And at last we arrive at the dessert namesake of this blog. Pie de Limon, or Lemon Meringue Pie, is a favourite in about a bazillion countries. (Bazillion = a lot x 1000….. approximately…..maybe).
Pie de Limon consists of 3 layers. A base made from crushed biscuits and butter, although pastry is used instead equally as much; a layer of a smooth, sweet, but tangy, lemon curd-y filling; and finally a fluffy meringue topping, usually toasted on top with a blowtorch perhaps or popped briefly in the oven.
I do have to point out briefly that in the UK, and other countries too, they make the pie with lemons (kind of obvious, no?), but here in Peru they make it with limon. Limon is a small citrus fruit with it’s closest comparison being a Key Lime. The taste is slightly different, but to be honest it’s not a giant leap away.
Pie de Limon is super tasty if you make it correctly and that means all 3 layers of equal tastiness. In my pie vision, for example, I hate a crispy meringue or a lemon layer that tastes too much of condensed milk. I’m not sure why condensed milk is often used as an ingredient here in Peru for this part of the pie, I’m pretty sure lemon curd does not include condensed milk. Actually I’m convinced it does not include condensed milk. Please stop this madness.
Also, I would always recommend having a slice cut from a larger pie as opposed to individual tartlets. The filling to base ratio is much better in a slice and you usually get a whole heap more of meringue. I’ve tried a few individual ones here in Lima and none have been as satisfying as a giant slice.
A good Pie de Limon is a happy thing.
Where would I recommend in Lima to eat Pie de Limon?
1. Maga… Mis Suspiros This place is like a treasure trove of dessert wonder. I’ve already mentioned their Tres Leches, and they have a vast array of Suspiro de Limeño (more about these in a post coming soon!) in all different flavours. The Pie de Limon here is just fabulous (see picture above). A buttery, buttery (it’s pretty buttery), crumbly biscuit base, with a smooth, sweet limon filling. Be warned, it is rich, so just one slice and you won’t need to eat anything sweet for a while. Maybe.
Av. Benavides 1113, Miraflores
Av. Encalada 1641, Surco (opposite the United States Embassy)
2. La Casa de Gloria Just outside of Lima city, in the south beaches there lies a little house serving a selection of great desserts. La Casa de Gloria (Gloria’s House) is located in Playa Caballeros in Punta Hermosa and is a small restaurant (and lodge) that serves not only the sweet stuff, but also breakfasts, sandwiches and juices too (they serve a great passion fruit juice). Their Pie de Limon is really tasty, but the first time I tried it I found that, unfortunately, the meringue was a bit too crisp. The rest of the pie was just as I like it, so I obviously had to give it another try. Luckily the second time round it was perfect. The meringue was much softer and lighter, as it should be, in my opinion. Gloria’s has an amazing reputation, alongside La Heladeria, as the “go to” place for people with a sweet tooth here in Punta Hermosa. You will definitely be hearing more about their delectable desserts in further posts, because I keep going back for more!
Calle Ricardo Palma 201, Punta Hermosa
****ADDITION TO THE LIST (21/01/2015)!****
3. Tanta I love the food in Tanta. It is one of Gastón Acurio‘s restaurants and there are branches throughout Lima, but also in other countries too. They have a huge selection of great savoury dishes, but they also do a counter (and a trolley) of sweets too, including pies, desserts, and chocolates. One of the desserts is their Pie de Limón. It is a-ma-zing. (Now, just to clarify, I am talking about their slice of Pie de Limón and not the glass of deconstructed Pie de Limon (layers of the pie but in a glass). I assume this is also great, but I am yet to try it so I have no opinion!) The pie itself does not have a sky high meringue, but it doesn’t need it. The layer of meringue is velvety smooth and sweet, with some colour on the top but not a crispy bit in sight. Perfect. The limón layer is just the right balance of sweet and sour, and there is not too much pastry to detract from the filling. All in all, a damn fine Lemon Meringue Pie, and so far it’s my favourite slice in Lima.
A number of different locations. Check the website for details.
What about outside of Lima….?
When we drive up the coast to the beaches in the North of Peru, we stay in a beach town outside of Trujillo called Huanchaco to break up the journey. Every time we stay we visit Pasteleria Argolini, either for dessert in the evening or for pastries at breakfast. This is by far one of the best Pie de Limon I have had in Peru; I love it. Beautiful base, 2 layers (yes 2) of lemon/limon filling and a cloud of light and fluffy meringue (look at the size of it!). Love, love, love.
Malecon Grau, Huanchaco, Trujillo (sorry I have no building number, but as you drive into Huanchaco it is on the right hand side. This map has the approximate location).