Even though this week has mainly been grey and cold, today has shown signs that a little summer is still here in Lima with its beautiful blue sky and fierce sunshine. I sit typing with a G&T in hand, just as any English citizen would be when the temperature passes 17 degrees! Our dogs are out on the terrace, basking in the rays and sleeping a lot, which is just what you want on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
This month I have been excitedly planning our winter holiday, which may be including a trip to the happiest place in the world (erm…thats Disney World), and therefore I have reverted to being a child at the prospect of this! I may have watched three Disney films already this week….
What else has been happening this month you ask? Well, let’s take a look at some of the awesomeness that Lima had to offer in May.
THIS MONTH I HAVE BEEN…….
Sundays are days for relaxing.
Days for Skype-ing. For eating. For drinking. And then later, for lying in bed with Netflix.
I love Sundays. And I love Tanta.
Tanta is one of Gaston Acurio’s restaurant chains, with a few branches within Lima and Peru, and then the rest dotted across the globe, even as far afield as Barcelona. For those who may not know, Gaston is an ambassador for Peruvian cuisine and has helped to promote it, alongside other chefs, all over the world. He has been a big influence in Peru gaining worldwide accolades for their incredible food scene, both in the restaurants and the raw ingredients that are produced here.
Tanta serves typical, traditional Peruvian (or Peruvian fusion) cuisine, but often in a modern way. However, just because Tanta was started by Gaston and is very fresh and modern, does not mean the restaurant is overly fancy or expensive. The dishes here are not tiny morsels in the middle of large plates, which is obviously perfect for me, and the prices are so reasonable (main dishes are between S/25 and S/50).
Due to the fact that it is summer in Lima, restaurants are normally fairly empty as everyone heads to the nearby beaches. However, arriving at 2pm, we found Tanta its normal, popular, busy self.
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.