Following last week’s not so snappy brandy snaps, I then set myself up for the challenge of pies. Not quite confident enough to do the pork pie and always one to go for the easy one, I thought hey, how hard can a lemon meringue pie be? Pastry – checked, meringue – checked, lemony glup – checked… I’ve done all three things individually, so surely that’ll be easy as pie. (Bad punt – checked)
Here’s the recipe I used:
Pâte sucrée (sweet shortcrust pastry)
- 100g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 50g butter (room temperature)
- 2 egg yolks
- 50g caster sugar
- finely grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
- 65g cornflour
- 50-75g caster sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- 175g caster sugar
For the pastry:
- Sift the flour and salt onto a work surface. Make a well in the centre and add the butter, egg yolks and sugar.
- Using the fingertips of one hand, pinch and work the sugar, butter and egg yolks together until well blended.
- Gradually work in all the flour to bind the mixture together.
- Knead lightly until smooth, wrap in foil or cling film and leave to rest in th refridgerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 9inch fluted flan tin. Prick the base with a fork, chill for 30 mins.
- Bake blind at 190’C for 25-30 mins until cooked and lightly browned.
- Put the lemon rind and 600ml water in a saucepan, bring to the boil, remove from heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
- Discard the lemon rind, then stir in the lemon juice. Blend the cornflour with a bit of the lemon liquid to form a smooth paste. Pour it into the pan and stir well. Bring the lemon http://premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/allergy/ mixture to the boil, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in the sugar to taste, then beat in the egg yolks. Pour the lemon filling into the pastry case. (Read my comments below)
- Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until stiff but not dry. Gradually whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, whisking well between each addition, until very stiff and shiny.
Spoon the meringue over the filing and shape into swirls with a palette knife. Bake in the oven at 190’C for 5-10 minutes until very lightly browned. Leave to cool before serving.
The pictures are definitely deceiving, as I suffered the infamous soggy bottom (in fact soggy everything as it was so wet), water was weeping heavily underneath the meringue, so the meringue top was just floating on top of the lemon filling. If you tilt the pie it actually slides off.
It tasted yum and just like how a lemon meringue pie should taste like. But I was bemused about the result so I did some research. Apparently you need the lemon filling to be piping hot when it goes in the pie tin, and the meringue needs to be put on top of the hot filling straight away. Also adding a tsp of cornflour in the meringue will help absorbing the moisture too.
To be honest I don’t think I’ll hurry to make another one soon, since the sense of yet another GBBO defeat is all too much to take… 🙂 but if I make it again I will try the amendments above and let you all know.
Until then, happy baking. (for me, failing) x