Monday, 4 February 2013
I've made Lemon Meringue Pie from a variety of recipes over the years, but this one has gained the most positive comments from my pie eaters (I think the secret of success is in the filling) ! It is a little time consuming, and from start to finish takes around 2 hours; but it's so worth it :)
To reduce the time you can quite easily, and without guilt use ready-made pastry, but if you want to claim the whole LMP as 'your own' then the ingredients are as follows:
175g plain flour
100g cold butter (unsalted) cut up small
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1 egg yolk
2 level tablespoons cornflour
100g golden caster sugar
finely grated zest of 2 large lemons (unwaxed)
125mls fresh lemon juice (approx 2-3 lemons)
85g butter (unsalted) cut up small
3 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
4 egg whites (room temperature)
200g golden caster sugar
2 level teaspoon cornflour
1. Heat oven to 180 C fan (gas 6)
2. Bake the pastry case blind in a loose bottom fluted flan tin (greased) for 15 minutes
3. Remove beans and greaseproof paper and bake for a further 5-8 mins
4. Mix cornflour, sugar and lemon zest in a saucepan. Strain and stir in the lemon juice gradually. Add 200 mls of water. Cook over a medium heat, stirring continuously, until thick and smooth
5. Once mixture bubbles, remove from heat and beat in butter, piece by piece, until melted. This part can take a while, but be patient, it will happen
6. Beat egg yolks and whole egg together, then stir into the pan and return to a medium heat. Keep stirring vigorously until mixture thickens and plops from spoon (this can take a while, so gain, please be patient). Remove from heat, and set aside.
7. Put egg whites in a large clean bowl (no fat to be present or meringue will not be fluffy - a tip: clean the inside with lemon juice to remove any trace of fat). Whisk to soft peaks, add half of the sugar a spoonful at a time. Whisking between each addition without overbeating. Whisk in cornflour, then add rest of sugar as before until smooth and thick.
8. Quickly reheat filling and pour into the pastry case. Put meringue on top of filling (the heat from the reheated filling will cook the underside of the meringue), sealing the edges to the pastry. Swirl into peaks with a knife. (see photo)
9. Put in oven for 18-20 mins until meringue is browned slightly and crisp.
10. Let pie sit in dish for 30 mins before removing carefully.
11. This will not keep well beyond the 24 hours after baking. It gives a generous 8 portions. To prevent the filling from slipping out (not fully set until very cold) wait a couple of hours before cutting a slice out of the pie! It is worth the wait :)