Lemon meringue pie is one of my favorite, if not favorite desserts. The three components of the recipe (the pastry, curd and meringue) all work very well together and gives me, someone who finds it hard to resist desserts a really stimulated palette. I make it with a simple pastry, simple curd and simple French meringue but have some adjustments that I think just make it that little bit more awesome.
I cut down on the sugar a bit just to give the sweetness aspect a little bit more of a subtle vibe, especially in the lemon curd. You will of course, still have the sweetness but you want the pie to bring out the flavor of the lemon, rather than the sugar. A Lemon meringue pie that brings out the tang is the best kind for me.
An important note for the pastry is that if you decide to bake a lemon meringue pie on a hot summers day, I suggest that you turn on the air-conditioning. The last thing your want is for the humidity to melt the butter inside that pastry. This will end in a result of your pastry breaking and sticking when attempting to roll it out and mold it together.
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Lemon meringue pie:
– 2 eggs
– The 2 lemons juiced
– 2 lemons zested
– 120g caster sugar
– 100g butter
– 1 tsp. cornflour
– 250g plain flour
– 125g cold butter cubed
– 75g caster sugar
– 1 egg
– Raw rice or baking beans
– 3 egg whites
– 115g caster sugar
– Get your tart case ready by greasing it with butter or cooking spray, and then lightly dusting it with flour. Set aside.
– Whisk the sugar and the egg together until the sugar dissolves and the egg develop a slightly pale colour. In a bowl, rub the cubed butter and flour together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a fine breadcrumb. Add your egg mixture and once you mix it through put it all out on a flat surface and firmly bind the pastry (use your hands, don’t be shy) together but do not knead it. Once you have a smooth pastry, wrap it up in cling film and rest it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
– Dust a clean surface with flour, unwrap your pastry and roll it out to about 1cm thick. Use more flour if you need to and make sure you frequently check that the pastry isn’t sticking to the surface. Place the pastry over the tart case by using the rolling-pin to roll the pastry up, then rolling it back over the pastry case, and carefully lift up the edges of the pastry to tuck it into the edges of the tart case. Neat up the edges of the pastry. Get a fork and prick a few holes through the pastry, lay some baking paper of the pastry surface and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Blind bake in the oven for 15 minutes. After those 15 minutes take the baking beans/rice away and place in the oven for another 5 minutes.
– Whisk the eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and cornflour in a saucepan. Add the butter and get the pot on low-medium. Heat up and keep lightly whisking until the curd comes to a simmer and thickens up. Turn the heat off and set aside.
– Once the curd has cooled down slightly, pour the curd into the pastry case and leave in the fridge to set the curd.
– Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then add the sugar and continue to whisk until the meringue is glossy and the sugar dissolves through.
– I like to spoon the meringue over the curd in a messy and rustic kind of way. However, you may choose to smoothen it out with a spatula or pipe in on in a decorative way.
– If you have a blow torch, it’s time to have some fun. Use your torch to flame the meringue ensuring that you don’t get the torch too close. This can cause the outside layer to burn so just keep some distance so the fire lightly browns the meringue. If you do not have a blow torch, place your pie underneath a pre-heated grill or hot oven for about 2 minutes (keep an eye on it). Take it out once the meringue has browned and caramelized on top.