Lemon Meringue Pie using Agave

Agave BakingI have been trialing Agave syrup rather than using sugar in my baking and this recipe has been an outstanding success!!

This recipe was a mix of a couple I found online, I have copied them here with the substitutions.

The meringue is an Italian one, where you heat some sugar (Agave) syrup to skin melting heat then add it to egg whites already whipped into soft peaks…it cooks the egg whites as you add it and apparently it makes a more stable meringue. I had only made the Italian version up until last weekend when I make the French style, adding sugar to beaten egg whites….I found the French version nicer for Pavlova ( with addition of vinegar to add the goo-ey-ness) but it did tend to weep more.

Maybe it is just practice…something I relish the idea of.

ok, here is the recipe, the meringue is MASSIVE and sits super high, you could probably reduce the amounts if you wanted a more in proportion pie! I like the meringue piled high personally, feels so decadent.

Pastry and filling from this site, Meringue from here.

1/2 cup self-raising flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon plain flour
30g (1 tablespoon plus 3 teaspoons) Splenda or any dry sugar substitute
120g cold butter, cut into pieces ( Nuttelex)
1 large egg (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)

Lemon Filling
4 tablespoons plus 3 teaspoons cornflour
1/3 cup Agave Syrup
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup  water
60g butter, cut into pieces ( I use a dairy free spread such as Nuttelex)
3 large egg yolks (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)

Meringue – from here

About 1/2 cup Agave
1/3 cup water
2 to 4 or 5 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch salt
1/2 to 1 tsp. ice cold water (use 1 tsp. if using the larger proportion of egg whites)
1/2 to 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Begin by making the pastry. Place the self-raising and plain flours, caster sugar and butter in a food processor. Process on medium speed for about 20 seconds, until mixture resembles fine fresh breadcrumbs (there shouldn’t be any large chunks of butter).

Add egg and process on medium speed for about 15-30 seconds, until egg is incorporated and mixture clumps together.

Form dough into a flattened round and place in a freezer bag or wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Combine cornflour, sugar, lemon juice and water in medium saucepan. Stir until mixture is smooth.

Place saucepan over medium-high heat and stir constantly until mixture reaches the boil (this will probably take about 7-10 minutes). Reduce heat to low and continue stirring for about 30-40 seconds, until mixture changes from cloudy to transparent and becomes thick and smooth.

Remove saucepan from heat and vigorously stir in butter and egg yolks. Continue stirring until all the butter has melted and the ingredients are well combined.

Pour filling into a small container, cover and refrigerate until cold.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan-forced). If you are not using a fan-forced oven, adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position.

Roll out pastry between two sheets of baking paper or on a lightly floured board to fit a 23cm (9 inch) pie plate (pastry should be about 4mm thick and 29cm diameter). Lift pastry into pie plate and gently press into dish.

Trim pastry overhanging the sides.

Place a sheet of baking paper on top of the pastry and fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice.

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan-forced) for 10 minutes. Remove weights/rice and baking paper and bake for 10-15 minutes more, until the pastry is a light golden colour. Allow pastry shell to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius, or 190 degrees Celsius fan-forced. If you are not using a fan-forced oven, adjust the oven rack to the middle position.

Hot syrup: Cook the Agave and water, without stirring, in a small pot over medium heat until it reaches 235 to 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Meringue: While the syrup is cooking, use a balloon whisk to beat the egg whites with the salt and water to soft peaks in a large metal or stainless steel bowl. When the syrup is done, remove from heat and immediately pour into the soft peak egg whites in a slow, steady stream while continuing to whip the egg whites at the same time. If you’re doing this by hand, at this stage it would be helpful to have someone pour the syrup in while you whip it in the egg whites.

Once all the syrup has been poured in, continue whipping the egg whites until stiff and glossy. Stiff peak egg whites should hold and retain their shape. Add vanilla extract and rapidly beat for about 2 more minutes. If done properly, this meringue is slow to start weeping. (If it starts weeping, should it arrive at that point, just use the same whisk to beat back into shape.)

Spoon lemon filling into cooled pastry shell and spread evenly. Dollop meringue on top of the lemon filling. Spread meringue to cover filling. Form peaks in the meringue with a spoon (we press the back of a spoon against the surface of the meringue, then lift the spoon to form a peak).

Bake for about 7-10 minutes, or until meringue is lightly coloured.

Allow pie to cool to room temperature. Cover pie and refrigerate until cold.

Slice chilled pie into wedges and serve. Store pie in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Thanks to exclusivelyfood.com.au and zscupoftea.com for the base recipes.

4 responses to “Lemon Meringue Pie using Agave”

  1. I LOVE Lemon desserts and have been advised I might be hypoglycemic, so i’m trying to cling to my dessert love without sacrificing taste. Ipso facto, stevia can bite the big one lol, made an orange cake with it last night and its gone in the bin! Agave is the way to go I reckon. I am wondering just in regard to your italian meringue, have you had more practice with getting it not to weep? I have a feeling you’re meant to whip italian meringue till its no longer hot to the touch on the outside of the bowl or is that wrong?

    1. Hi Meagan,
      I am not sure about waiting until the bowl is cool, although that does make sense.

      I am keen to try it using Rice Malt Syrup as it does not have the fructose of Agave (which can be 90%). I have had cupcakes using this and it is pretty good, Stevia has a god awful after taste to me so I tend not to use it.

      Good luck.


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