Lemon Meringue Pie

Hi again everyone. Sorry it has been so long between posts! The first post for the new year is Lemon Meringue Pie. Personally, I am a big fan of lemony things, and this dessert is no exception. I love the combination of the crunchy, crumbly pastry combined with the sweet and sour tang of the lemon filling, which is beautifully offset by the light and fluffy meringue on top. It's a perfect summer dessert, and although there are a fair few steps in the recipe, it's definitely worth making.

Lemon Meringue Pie

230g plain (all purpose) flour
1 tablespoon icing (confectioners) sugar
145g cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons iced water

80g cornflour (cornstarch)
220g caster sugar
130mls lemon juice
310mls water
2 teaspoons lemon rind, finely grated
60g butter
3 egg yolks

3 egg whites
110g caster sugar


Make pastry: Add flour, sugar and butter to a food processor and process until it reaches a texture similar to fine breadcrumbs. Add yolk and water, processing until a smooth dough forms and comes together. Transfer to a lightly floured flat surface, and knead until smooth.  

Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap/cover and refrigerate for about 30 mins. (Note: if the dough is too wet, knead a little more flour into it, or if it is too dry, add a little more water to the food processor)

Meanwhile, grease a 24cm (9 ½ inches) round loose-based fluted tart tin.

Remove the dough from the fridge. Roll out on a large, flat well-floured surface (or alternatively between two sheets of baking paper) until it is big enough to line the tin. Lift the pastry into the tin, and press down into base and sides to line. Trim the edges (I usually just roll my rolling pin over the top a couple of times). (For tips on lining a tin with pastry, go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/techniques/lining_tin_with_pastry)

Carefully move tin to a baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap and return to the fridge for another 30 mins.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C (212 F).

Remove tray from the fridge. Cover the tin with baking paper (fill with dried beans/rice or pastry weights), and blind bake for 15 minutes . Remove paper and weights, then return to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes until pastry is light golden. Cool. (You can turn the oven off at this stage).

Meanwhile, make filling:in a medium saucepan combine cornflour and sugar, then gradually whisk in lemon juice and water until smooth. Heat on high, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon  until the mixture boils and thickens up. At this point, reduce the heat, then simmer for a further 1 minute.

 Take saucepan completely off heat, then  stir in the rind, butter and yolks until combined and smooth. Cool (for at least 10-15 minutes).

Remove filling from the fridge, and transfer with a spatula to the pastry case. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200C (212 F).

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar, beating until the mixture is smooth and glossy, and the sugar has dissolved (rub a little mixture between your thumb and forefinger, if it is stil very grainy, keep beating.)

Remove filled pastry from the fridge. Run a fork over the surface of the filling to roughen it up (this helps the meringue to stick and bond to the lemon filling). Spread the meringue mixture over the top with a spatula, covering the filling. Bake for about 2-3 minutes, or until the top of the meringue is lightly browned.

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