|25 min||1 min||6|
|4 large egg||Egg|
|1 dash||Cream of tartar, McCormick|
|2 tsp||Arrowroot flour (Can swap with corn starch)|
|1/2 cup||Coconut sugar|
|1/4 cup||Lucuma powder|
|5 tsp||Yacon Syrup|
|1/2 cup||Lemon juice|
|2 whole lemon(s)||Lemon peel (zest)|
|1/3 cup||Coconut cream, sweetened, canned|
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Line two baking trays with baking paper which have been marked with three 20 cm (8 inch) diameter circles or 28 x 12 cm (11 x 4 3/4 inch) rectangles.
1. To make the meringue discs, separate the egg yolks and whites. Save the yolks for the custard.
2. Sprinkle the egg whites with the cream of tartar and whisk until stiff.
3. Mix the arrow root flour with 1/2 cup coconut sugar and the lucuma powder, then add to the 4 egg whites, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition.
4. Once done, add in 1 tbsp yacon syrup and whisk for a few more minutes until thick and glossy.
5. Using a spatula spread the meringue inside the marked outlines, smoothing out to the edges.
6. Place in the oven, reduce the temperature to 140°C (275°F) and bake for 1 hour, or until the meringue discs are crisp to touch and will lift off the paper easily. Mine stayed rather soft and spongy. To help crisp them up a bit I turned up the heat to 300°F for 10 minutes once they were cooked through.
7. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
1. Start making the lemon custard as soon as the meringues go in the oven, as it must be quite cold before the cream is folded in.
2. Put the 4 egg yolks and 4 tbsp of yacon syrup in a cold heavy-based saucepan. If the sauce pan is heated, the syrup with form small globs.
3. Over a low heat, mix until smooth and well combined, then add the lemon juice and zest.
4. Continue to stir constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 10-15 minutes. Once it starts to thicken, it thickens fast so don’t leave it unattended.
5. Remove from the heat and stir for another minute. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until completely cold, or place over a bowl of ice to cool faster.
6. In a separate bowl, whip the coconut cream until firm, then gently fold it into the cooled lemon custard one spoon at a time, until combined. Refrigerate until needed.
Putting It All Together
1. Set aside the best meringue disc to be the top.
2. To assemble, place one meringue disc on a piece of baking paper and top it with half of the lemon custard. Do not spread the custard all the way to the edge; when you place the next disc on top, it will spread.
3. Repeat with another layer of meringue and the remaining filling, then top with the final meringue layer.
4. Wrap gently in foil then freeze for several hours or overnight. This can be done several days ahead.
My custard was a bit tart, but I like it that way. If you want it sweeter, just add a bit more syrup until you get it where you like it. Remember though, the custard is going to be mixed with cream, so you want a strong favor.
I didn’t make lemon syrup, but if you want a lemon syrup to drizzle here is the recipe:
Lemon syrup (optional)
1. To make the lemon syrup, combine all the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
2. Simmer, without stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened and tacky. Allow to cool to room temperature.
3. Remove the lemon meringue from the freezer 30 minutes before serving.
4. Drizzle the lemon syrup over the top.
Lucuma, often referred to as Incan Gold, is a fibrous fruit that has been harvested for thousands of years. When dried and in powder form it has a unique sweet flavor that is used in many desserts to include ice cream. It has a low glycemic index so it won’t cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar. The way it is processed into a powder allows for the retention of it’s healthy qualities to included a source of natural beta carotene, vitamins to include B-vitamins, anti-oxidants, protein and zinc. Peruvians believe is boosts the immune system, helps fight of certain diseases to include cancer, aids healing and is a natural antibiotic, antimicrobial and antifungal.
My first attempt was to substitute the sugar with only lucuma powder. The problem with that is that lucuma powder behaves more like a flour than a sugar. I needed a sugar that melts when in contact with a liquid or heat. The result was a lumpy chewy cookie and a thick frosting. It was good but odd looking.
Therefore I decided to add yacon syrup into the mix. Yacon syrup comes from a tuberous root that tastes like an apple. Like lucuma this plant was used by the Incas, and it still widely used today. Many in South America use the root and the leaves of this plant to help diabetics and people with renal and digestives problems .
The syrup is produced using a similar system as maple syrup and its flavor has to caramelized sugar or figs.
This syrup has recently come into the news because of studies indicating it can help with weight loss. The syrup contains fructooligosaccharides (FOS) which is a type f sugar that is hard for our systems to breakdown. Therefore, the hypothesis is that FOS can go through the human system without being digested and ther fore is never turned to fat.
FOS also behaves like a fiber and it appears to feed our good gut flora which is a positive.
If you don’t heat up the syrup it can give you gas if you are not accustomed to probiotics and you eats a lot of it. However, baking reduces this effect, but you also lose the benefit of supporting your gut bacteria. I think gut support was an added benefit in this case, so it wasn’t a deal breaker.
Using the syrup allowed the recipe to behave more like the original and I still was able to minimize the blood sugar hit while adding other healthy bonuses.
The use of coconut sugar. Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than cane sugar and contains trace minerals making it a better option. It’s still a sugar though. That’s why I didn’t simply swap out the cane sugar with coconut sugar. Because it behaves like sugar, it does melt when heated or comes in contact with liquids, which is what I needed.
The other thing about using coconut sugar is that it is more like brown sugar. Recipes turn out generally darker in color and have stronger or richer taste. That could be a god or bad thing depending on what you’re aiming for.