For a recent family tea I made my mum’s favourite dessert and it just so happens to coincide with this week’s pastry week on the Great British Bake Off. This is a Mary Berry recipe that I found on the BBC food website and was the first time I’d made a lemon meringue from scratch. The pie was delicious but unfortunatley did have rather a soggy bottom despite blind baking…oh well as a fellow blogger has said to me recently it’s the taste test that matters!!
What you need:
23cm loose bottomed pie/flan tin
For the pastry
225g plain flour
45g icing sugar
1 large egg, beaten
For the lemon filling
6 lemons, zest and juice
6 free-range egg yolks
250g caster sugar
For the meringue topping
4 egg whites
2 tsp cornflour
225g caster sugar
What you do:
Pre-heat your oven to 180°c, grease and lightly flour your tin.
I used the dough hook on my freestanding mixer to make the pastry by putting the flour and butter in and mixing together until it resembled breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar, egg and one tbsp of water and mix again until ball shaped.
Tip the pastry onto a work surface and roll out to approx 3mm. Transfer the pastry to the tin, easiest done using the rolling pin. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Take out of the fridge and trim the excess pastry. Ideally you want your pastry to stand higher than the tin.
Line the pastry case with parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for about 15 minutes then remove the beans and parchment and return to the oven for a further five minutes.
Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 170°c
Make the filling by mixing the lemon zest and juice with the cornflour and stir to form a smooth paste. Measure 450ml of water into a pan and bring to the boil. Add the lemon cornflour mixture to the hot water and stir over the heat until the mixture has thickened, then remove from the heat. This happens really quickly…as soon as you add the mixture to the water it changes its consistency and appearance straight away.
In a bowl mix together the sugar and egg yolks and carefully whisk into the lemon mixture in the pan. Stir over a medium heat until thickened. Set aside for a few minutes and then pour into the baked pastry case.
Make the meringue by whisking the egg whites with a mixer until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar a little at a time, still whisking until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Add the cornflour and whisk again.
Spoon on top of the filled pastry case and spread the meringue to completely cover the lemon filling. It’s nice to create a swirl on the top of the meringue.
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the filling is set and the meringue is lightly golden.
I’m pleased to say that the outside of the pastry case held its shape as did the bottom but it was just a bit soggy…with hindsight I think there was too much filling – oh hang on a minute, can you have too much filling!? 😉
Until next time….Happy Baking!