Lemon Tart with Meringue
Torta meringata di limone
There are different stories about the origin of meringue, but the most entertaining is that it was invented in the Swiss town Meiringen by an Italian chef some time in the 17th century. This might also help to explain why there are several types of meringue: A French meringue, where sugar is beaten into the egg whites and then dried in the oven to a crisp, airy biscuit. And an Italian meringue, where a boiling sugar syrup is whipped into the egg whites till stiff. The Italian version is softer than the French version, and only needs to be dried out with a blow torch.
I’ve tried making this lemon tart with meringue the Italian way, but I find the boiled syrup to be too much of a bother. That’s why I have started to use pasteurized egg whites prepared like the French do but with a blow torch kiss in the end. For meringue fans there’s another great cake recipe here, while lemon cake aficionados might prefer a lemon pie without meringue.