Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie
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With its creamy yet sharp filling, crispy pastry and mellow, cloud-like topping, lemon meringue pie could be considered kitsch, and it is. Add a bit of drama to your life and make this thoroughly delicious dessert.
- 1 × sweet pastry
- For the lemon curd:
- Juice of 2½ lemons
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 125g unsalted butter
- 125g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- For the meringue:
- 140g egg whites (4)
- 140ml water
- 280g sugar (twice as much as egg whites)
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes blind baking the pastry
Serves: 8 - 16
- First, make the sweet pastry.
- Heat the oven to 170°c .
- In a bowl place the eggs and the 125g of caster sugar and mix them together.
- Place the butter, lemon juice and zest into a saucepan and bring it to the boil until the butter has melted.
- Pour the hot butter and lemon juice into the egg mixture and it whisk together. Then pour the mixture back into the saucepan and, using a spatula, stir it constantly. When it has become thick and starting to bubble, remove it from the heat and tip it into a clean bowl.
- To make sure there are no lumps in the lemon curd, use a hand blender or food processor to blend the mixture. Then cover the surface with cling-film/plastic-wrap to prevent a skin forming.
- Roll the sweet pastry to a thickness of about 5mm, grease a 21cm pie dish with vegetable oil and line it with the pastry, trimming off the edges but leaving a small edge of pastry sticking over the edge of the pie dish (to allow for shrinkage in the oven). Line the pastry with either cling film/plastic wrap or greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans/rice.
- Bake the pastry case in the oven for 15 minutes to set the pastry, then remove the lining and baking beans. Place it back into the oven for a further 20 minutes until the pastry feels sandy, light and dry when touched. It should remove easily from the pie dish. Then cool it on a wire rack.
- Pour the lemon curd filling into the pastry case and smooth it flat with a palette knife or the back of a spoon. Place the pie into the refrigerator while you make the meringue topping.
- Put the sugar and the water into a pan and bring it up to the boil. Keep the mixture boiling for about 10 minutes until all the water has evaporated and the sugar has reached a temperature of 121°c (using a temperature probe is most useful for this).
- While the sugar is reaching temperature, whisk the egg whites until they reach the soft-peak stage.
- Once the sugar has reached temperature and the egg whites have been sufficiently whipped, slowly pour the boiling sugar syrup into the egg whites while continuing to whisk them.
- Continue to whisk the egg whites for about 10 minutes until the bowl feels cold. The meringue mixture should appear to be stiff, glossy and creamy. (Making the meringue is far easier if you have a worktop electric mixer.)
- Place the meringue on top of the pie by either piling it on with a spoon or, to achieve a more refined and sophistic look, place the meringue into a piping bag with a plain nozzle and pipe turrets all over the top.
- To finish the top, either use a blow torch (recommended) or put the whole lemon meringue pie under a very hot grill until the meringue has turned a light golden brown colour.
- Cut a slice and serve.
- Dare I say it but this works very well with orange curd as well.