Lemon Meringue Pie is a famous traditional British dish., a delicious light tangy desert perfect on its own warm or cold. I dont think i know anyone who does not like lemon meringue pie.
For the sweet short crust pastry
- 225g plain white flour
- pinch salt
- 110g cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 tsps caster sugar
- 1 medium free-range egg yolk
- For the lemon curd
- 100g caster sugar
- 8 tbsp cornflour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 4 large lemons, zest and juice
- 6 medium egg yolks
- 100g unsalted butter, melted
For the meringue
- 6 medium egg whites
- 300g caster sugar
- Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the butter to the flour and then rub between your fingertips until a fine breadcrumb consistency is achieved. Add the sugar to the flour and butter. Using your hands, mix to a firm dough with the egg yolk,vanilla essence and a splash of cold water. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before using.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease a 22cm/9in fluted loose-bottomed tin. Place the tin onto a baking tray.
- Roll out the pastry until its big enough to generously fit the tin, leaving excess pastry falling over the sides of the tin onto the baking tray underneath the tin – don’t trim at this stage.
- Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Now trim the excess pastry using a sharp knife. Bake the pastry case blind for about 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is pale golden and dried out – remove the paper and beans for the last five minutes. Lower the oven heat to 150 C/Gas 2.
- Meanwhile, for the lemon curd, mix together the sugar, cornflour, and enough water to make a paste, in a large bowl.
- Bring 50ml/2fl oz water and the lemon zest to the boil in a small pan. Gradually pour the hot liquid onto the cornflour and sugar, whisking all the time until smooth.
- Beat in the egg yolks, lemon juice and butter. Return to the pan. Bring it back to a boil and boil it for 1 minute. Pour into the baked pastry case and leave to cool slightly
For the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric whisk until they form stiff peaks. Whisk in the caster sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well and at a high speed between each addition. Transfer the meringue into a piping bag (with a plain nozzle) and pipe the meringue on top of the lemon curd. Do this on a very warm meringue as it helps to seal the two.
- Bake for about 35-45 minutes until the meringue is crisp on the outside and soft and marshmallow-like underneath.
Oven temperature: 180 C/Gas 4
When you cook your lemon filling, be absolutely sure that you boil it for at least 30 seconds as cornstarch needs to fully boil in order for it to firm up. Have the meringue ready to top your pie as soon as you put the filling in the crust, the heat of the filling will help to cook the bottom of the meringue. Immediately put it in the oven, and refrigerate after removing it from the oven. Leaving it to cool at room temperature will cause the bottom of the meringue to become watery which causes your pie to separate.