Lemon Meringue Cake

Lemon Meringue Cake

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This Lemon Mousse Cake with Toasted Meringue is the ultimate celebration cake. The original take on the classic lemon meringue pie will be a real crowd-pleasing dessert to serve to your guest!

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This delicious and decadent Lemon Meringue Cake is made out of three elements:

  • a Sablé Breton crust
  • a Lemon Mousse, and more specifically a Lemon Bavarian Mousse
  • a Toasted Meringue

Let’s see how each element is made!

Close up on the Lemon Meringue Cake

What is “Sablé Breton”

A Sablé Breton is a French Butter Cookie that can also be used to make cake crust or bases. Originally from the French region of Brittany, these cookies are traditionally made with high quality Salted Butter. They are really quick and easy to make, and create the most delicious flaky, crumbly and buttery cookies ever! It is also the perfect buttery pastry to use as a base for your cakes, pies and tarts.

To make this Sablé Breton crust, you will need:

  • Egg Yolks
  • Confectioner’s Sugar (very fine caster sugar)
  • Salted Butter
  • Plain Flour
  • Baking Powder

The recipe I used here is adapted from my favourite cooking book “French Patisserie” published by Ferrandi School of Culinary Art. If you are into French Pastry, trust me… this book will be your new bible!

Check out my Sablé Breton Cookies recipe

Lemon Mousse Cake with Toasted Meringue

Lemon Mousse Cream

The Lemon Mousse is probably the most important part of this recipe. Creamy, light and oh-so tangy, this Lemon Bavarian Cream is seriously moorish… What is a Lemon Bavarian Cream? It is basically a Lemon Curd mixed with a Whipped Cream and set with a gelling agent – usually gelatine but here, Agar Agar Powder. You can use many different ingredients or fruits to flavour a Bavarois Cream – one of my favourite is the Dark Chocolate I used to make my Double Chocolate Bavarois Cake.

To make this Set Lemon Mousse, follow these steps:

  1. Seperate the Egg Yolks and Whites. Keep the Egg Whites to make the Meringue later.
  2. Whisk the Egg Yolks, Sugar and Cornstarch while eating up the Lemon Juice in a small pot. When it starts to boil, pour the juice over the egg yolks while whisking, then transfer back onto the pot.
  3. Bring to a boil, the add the Agar Agar Powder. Whisk for a couple of minute then remove from the stove to cool down.
    Note that if you are using Gelatine, you will want to stir the re-hydrated gelatine into the lemon curd after it has cooled down.
  4. Whip the Heavy, Thickened Cream into a thick Whipped Cream. Gently fold it in the Lemon Curd.
Lemon Meringue Cake from above

How to make a Meringue

The Meringue used in this recipe is a “French Meringue“, which is the easiest meringue to make. As opposed to Italian or Swiss Meringue that require to eat up the sugar, a French Meringue is simply Egg Whites whipped into stiff peaks with fine sugar. You can read more about the different types of meringue in this article published on FineCooking.com.

I have a few tips to get the perfect meringue consistency:

  1. Very slowly increase the speed of the whipping, starting with the slowest mode and finishing with the fastest one. If you put your mixer on high straight away, you will end up with a less stable meringue. Doing it slowly will take more time, but you will get a way lighter, fluffier meringue!
  2. Use Cream of Tartare to stabilise your meringue. You can also use a little bit of salt, vinegar or even lemon juice.
  3. Start adding the Sugar after the Egg Whites start getting denser. Slowly add the sugar, and never drop it in all at once! To make sure that all the sugar has dissolved into the meringue, simply rub a little bit of the mousse between your fingers. If you can still feel some grains, the sugar has not fully dissolved.
 

How to brown meringue without blowtorch

The final element of this Lemon Meringue Cake is usually the one that people love to see: the toasting of the Meringue. If you do have a cooking blowtorch at home, you can do it at the table in front of your guest to create an awesome “wow” moment. If you don’t have one, do not worry – you can simply brown the meringue in the oven. To do so, you will need to use the grill or broiler in your oven. Set it on high, then place the cake under it for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, or until the meringue peaks start browning.

Keeping and Storing this Lemon Meringue Cake

You can keep the Lemon Mousse Cake without the Meringue layer in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. Only add the Meringue when ready to be served, as it will start to melt at the contact of the acid lemon cream. With the Meringue placed over it, the cake should be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

I would not recommend freezing this cake. The Lemon Bavarian Cream does not freeze well and would loose its shape and consistency when thawed. You also do not want to add any moisture to the meringue, which would make it melt.

