This soap is inspired by pie. Delicious, bright, lemon meringue pie. The real thing is made from puckering sweet and sour lemon curd and topped with airy whipped egg whites. My version is a lovely blend of oils, spiked with lemon and litsea cubeba essential oils and coloured to match its tribute pie. It doesn’t taste as nice, but I think your soap dish will appreciate a bit of citrussy dessert.
The soap base is made from my ever-evolving all in one soap base. It’s a good blend of hard and soft oils. It traces fairly quickly, and ages well in three weeks (though more is always better). I scented it with a blend of 5 fold lemon essential oil and litsea cubeba essential oil. Both smell citrussy, but the litsea cubeba is said to anchor the citrus and extend its lemony life. If you don’t have it, you can just use more lemon essential oil.
After scenting, I divided the batch into two parts—two-thirds and one-third. The larger part became the lemon curd bit of the pie. I coloured it yellow with a blend of buriti oil and yellow iron oxide (only because I ran out of buriti oil before achieving the colour I wanted). Either one (or a blend of the two) will work—just use whatever you have on hand. The buriti oil does have the added benefit of not causing glycerin rivers with over-use, while the yellow iron oxide can.
The meringue part gets its lovely whiteness from the addition of some titanium dioxide. I don’t recommend adding too much more than I’ve used or you could end up with glycerin rivers through your meringue. I’ve found the soap tends to whiten as it saponifies and ages, so it’s ok if your batter isn’t bright white.
I brought both parts to a fairly thick trace, but it’s important the meringue is thick enough to dollop about like actual meringue. Test it by tapping the batter with the back of a spoon—it should spike up and stay that way.
For the strongest pie game possible, I used my round cavity silicone mould. Because the soap is so thick and the mould’s a bit floppy, I recommend putting it on a rimmed baking sheet so you can rap the mould on your counter to knock our air bubbles. And, because of the fancy tops, I let these bars saponify uncovered on my counter over a long weekend. I left them in the mould for 48 hours just to be sure they were firm enough to remove from the moulds without damaging them.
Lemon Meringue Soap
Per 500g/1.1lb of oils:
- 1 pinch tussah silk or ½ tsp silk peptides
- 2 tsp sodium lactate (optional—hardens the bars)
- 1 tbsp white kaolin clay
- 15g | 0.53oz lemon essential oil
- 15g | 0.53oz litsea cubeba essential oil (or more lemon essential oil)
- For the white part: 3/8 tsp titanium dioxide
- For the yellow part: buriti oil, as needed or ~3/8 tsp yellow iron oxide (I use these tiny measuring spoons for tiny measurements like this)
Use SoapCalc to calculate your final amounts of oils, lye, and water based on the size of batch you want to make. (Unsure about how to use SoapCalc? I made a video to walk you through it!) Please ensure you’re familiar with standard soap making procedure before diving in.
Follow my standard soap making instructions. Add the tussah silk to the lye water, pulling it apart into smaller bits to encourage it to dissolve. If using, add the sodium lactate to the lye water after it has cooled and stir to combine. If you’re using the sodium lactate I strongly encourage you let your fats and lye water come to room temperate before combining. I haven’t tried using the sodium lactate above room temperature, but I did notice a much, much faster trace than I would usually get at room temperature, and it’ll only get faster at higher temperatures.
Once your soap batter has reached trace, blend in the clay and essential/fragrance oils. Then, divide the batter between two bowls, with roughly two thirds of the batter in one bowl, and one third in the other.
Add your buriti oil or yellow iron oxide to the larger portion, using an immersion blender to ensure the colour is fully and smoothly integrated (oxide + no blender = clods of oxide in your soap). Bring the batter to a fairly thick, pudding-like trace.