>Lemon Meringue Pie

13 Aug

>Ok, it looks like I’m starting a series on lemony desserts…

Lemon is my favourite ingredient ever for sweet recipes (even savoury in some cases), and I can think of many many more to put up here…so watch this space!! They are all tried and tested – and truly delicious, if you’re a bit partial to lemon, obviously.

I made this yesterday afternoon on a whim, and it’s too yummy for words. Here goes.

* Pastry:

4oz plain flour
2 oz butter (or 1oz pure lard to replace 1 oz of butter)
pinch of salt

* Filling:
10 floz cold water
zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 oz golden caster suger
3 tbsp cornflour
3 large egg-yoks
1 1/2 oz butter

* Meringue:

3 large egg-whites
6 oz golden caster sugar

First make the pastry. Rub the sifted flour (+ salt) and butter together with fingertips until you have a crumbly mixture then add 1tbsp water and start combining with a knife until you get a ball of pasrty which will leave the bowl clean. (Add more water if necessary, but only tiny amounts at a time). Pop in a polythene bag and refrigerate for 30 mins.

The lemon filling is really simple. Place the cornflour and sugar in a bowl and mix enough water into it to make a paste. Boil up the rest of the water in a pan together with the lemon zest, and when it has boiled for about a minute, take off the heat and slowly add to the cornflour paste in the bowl – then return to the pan and simmer for a while (about 1 min), stirring all the time until it becomes a thick, glossy sauce.

Off the heat, add the egg yokes one at a time, and finally the butter. Leave to one side.

To make the meringue, whisk the egg yokes till you get stiff peaks. Then gradually add 1/4 of the sugar at a time. Leave to one side.

Take your pastry out of the fridge and roll out. Place in your chosen pie dish (quantities will fit neatly into a 9 inch wide [24 cm] + 1 1/2 inch deep [4 cm] tin) and prick base all over with a fork. Bake blind in a 190 degrees C oven for about 20 mins, or until it’s cooked through but not too brown. Immediately turn oven down to 150 degrees C once you’ve taken the pastry out.

Put your lemon filling in, then gently cover with the meringue mixture, taking care to not leave any gaps where the filling might ooze out during baking.

Finally bake for 45 mins approx, on the middle shelf of your oven. The pie should come out looking golden and crunchy on the top.

Leave for about 20 mins before tucking in, to give it time to set a little. Can also be eaten cold, but I doubt you’ll be able to wait that long!!

Nice with double cream or ice crem – or both :o)

Enjoy…Hmmmmmm…..

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