Tuesdays with Dorie: Creamy Lime Cream in Meringue Shells

August 25, 2009

This week’s selection for Tuesdays With Dorie is Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie. I changed it up a bit, so I gave it a different name: Creamy Lime Cream in Meringue Shells. I cut way down on the butter, so it’s not really the creamiest. Instead of putting the meringue on top, I put it on the bottom, so it’s not really a pie. And it turned out great!


What I did: This recipe is supposed to be a graham cracker crust filled with lime cream and topped with meringue, but I made some changes:

  • Cut the recipe for the lime cream in half. I reduced the butter by quite a bit: I used 4 tablespoons; the butter for half a batch of lime cream would have been 10 tablespoons. I read that other bakers had reduced the butter by quite a bit and were happy with the results.
  • I omitted the ginger, because it isn’t a popular dessert ingredient in our house.
  • Made individual meringue shells instead of a pie crust.
  • The next day, I whisked the chilled lime cream, spooned it into the shells, and topped it with a little whipped cream.

How it went: The lime cream was one of those things that make me nervous: double-boiler, eggs, thermometer. It took about 10 minutes to get it up to 180° F (OK, OK, it was really 179° but I couldn’t stand it any more!). Whisking while holding a thermometer in the bowl must be something that takes more coordination than I have, but I made it work.

I was making meringue for another recipe, so I made extra and piped some shells on a baking sheet and baked them. I put them into a 300° F oven for 10 minutes and then reduced the temperature to 200° F. I’m not sure how long they baked (at least another half hour); I just kept checking them until they seemed pretty dry. I turned off the oven, cracked the door, and left them in there overnight. Then I stored them in a plastic container for a couple of days until I needed them. They turned out very crunchy, which is what I wanted (I made meringue shells for Thanksgiving last year and they were the consistency of salt water taffy!).

How it tasted: We both liked this a lot! While I’m not a fan of soft meringue on top of a pie, I like a crunchy meringue, and this sweet crunchy shell was a great compliment to the tart and creamy lime cream. Though I haven’t tried the lime cream with the full amount of butter, I really liked it the way I made it, plus it wasn’t so guilt-inducing. It was a nice consistency and had a great lime flavor. My husband thoroughly enjoyed it and said that “lime is 1000 times better than lemon.” I hadn’t thought about it a lot, but I really do like lime quite a bit too.

Would I make this again?: Yes, now that I know that we are both so enthusiastic about lime! This would be great in a crust, but I was also really happy with it in the meringue shells.

Thank you to Linda of Tender Crumb for this great selection. She’ll have the recipe on her site, or look at page 337 of Baking: From My Home to Yours.


  1. Ingenious!!! Love the shell! Trust me… I had my share of panic attacks with the cream. Looks like yours worked for you splendidly – and so creatively too. Nicely done Jill!

  2. Ciao ! your mini meringues are so cute! you had the nicest idea !!!

  3. What a wonderful idea! That dessert looks FABULOUS!!!!

  4. Great idea to use meringue on the bottom. May try that myself next time.

  5. What a great idea – I love the way you took the dessert and made it your own! GREAT job!

  6. What a great idea… super creative! And it must have been delicious! WOW!

  7. AHHH! Meringue shells would have been perfect. I wish I’d thought of that!

  8. This looks and sounds wonderful. Better than pie.

  9. I’m glad it was a success. I like the meringue shells. Great job!

  10. I love what you did to this recipe- the meringues look great!

  11. What cool little creations! I know what you mean – I can never whisk and hold the thermometer at the same time either. It just doesn’t work! 🙂

  12. I’m not sure my lime cream filling ever got about 160 degrees, but the spoon left a thick line on the bottom of the pan and I just crossed my fingers and took it off the heat before any scrambling occurred. It turned out fine, but the cooking process involved a lot of hand-wringing. 🙂

  13. Wow that looks amazing, so creative too!

  14. Oh how cute! Like an upside down lime meringue pie.

    I made a meringue shell with my extra and I really like how it turned out (I ate it plain). I will keep this edible bowl in mind for the future.

    Anyway, great job and I’m glad you all enjoyed it so much.

  15. Wonderful idea!
    They are so cute!
    You are very creative!

  16. I love it! An inspired idea. I like crunchy and soft meringue (but not floating islands …).

  17. What an adorable idea to make meringue shells! So cute! Love the creativity!
    Clara @ iheartfood4thought

  18. I love your little merengue shells!! So cute! Your dessert looks great and I love how you lightened it up!!!

  19. What a creative idea, Jill! The meringue looks so yummy and crunchy. It’s 8:15 on Tuesday, I don’t have too much time left to finish mine.

  20. What a GREAT idea. I don’t like meringue topping either, but I love meringue cookies and such.
    You win for most inventive idea. I loved it! (And for the record, I stopped my cream on the stove at 178 degrees! Shh. 😉

  21. Meringue on the bottom?! That is brilliant! I love that idea! Seriously!

  22. I love the way you lightened this recipe up, looks yummy!

  23. Love your variation. Bet it would be great with fresh fruit too

  24. I love those meringue shells! Next time I’ll be cutting back on the butter by quite a lot too!

  25. This looks like a cloud that would melt in your mouth, Jill! What a beautiful, refreshing dessert for summer.

  26. Very creative base for the lime cream. I’m going to try the same dessert for my dinner party coming this Friday. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Upside down meringues – what a great idea! I totally love what you did with these. And I’m always game for reducing butter when the result is still wonderful. This all looks fabulous!

  28. Oh, I love the idea of the meringue nests! What a clever way to re-envision this pie.

  29. I love how you mixed this one up! Making meringues was brilliant, and such a great use of the whole egg.

  30. This looks so wonderful and so much fun! I would just love to sit down and be presented with this to eat! Clever subs and clever presentation! I may just have to try your way with less butter and see how that goes…very intriguing as we loved this and it would be nice if we would love it without so much butter in it, too! Thanks for the research.

  31. Love the way that this looks! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  32. What a fun interpretation of the recipe…so creative!!!

    Thanks for baking along with me this week!

  33. Wow That looks good

  34. OH!!! Very creative to use meringue shells for the tarts. They look fantastic!

  35. Love your idea here. Want to hear something funny? I have the Murphy’s book and the curd ice cream that I made (using some leftover lime cream from my pie) suggests serving the ice cream in a meringue shell with crumbled ginger snaps on top. And I totally agree: cutting the butter was the way to go here; it let the lime shine through. I used 60% of the butter, but would use a lot less next time.

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