Recipe: Weight Watchers Lemon Meringue Pie

It’s been ages since I baked anything half decent and as I’m back on the healthier eating plan I had a go at this Weight Watchers recipe for a recent family party.  It was definitely a different take on this British classic although I had to make some adjustments.

Firstly, in the 3 supermarkets I went to I couldn’t get the low fat digestive biscuits so had to buy the normal ones.

Secondly, the recommended amount of biscuits in the recipe for the base, 6, is not enough for the required size 8″ tin.  So I ended up doubling the ingredients for the 8″ tin which was perfect but not ideal for the healthier lighter option and Weight Watchers point counters.  I do wonder if Weight Watchers test their recipes before uploading to their app because this amount of biscuit base is definitely not enough!

What you need:

7″ pie dish or baking tray

For the base:
1 x egg white, raw
6 x low fat digestive biscuits, crushed

For the filling:
3 level tbsp cornflour
2 x medium lemons, grated zest and juice of
200ml water
3 tbsp powdered artificial sweetener
2 x medium eggs, whole, raw, separated
2 tbsp caster sugar

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180°C/fan oven 160°C.
  2. First make the base.  Lightly whip the egg white until slightly foamy, then stir in the biscuit crumbs.
  3. Tip this mixture into a pie dish/tin and spread out evenly over the base. Bake in the oven for about 5-6 minutes, until set. Remove and leave to cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Blend the cornflour with the water in a small non-stick saucepan. Add the lemon zest and juice and bring to the boil, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and add the sweetener. Cool slightly.
  5. Stir the egg yolks into the lemon mixture, including the one left over from making the base. Pour this mixture over the base and return to the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Whilst the filling is cooking, whisk the egg whites in a grease-free bowl until they hold their shape. Add the caster sugar and whisk again until stiff and glossy.
  7. Pile this mixture onto the set filling and return to the oven for 5-6 minutes, until browned.

Top tip: ensure your bowl and mixer beaters are scrupulously clean to give your meringue its best chance!

It made a change to have it with a biscuit base instead of pastry, like a cheesecake but no cheese 🙂
Until next time…Happy Baking!

Lemon Meringue Pie

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 pastryimg_2326
225g plain flour
45g icing sugar
175g butter
1 large egg, beaten

For the lemon filling
6 lemons, zest and juice
6 free-range egg yolks
250g caster sugar
65g cornflour

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.lemon-meringue-pie

  • 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.lemon-meringue-pie

  • 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.lemon-meringue-pie

  • 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!? 😉

lemon-meringue-pie

Until next time….Happy Baking!