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Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Issue 61 October 2009

Lemon meringue pie

Light and zesty, this warm pie is as comforting as they get.
Serves 4

For the pastry
175g plain flour
100g slightly firm butter, cut into small
1tbsp icing sugar
1 egg yolk

For the filing
2 tbsp cornflour
100g golden caster sugar
Finely grated zest of two large lemons
125ml fresh lemon juice (three lemons)
Juice from 1 small orange
85g butter, cut into pieces
3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg

For the meringue
4 egg whites at room temperature
200g golden caster sugar
2 level tbsp cornflour

Method for the pastry
Put the flour, butter, icing sugar, egg yolk (save the white for the meringue) and 1 tbsp cold water into a food processor. Using the pulse button so the mix is not overworked, process until the mix starts to bind. Tip the pastry onto a lightly floured surface, gather together until smooth, then roll out and line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottom fluted flan tin. Trim and neaten the edges. Press pastry into flutes. The pastry is quite rich, so don’t worry if it cracks, just press it back together. Prick the base with a fork, line with foil, shiny side down, and refrigerate for 1⁄2-1 hour (or overnight). Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat oven to 200ºC/Gas Mark 6. Bake the pastry case filled with dry beans, for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake a for a further 5-8 minutes until the pastry is pale golden and cooked. Set aside. (Can be done a day ahead). Lower the oven to 180ºC/Gas mark 4.


For the filling
Mix the cornflour, sugar and lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Strain and stir in the lemon juice gradually. Make orange juice up to 200ml with water and strain into the pan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Once the mixture bubbles, remove from the heat and beat in the butter until melted. Beat the egg yolks (save white for meringue) and whole egg together, stir into the pan and return to a medium heat. Keep stirring vigorously for a few minutes, until the mixture thickens and plops from the spoon, (It will bubble, but shouldn’t curdle.) Take off the heat and set aside while you make the meringue. Put the egg whites in a large bowl. Whisk to soft peaks, then add half the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking between each addition without overbeating. Whisk in the cornflour, then add the rest of the sugar as before, until smooth and thick. Quickly reheat the filling and pour it into the pastry case. Immediately put spoonfuls of meringue around the edge of the filling (if you start in the middle the meringue may sink), then spread so it just touches the pastry (this will anchor it and help stop it sliding). Pile the rest into the centre, spreading so it touches the surface of the hot filling (and starts to cook), then give it all a swirl. Return to the oven for 18-20 minutes until the meringue is crisp and slightly coloured. Let the pie sit in the tin for 30 minutes, then remove and leave for at least another 1⁄2-1 hr before slicing. Eat the same day.


Read the other recipes in our Comforting Desserts feature:  

Blueberry and lemon pudding>

Bread and butter pudding>
Pecan Pie>
Raspberry and apple crumble>

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