Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie
Crispy yielding meringue with a tart lemony filling and light buttery crumbly pastry combine to make this the queen of summer desserts. This show-stopping pudding is a perfect dessert to enjoy as a beautifully light Springtime treat after Sunday lunch and to enjoy throughout the Spring and Summer.
For the pastry case:
200g plain flour
50g icing sugar
2 tbs water
For the lemon filling:
140g caster sugar
Juice of 4 lemons
175ml double cream
For the meringue topping
4 egg whites
225g caster sugar
Large mixing bowl or food processor
25cm Tala Performance Bakeware fluted flan dish
Medium size mixing bowl
Mini palette knife
1. Fit the food processor with a multi-purpose chopping blade before adding flour, cornflour and icing sugar to the bowl. Blitz briefly, then add the butter, blitzing again to a fine, sand-like consistency. Mix again, adding the egg and water until the mixture comes together when pinched. Turn out the dough, roll into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill for at least an hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 Fahrenheit). Sprinkle the work surface with flour and roll out the dough to a thickness of about 3 to 4mm. Line the flan dish with the pastry, allowing a generous overhang, as the pastry shrinks in the oven. Place a large circle of greaseproof paper over the pastry, fill with baking beans and bake for 15 minutes.
3. Allow the case to cool slightly before carefully removing the baking beans and paper, then return to the oven for 5 minutes to crisp up further. When the pastry case is done, remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 140 degrees Celsius (284 Fahrenheit).
4. Meanwhile prepare the lemon filling by whisking eggs and sugar followed by the lemon juice and finally the double cream. Carefully transfer the mixture into the pastry case and return to the oven until just set – this takes around 25 minutes. Take care not to over-cook the mixture.
5. When the pie has just 15 minutes left in the oven, get started on the meringue. Take four egg whites and beat until they form stiff peaks. (A hand-held electric beater really makes life easier for this job.) Gradually add the caster sugar, a dessert spoon at a time until the mixture is glossy.
6. Remove the pie from the oven and turn the heat up to 170 degrees Celsius (338 Fahrenheit).
7. Spoon the meringue over the lemon filling and use a palette knife to create picturesque whirls and peaks over the surface of the pie. Return to the oven for another 20 minutes, keeping an eye on the pie for the last few minutes ready to whisk it out if it starts to catch.
The pastry can be made by hand if you don't have a food processor. Rub butter and flour together using finger tips, and try not to let the mixture get too warm.
Save time by using bottled lemon juice, instead of squeezing the lemons by hand.
You will need 200ml of juice. You can also use ready-separated egg white from a carton – reckon on 2 tablespoons for each egg.
The pastry base can be prepared the day before, or even made ahead and frozen if you want to get organised.
Wrap the baked case in cling film before freezing.