Making meringues the other weekend, not only put me in the mood for Christmas, but it also put the idea in my head to make one of my favourite zesty puds, the Lemon Meringue Pie!
I have to admit, I have never made one before, so thought not only would it be good practice for my pastry making skills, but also gives me a chance to practice perfecting that meringue for the festival holidays (which are fast approaching I might add)!
Fancy a little zesty sweetness in your life this weekend?
This is one easy Lemon Meringue Pie, courtesy of the lovely Mary Berry! I love Mary Berry’s recipes, they are always so easy to follow and I would return to her cook books time and time again! But be warned, you’ll be needing plenty of eggs!
For the pastry, you will need:
- 225g plain flour
- 175g butter
- 45g icing sugar
- 1 large free-range egg, beaten
For the lemon filling, you will need:
- 6 lemons, zest and juice
- 65g cornflour
- 250g caster sugar
- 6 free-range egg yolks
For the meringue topping, you will need:
- 4 free-range egg whites
- 225g caster sugar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
- First you’ll need to make the pastry by measuring the flour and butter into a food processor and blend together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar, egg and one tablespoon of water and whizz again until combined to a ball.
- Tip the pastry onto a work surface and roll out to a 3mm thickness. Use the rolling pin to lift the pastry up and transfer it to line a 23cm/9in loose-bottomed flan tin. Be careful not to stretch the pastry as you tuck it into the corners.
- Cover in cling film and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
- Then, take the pastry-lined tin out of the fridge and trim the excess pastry.
- Press the top edge of the pastry so that it stands slightly higher than the top of the tin and then line the pastry case with parchment and fill with baking beans.
- Bake for about 15 minutes then remove the beans and parchment and return to the oven for a further five minutes.
- Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 170C/340F/Gas 3½.
- For the zesty lemon filling – mix the lemon zest and juice with the cornflour and stir to form a smooth paste.
- Measure 450ml of water into a pan and bring to the boil.
- Add the lemon cornflour mixture to the hot water and stir over the heat until the mixture has thickened, then remove from the heat.
- In a bowl mix together the sugar and egg yolks and carefully whisk into the lemon mixture in the pan.
- Stir over a medium heat until thickened and then set aside for a few minutes before pouring into the baked pastry case.
- For the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a free-standing mixer until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.
- Add the caster sugar a little at a time, still whisking until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
- Add the cornflour and whisk again.
- Spoon on top of the filled pastry case and spread the meringue to completely cover the lemon filling. Then create a swirl on the top of the meringue, or whatever design takes your fancy!
- Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the filling is completely set and the meringue is lightly golden and crisp.
And there you have it! This can be served warm or cold, equally are just as yummy! I thought the whole thing would be very time consuming, but it’s not! I started making this on Saturday morning and had it out of the oven and on it’s way over to my mothers house for lunch time! It’s definitely a winning dessert, and the zesty taste from the lemons is a perfect way to cleanse the pallet!
And there are so many variations on the classic dessert – why not try making the meringues into deep nests and fill the hole with the lemon filling? Or instead of a pastry base, why not try making shortbread slices with the lemon filling on top? Pop in the freezer to set and you have a new twist on an old classic. There are hundreds of available recipes to try!
How do you like yours?