Lemon Meringue Pie

Soft billowing meringue tops the zesty lemon filling. An old fashioned Lemon Meringue Pie is a thing of beauty.  Soft, billowing meringue sits on top of a tangy, zesty lemon filling all held in place by a short, buttery pastry.  It speaks of the best of times gone by yet is ideally suited to today’s light and fresh tastes.  Best of all worlds.  I don’t know why I don’t make it more frequently

There is a recipe for easy shortcrust pastry that you make in the food processor on the site. Shortcrust Pastry    If you don’t want to make pastry you can use a bought, baked shortcrust pastry case or use ready made pastry both of which cut down on preparation time considerably.

The pie itself is not difficult to make though there are tricks to making a good one. The meringue seems to be the main concern with bakers.  It needs not to weep or slide off the lemon layer.  These two problems are usually due to the sugar in the meringue not being dissolved thoroughly into the eggwhite and the filling being too cold for the meringue and filling to meld together.   I find that if you start making the meringue before the lemon filling this solves any problems. I also think it’s important to spread the meringue right to the edges so there are no gaps.   My final tip is how to keep the pastry crisp. I like to sprinkle the cooked shell with a dusting of ground almonds (or semolina for those with nut allergies) as this really seems to help.

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

For the lemon filling

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour
  • 350ml water
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested plus juice only of extra lemon
  • 30g butter
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten in a bowl
  • 20g ground almonds or semolina

For the meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 75g caster sugar

Method

  1. Turn oven to 180c and place in baking sheet to heat
  2. With baked tart shell in loose bottomed tin scatter over ground almonds/ semolina
  3. Whisk egg whites for meringue to soft peak and gradually start to add sugar at low speed till all incorporated  Carry on whisking for a further 2-3 minutes. If you take a pinch of the mix between your index finger and thumb and rub together you should no longer be able to feel any grains of sugar
  4. Now make the filling.  Put sugar, flour cornflour, water and the zest and juice of the lemons in a medium saucepan.
  5. Whisk together over heat until mixture starts to boil and clears slightly
  6. Add butter into pan and whisk in to melt
  7. Pour a third of the mixture over the beaten eggs in a bowl whisking all the time.  Mix will turn yellow
  8. Add contents of bowl to the remaining mix in pan and whisk
  9. Return pan to heat and bring to boil whisking all the time. Taste to see if you need to add any more lemon juice
  10. Pour filling into tart shell
  11. Give meringue a last, high speed 30 second boost before putting it on top of filling. As soon as you can do this the better (see notes above)
  12. Spread meringue to the edges of pie sealing in the filling completely. Make pretty swirls and peaks on top of meringue as desired
  13. Place lemon meringue pie in oven on top of baking sheet and cook for 10 mins until meringue is set and browned on top.
  14. Pop out pie from tin leaving bottom disc in place. Cool to room temperature on wire rackbefore serving.
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A la mode or with cream?

 

 

1 Comment

  1. This pie is gorgeous Rosie!! I can almost taste it! When I think of lemon pie, I always think of my grandmother (who was named Rose Marie!) — She was the family pie make and lemon was a favorite! thanks for the reminder! hugs!

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