop 9, Kalamunda Village Shopping Centre, Kalamunda, WA, (08) 9293 2752.
In Noosa we find this cracker, replete with fired Italian meringue on top. 195 Weyba Rd, Noosaville, Qld, (07) 5449 9755.