Lemons and Citrus
Good evening everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Since it was Valentine’s Day I am going to post a wonderful Lemon Meringue Pie recipe that I have had for a while now. This recipe is Paleo friendly, sugar, dairy, and gluten free. The sugar that I use is a store brand for Winco Foods, but you could use any sugar replacement that is a scoop for scoop.
And to keep with the allergy talk, as I make sure I say and probably sound like a broken record, anyone can be allergic to anything, but this is free of all the MAIN allergens. I hope you all enjoy this wonderful treat and let me know how it turned out.
Is citrus really the problem??
Citrus allergies are rare, but can happen, and like with any food cooking it could change the allergic protein and be safe to eat. The best way to find out is testing. With citrus, it has a hard rind over it, your allergy, intolerance or sensitivity could also come from the rind, or the seeds. Many of the reactions people have seemed to be from the pollen causing a cross reaction. Grass allergy seems to be the main one that shares protein traits with citrus and can cause a cross pollen reaction with oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit. The chance of being allergic to one of these items will increase your chances to be allergic to them all.
I heard that you could try herbs like lemon verbena and sumac as substitutes for the tart citrus flavor, if a recipe calls for citrus fruit or zest, but I have not personally tried it and would love to hear if anyone has tried these herbs and what the results were.
Things to avoid if you have a problem with citrus:
- Avoid anything from raw citrus fruit to citrus fruit juice.
- Always read the label when buying other types of juices as well, as sometimes citrus juice will be mixed in for some extra punch
- Avoid unripe or freshly picked citrus. Unripe citrus can be more of an issue than a ripe one.
- Avoid citrus fruit seeds and rinds. People often add citrus zest, or the rind, to their foods. Make sure to always ask when eating out.
- Avoid artificially-flavored sweets and vitamin C supplements, as they often use citrus flavoring
Problems with Citric acid
Citric acid seems to be a touchy subject for some and can be an issue in discussion. Some will say it is made from citrus and that is why you can’t have it, well, while it used to be that is no longer the case. It cost too much. It used to be added to foods to help preserve them, but nowadays though citric acid is manufactured in such large quantities, that it wasn’t cost effective to produce using citrus so they make it synthetically using a type of mold called Aspergillus niger, a safe strain of black mold (if there is anything as a safe strain of BLACK MOLD). This recipe is much cheaper to produce it this way than to use the natural version. The acid is manufactured by taking the mold cultures and feeding them a sugar solution, which can be gotten from corn. This creates yeast also from the sugar. So many people that have a reaction to foods containing citric acid may actually be allergic to the mold, corn or yeast used to produce it. Citric acid is found in MANY food items from ice cream, sodas, alcoholic drinks, baked foods, processed foods, canned tomato products to packaged fruits and veggies. The purpose for this is to give things a longer shelf life. More on citric acid can be found in a website that has a chapter of the book Global Price fixing. You can also check wiki and lots of other sites.
Many people who react to foods containing citric acid may actually be allergic to the mold or the corn used to produce the acid. This is often the source of citric acid used as a food additive in many processed foods. Citric acid is found in foods including ice cream, sorbet, caramel, soda, beer, wine, baked goods, processed sweets, and pre-cut prepackaged fruits and vegetables. Citric acid acts as a preservative in these foods and to provide a longer shelf life.
Just wanting to help
While I have many of these allergies, I am not a doctor and just giving my honest opinion after years of research on the web and what has or hasn’t worked for me. No two people are ever alike and neither will your allergies be. What works for me, may not for you, but I give you a place to look for tips that may actually help. As always I am would love to hear from people and see what works for them or not. My allergies are still out of control and I too am trying to find ways to ease my symptoms. I still search the web for answers, just like you are, if you are here today. Please look through my others posts and see if there is something to help you. Leave me a comment, good, bad, helpful or just to ask questions. I see so many pages out there telling people to do this or do that because it worked for them, some are giving out wrong information. I don’t know if I am 100 percent right or not, but I look at multiple sites, studies and research to look for the answers. If it is something I haven’t tried, I will tell you or post a link to where I looked. I never had anyone try to show me the way; I was told I had allergies and what they were.
I believe that the world today is the reason we are becoming so full of allergies. The processed foods are not what they claim and they don’t have to show you all that is put in to food if it is under a certain amount. I never would have known that citric acid was mold, sugar and yeast, all which are toxic to my body, if I hadn’t really researched it. With the food industries the way we are, our bodies are lacking in needed vitamins and minerals and that is why I say that everyone should get an allergy test and a blood test done to see what you are low in. once you bring all your levels up it will help boost your immune system and make you feel better and allow your body to help fight off the allergens quicker.
So let’s get to it shall we.
Lemon Meringue Pie
Bake the pie at 350 setting rack near bottom
Baked 9” pie crust brushed with egg during the last 5 minutes of baking.
- 1 Cup + 1 Tbsp Sugar Substitute cup for cup type
- 2/3 Cup COLD Water
- ½ Cup Corn Starch
- ¾ Cup Lemon Juice
- 2 TSP Lemon Zest (fine, about 2 lemons)
- 4 Lg Egg Yolks (save whites for Meringue)
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
- 1 ¼ Cup Boiling Water
- 4 Lg Egg Whites (saved from Filling) room temp
- 1 TBSP Corn Starch
- ¼ Cup Water
- ½ cup Sugar Substitute
- ½ TSP Cream of Tartar
For the Filling:
- In a medium pan, combine all filling ingredients except for boiling water.
- Whisk together until dissolved and completely combined.
- Whisk in the boiling water and put it on medium heat, bring to a boil stirring gently.
- Reduce to medium-low continue to stir while cooking up to 1 minute, no longer.
- Immediately pour into prepared pie crust and refrigerate.
For the Meringue:
Combine cornstarch and water over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened into a gel. (about 2 minutes or so) remove from heat and set aside for now
In large bowl, lightly beat egg whites and tartar to dissolve. Begin mixing on medium-low until foamy, slowly pour sugar in a little at a time, while beating, giving the sugar time to dissolve.
Continue to beat until stiff glossy peaks form. (I used a stand mixer, can turn up to medium, but not any higher than medium-high. It took almost 10 minutes for mine to set up enough)
Add the gel mixture and mix until combined.
Spread over pie sealing completely. Add more meringue and fluff or smooth over. Your choice. I personally fluff where my mom would smooth hers out.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
Cool 15 minutes before serving.