(Lima) Beans and Delhi Cha(a)t

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A Taste for Lemon

Howdy fellow bloggers!

It's nice to be around here again. A series of reasons have kept me away from our blog but I'm always keeping ideas in my head waiting to find a few minutes to cme by and share them with you. There is so much to share on Peruvian Food and I'm not doing it justice. Shame on me.

So this time I thought about talking a little about another key ingredient in Peruvian food. I already talked about our aji­, and now its time for our very unique lemon. Yup, the noble lemon. You must be thinking, what's so special about lemons? Well, as you may know fruits and vegetables come in all kinds of breeds and families. Most of you might be familiar with the American lemon. You know the type. They are yellow and big (around the size of a tennis ball) and have a sweet-sour flavor.

Peruvian lemon is a bit different. For starters its appearance. Our lemons are deep green and about the size of a golf ball. These lemons are extremely sour and they are the key element in national dishes such as the world famous ceviche (a post on ceviche is coming soon).Sufficee to say, you would never be able to make ceviche with American lemons, you'd just bemissingg out on the whole thing. This is the reason why every tourist who comes hear ismarveledd by this dish. You won't find it anywhere else in the world. Not ours. And the reason is very simple: only Peruvian lemon is strong enough to cook the raw fish ceviche is made with.

International chef Alfonso Pretell, who own one of the greatest fish restaurants in Peru called "Punta Sal" had this to say:

"Our lemon arrived with the (Spanish) conquest, but when it was sowed in our soil it acquired properties which can't be found anywhere else in the world: its flavor, its sourness, the amount of juice, the fine skin, the beautiful color, scent and size."

A bit of trivia: the biggest producer of Peruvian lemon is Tambogrande in Piura (north of Peru) which is responsible for 80% of the lemon consumed nationally.

So now that you know a bit more about this fruit, I can maybe interest you in a delicious dessert.Veryy simple to prepare it makes the most out of our sour friend. So without further delay, here is a littlerecipee for a great pie.

Lemon Pie


- 2 cups crushed vanilla crackers
- 1/2 cup melted butter

- 1 can condensed milk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (our lemon ;) )
- 4 egg yolks

- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar


Mix crushed crackers and butter in a circular pyrex (heat resistant) mold and shape with the aid of the back of a spoon so as too make a "bed". This will be the base of your pie.

Mix all the filling ingredients and pour on top of the bed you just made.

Take this to the oven (350º F) for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool down completely (you should be able to hold the pyrex with your bare hands after it cools down).

Beat the egg whites with the sugar till they reach the "snow point". That is till they become a sort of foam (the volume will easily triple). This is what we call "merengue". Finally spread this "merengue" over the pie and simmer in the oven until the merengue takes a golden hue.

Enjoy and whenever u get to spot Peruvian lemons, grab a bunch!


9 comment(s):

Lemon pie is looking yummy.
I bookmarked your recipe going to tryit.Thank you.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:57 AM  

sury, been a long time since, I got to see you on the blog scene...The lemon Pie, looks absolutely gorgeous ! luv to have a bite :)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:21 PM  

Hey Vineela, I do hope you like it. Lemon is one of my favorites :D

Thanks for the comments Lera, I hope you get to try it :d You won't regret it ;)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:27 PM  

Looks too good. I am try to be fit and this kind of a picture pulls me to the kitchen to make it.
Great Blog!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:54 AM  

Interesting trivia and recipe! Delicious looking, too!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:01 PM  

Thanks, Shankari and Paz! I hope you get to try it (at least a small slice), you won't regret it ;)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:48 PM  

Beautiful pie. Must b very delicious too.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:48 PM  

hey, I made this pie, mainly because I've been so curious of lemon pies and it sounded so easy...
it tasted great but my cookie bottom became really watery, so next time I'll use less butter...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:01 PM  

Lemon tart and apple pie are my favourite dessert items! Your lemon tart looks divine. Makes me want to eat one after lunch today. I'm very fond of all fruits with a sour, tangy taste. Maybe I could sample strawberry and orange tarts as well using the same recipe.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:00 PM  

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