Sunday, 9 March 2014

Lemon Meringue Pie

Last week I introduced you to Cake Thursday. As well as bringing in that GIANT of a cake, I tried to make a slightly more sophisticated dessert. Was it sophisticated? Probably not! But was it tasty? Most definitely.


In true Jennifer style, this dessert included many firsts. My first time making pastry from scratch and my first time making lemon curd. What's life without a bit of experimenting, eh?

My oven did it to me again!! Burnt half of the bleedin' meringue!! But in the end, it didn't matter. The pastry was buttery and crumbly, the curd was nice and tart, and the meringue was gooey in the middle with a crisp outside. I was insanely proud of this one. Go me!!

(adapted from Donal Skehan)

200g plain flour
150g cold butter, diced
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp cold water

Rub the flour and butter together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir through the caster sugar and water until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Press into a flat oval and cover with cling film. Rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Dust the work surface with flour and roll out pastry to approximately 3mm. Line the tin with the pastry and press into the sides before trimming the edges. Prick the base with a fork all over and line with foil, shiny side down. Fill with baking beans and blind bake for about 15 minutes until the pastry is a light golden brown. Remove from the oven, lift out the beans and foil and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Lemon Curd
300g caster sugar
100g cornflour
Grated zest of 4 lemons
120ml lemon juice
450ml cold water
4 large egg yolks
60g butter, diced

Place the sugar, cornflour, lemon juice and zest, and water in a large saucepan and whisk to combine. Add the egg yolks and mix thoroughly. Place the saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring continuously until thickened. When it is thick, stir through the butter, then remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.

4 large egg whites
250g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar until it is fully combined and you can hold the bowl over your head without the meringue falling out, then add the vanilla extract.

Place the cooled pastry, in its tin, on a baking sheet. Fill with the lemon curd and then spoon the meringue mixture on top. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Leave to cool slightly before serving.

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