Lemon Mousse Cake with Toasted Meringue - close up

Looking for more epic Party Dessert Ideas? Check out these ones:

Double Chocolate Bavarois Cake

Vegan Chocolate Mousse Tart with Raspberries

Lime Vanilla Chiffon Cake with Raspberry Glaze

Orange Glazed Spiced Honey Cake

Blackberry Panna Cotta Tart with Passion Fruit

Lemon Mousse Cake with Meringue Recipe:

Lemon Meringue Cake
Print Recipe
5 from 11 votes

Lemon Mousse Cake with Toasted Meringue

This Lemon Mousse Cake with Toasted Meringue is the ultimate celebration cake. The original take on the classic lemon meringue pie will be a real crowd-pleasing dessert to serve to your guest at your next party!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Resting Time3 hrs
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Author: A Baking Journey

Ingredients

Sable Breton Crust

  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 50 gr (1/3 cup) Confectioner Sugar (or powdered sugar)
  • 100 gr (about 1/2 cup o 4 oz) Salted Butter, at room temperature
  • 175 gr (1 cup + 3 tbsp) Plain Flour
  • 1 teasp. Baking Powder

Lemon Mousse (Lemon Bavarois Cream)

  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 50 gr (1/4 cup) Caster Sugar
  • 240 ml (1 cup) Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Agar Agar Powder
  • 300 ml ( 1 1/4 cup) Heavy Cream (Thickened Cream)

Toasted Meringue

  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 1/2 teasp. Cream of Tartare, optional
  • 50 gr (1/4 cup) Caster Sugar

Instructions

Sable Breton Crust

  • Seperate the Egg Yolks and Whites. Keep the Egg Whites for another recipe.
    Whisk the Egg Yolks and Sugar until foamy. Add the cubed Butter at room temperature and stir until combined, using a silicone spatula to rub the butter into the batter (see note 1).
  • Add the Flour and Baking Powder, and whisk until combined.
    Gently press the pastry on the bottom of a round springform pan to get a uniform base. You may want to use the bottom of a cup to make sure the pastry is evenly flat.
  • Place in the fridge while your oven is preheating on 180’C/350’F.
    Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the pastry starts to turn golden-brown.
    Set aside to cool down completely before continuing the rest of the recipe.

Lemon Mousse (Lemon Bavarois Cream)

  • Seperate the Egg Yolks and Whites. Place the Egg Whites in the fridge for later.
  • Heat up the Lemon Juice in a small pot. In the meantime, whisk the Egg Yolks, Caster Sugar and Cornstarch. 
    As soon as the Lemon Juice starts to boil, remove from the heat and slowly pour over the egg yolks while continuously whisking. Stir to combine, then transfer the egg and lemon cream back in the pot.
  • On low heat, whisk the liquid until it starts to thicken. Once it starts to boil, add the Agar Agar Powder, whisk for another minute and remove from the stove. Transfer into a clean bowl and set aside. 
    (See note 2 to use Gelatine Powder instead of Agar).
  • In a seperate bowl, whip the Heavy Cream until you get a very stiff whipped cream. Gently fold in the Lemon Cream without over mixing it. Pour over the pre-baked Crust and place in the fridge to set for at least 2 to 3 hours.

Toasted Meringue

  • Remove the Egg Whites from the fridge. Whip the Egg Whites with the Cream of Tartare until it starts to thicken. While continuously whipping, gradually add the Caster Sugar. Increase the speed of your mixer and whip until you get very stiff peaks.
  • If you are not going to serve straight away, keep the meringue in the fridge until ready to serve.
    Place the Meringue in a piping bag with your choice of nozzle (see note 3). Fully cover the cold Lemon Bavarois Cream with the Meringue.
  • Place the cake under the grill/broiler of your oven, set on high. Leave for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, or until the meringue is toasted. Make sure to keep an eye on it to avoid burning it. Do not leave it for too long or the lemon mousse could start melting.
  • Leave to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve straight away.

Notes

  1. This is better done with a stand mixer
  2. If you prefer to use Gelatine Powder instead of Agar, follow the same steps up until the cream starts to thicken. Then, transfer into a clean bowl et leave to cool down. When cold, stir in the soaked Gelatine Powder (or gelatine sheets) then continue with the other steps.
  3. You can also simply drip the meringue over the lemon mousse and use a spatula to cover it.
Lemom Mousse Cake with toasted Meringue


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