On a recent visit to Manila, my good friends generously treated me to a delightful lunch at an elegant, French-inspired restaurant in Makati, the financial district. The get-together with cherished friends I had not seen in years was wonderful. But even more so, the decadent dessert at the end of that meal left me wanting for more.
Manila, the capital of the Philippines is an exciting, vibrant city in Southeast Asia. Food enthusiasts from anywhere in the world can arrive in this city and be treated to a myriad of restaurants and food choices that can rival the best in the world.
This Lemon Meringue Torte dessert just blew my mind. I had it at this fabulous French restaurant at the heart of Greenbelt, Makati, the financial and shopping district. I haven’t stopped dreaming about this luscious lemon heaven that I tried to recreate it soon as I returned to my American kitchen.
Here’s my own version of a Lemon Meringue Torte recipe, from a memory of friendships & get-togethers, that will linger for a long time.
Lemon Meringue Torte
- Large baking pans
- 2 round cake pans : 9-inches diameter each
For Lemon Curd:
- 3 egg yolks (save whites for the meringue torte)
- 1 whole egg
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon zest of fresh lemons
- 4 Tablespoons chilled unsalted butter cut into small cubes
For the Meringue:
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Lemon Meringue Torte:
- 3/4 cup lemon curd
- 2 whole round meringue layers 9-inch in diameter
- 1 piece puff pastry layer cut into 9-inch round, same size as meringue layers
- 2 cups whipped cream
- 3 to 4 whole fresh strawberries hulled, washed, sliced, for garnish
For the Whipped Cream:
- 2 cups whipped cream
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
For the Puff Pastry:
- 1/2 sheet Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry cut into a circle, 9-inches diameter
- 1/2 cup Karo syrup
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
To make the Lemon Curd:
- In a small stock pot, combine the egg yolks and whole egg. Whisk together.Pour the sugar, lemon juice and zest to the egg mixture. Keep whisking to blend ingredients.Over medium heat, and while continuously stirring, cook the lemon curd for 8 to 10 minutes till it thickens. Mixture should coat the back of the spoon and have the consistency of custard.Remove stock pot from the heat. Add the cubes of butter, a few at a time. Blend ingredients away from the heat.Cool the lemon curd on the counter. When cool enough to handle, strain thick mixture into a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated at least 1 hour before use.This makes about 1 cup of lemon curd.
To make the Meringue:
- Allow the egg whites to be at room temperature, at least 30 minutes before beating.Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites. Using an electric cake mixer, over high speed, beat the egg whites till stiff peaks form. This will take about 3 to 5 minutes.Gradually add the sugar. Lastly, add the vanilla extract. Continue beating whites for 2 minutes more till shiny.
- Transfer the egg whites into 2 greased cake pans, measuring 9-inches each in diameter.Bake at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes. When meringue is done, remove from pans carefully. Transfer and cool on cake racks to keep crisp.
To bake the puff pastry:
- Pre-heat oven to 400 F degrees. Prepare frozen pastry by cutting it into a circle, 9-inches in diameter. same size as the cake pan for meringue.Place the puff pastry circle on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.Brush Karo syrup on the puff pastry. Sprinkle with sugar.Bake for 18 minutes, till pastry puffs up and has a golden color.
To prepare whipped cream:
- Using an electric cake mixer, beat the whipped cream till stiff for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar. Blend well. Set aside and refrigerate till ready to fill layers.
To assemble the Lemon Meringue Torte:
- Place the 1 baked meringue layer in the bottom.Fill the center with 2 to 3 tablespoons whipped cream. Spread it all over the meringue.Place the 2nd meringue layer over the whipped cream.Fill this layer with the same amount of whipped cream as the previous layer.Top with the baked puff pastry layer.Spread 3/4 cup of lemon curd over the puff pastry layer.Garnish with fresh berries and a dollop or 2 of whipped cream.Chill the torte in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour till ready to serve. Keep refrigerated at all times.
Cook’s Comments: Many thanks again to my food blogger friend, Liren Baker for generously sharing her surefire LEMON CURD recipe. Liren of the fabulous food blog Kitchen Confidante has graced us with a great Guest Post recipe in the past. Thanks, Liren! And friends, please go visit her newly designed Kitchen Confidante site !
Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking or baking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Did you love this recipe? I have more Philippine dessert recipes in my popular cookbook How to Cook Philippine Desserts, Cakes and Snacks.
If you need Filipino Instant Pot recipes, find more in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot. Buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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