The Apollo’s Avgolemono Pie

Recreate the famous dessert from Sydney's marbled mecca of Greek cuisine

The Apollo Lemon Avgolemeno Pie
Photo courtesy of The Apollo

The setting for our next Sydney Collective reader luncheon in July is the The Apollo, and we’re already musing the food that will be served up on the day. If you’re anything like us (read: impatient foodies), read on for the recipe to recreate one of The Apollo’s famous desserts. Impressed looks on your friends’ faces are virtually guaranteed.

For those of you not well-versed in Greek, avgolemono means ‘lemon sauce’. It’s a concoction of lemon and egg that’s usually used to describe lemony soups and sauces but Jonathan Barthelmess, The Apollo’s head chef, has named one of his famed desserts Avgolemono Pie. It seems mysterious at first, but once you get below the dish’s olive oil crumble and meringue topping you’re met with a luscious dollop of lemon curd, and you realise the dessert lives up to its name.

The Apollo’s Avgolemono Pie
Serves 8

Meringue ingredients
3 egg whites (save the yolks for the other elements below)
225g icing sugar

Olive oil biscuit ingredients
250g flour
70g extra virgin olive oil
225g unsalted butter
200g castor sugar
100g ground almonds
1 tsp table salt
2/3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
45g egg yolks (approx 2-3 yolks)

Lemon curd ingredients
150ml lemon juice
170g unsalted butter
220g castor sugar
5 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 vanilla bean split and scraped

Make the meringue
– Place the sugar and the egg whites in a mixer and mix until firm peaks form, then transfer the mix into a piping bag
– Pipe the mix on a silicon mat into dollops
– Cook in the oven at 90°C until dry and slightly browned on the outside

Make the biscuit
– In a bowl mix the flour and olive oil
– In a processor, add the butter, sugar, ground almonds, salt, baking powder and vanilla and process until combined
– Add the oil and flour mix to the processor and process on low
– Slowly add the egg yolks
– Rest the dough for 10 minutes
– Roll the dough out on baking paper to a 5mm thickness and bake for 12-15 minutes at 150°C

Make the lemon curd
– Cook all ingredients at 70°C in a double boiler* on low heat whisking continuously, until the curd thickens
– Keep chilled over ice

To serve
Place lemon curd on the bottom of the dish, cover with crumbed olive oil biscuit and top with meringues.

* To create a double boiler, fill a saucepan about 1/4 full with water and bring to a simmer. Place an appropriately-sized bowl on top of the saucepan (the bottom of the bowl should not reach the water.) 

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