Lemon Meringue Pie

28/11/2012 15:02

A gorgeous zingy dessert
Serves 6-8

150g plain flour
85g butter, cut into small pieces
35g icing sugar, sifted
1 egg yolk, beaten
1-2 tbsp milk

Filling & Meringue topping
50g cornflour
250ml water
200g caster suagr
Juice & grated rind of 3 unwaxed lemons
4 large eggs, seperated

To make the pastry, sift the flour into a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the icing sugar, egg yolk and the milk. Knead briefly on a lightly floured surface. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven 200C/400 F/Gas Mark 6.

Grease a 8-inch/20-cm round fluted tart tin. Roll out the pastry to  1/4 inch thickness and use to line the base and sides of the tin. Place the tart tin onto a baking tray and prick the base of the pastry with a fork, line with foil or greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake the pastry case 'blind' for 15 minutes. Remove the pastry case from the oven and remove the paper and beans.

Reduce the oven Temp to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2.
For the filling ~  mix the cornflour and 100g sugar in a bowl and mix with 50g of the water to form a paste. Put the remaining water into a saucepan. Stir in the lemon juice and rind, and the cornflour paste. Bring to the boil, stirring, and allow it to thicken, then remove from the heat. Beat in the egg yolks and pour into the pastry case.

For the meringue topping ~ Put the egg whites into a clean dry bowl, whisk until they form stiff peaks. Then, whisk in the remaining caster sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition. Spoon the meringue over the lemon filling and swirl into peaks. Pop the pie into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the meringue is golden and crisp. Remove from the oven, cool and serve.

*'Baking Blind' is the process used to pre cook a pastry crust without the filling.  You would usually do this where the proposed filling to the crust either - does not require cooking, does not require as much time to cook as the pastry, or if the filling is too liquid, this would make the crust too soggy if you were to attempt to cook the pastry with the filling inside it. Simply line the pastry case with foil or greaseproof paper, and fill it with dried beans, peas or any dried pulses would do. The weight of them keeps the base of the pastry flat and strong during the cooking.