Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Light Lemon Meringue

Lemon Meringue

I've been so busy lately writing, cooking and photographing for my book, along with starting back into gardening, cake making, everyday household tasks and still some handyman work... that it's easy to set the blog to one side... but I cant do that!! 
My whole blog needs a major makeover, I have really stepped up a gear lately with my food that the blog is looking a bit dated, but that makeover definitely wont happen until at least April. So for now I'll keep plugging away and do what I can do... here is a recipe for all to try.

A homemade lemon meringue can seem daunting to some people, all I can say is this… follow this set of instructions and it won’t go wrong. you can buy pastry cases already made or make a simple shortcrust pastry case yourself.

1 9inch bought pastry case (or make your own, see below)
280g sugar
30g cornflour
A pinch of salt
250ml boiling water
125ml lemon juice
Zest of 3 lemons grated
2 eggs (1 whole and one yolk)
A teaspoon of butter

3 large egg whites
A pinch of salt
A dash of vanilla extract
115g caster sugar

Lemon Meringue Pie


In a large saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornflour and salt. Slowly pour in the boiling water while whisking to make a smooth sauce. Place the saucepan on a medium heat and continue whisking while bringing to the boil, reduce the heat slightly and cook for a further 2 mins without whisking. Remove from the heat.

In a small mixing bowl whisk the lemon juice, zest and 1 egg and 1 egg yolk together. Carefully whisk a little of the cooked hot sauce into the lemon/egg mix then whisk this all back into the cooked hot sauce in the saucepan. Return the saucepan back onto a medium heat and while stirring bring to a simmer, add the butter and continue stirring until it thickens (this can take a while but stick with it). Once thickened remove from the heat and pour into the pastry case and allow to cool so it starts to set.

In the meantime, get to making the meringue. In a clean large mixing bowl add the egg whites. Whisk them until light and frothy then add the salt and vanilla extract, whisk this well in until it forms soft peaks. Add the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time while continually whisking until all the sugar is used and the meringue forms stiff peaks. Using a spatula scrape out the meringue on top of the pie and using a pallet knife gently spread it evenly. Pat the meringue with the pallet knife all over to form peaks.

Place the pie into the oven at 170c and bake for about 15 mins until the peaks have coloured. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before serving. Normally about 2 hours. 

Homemade shortcrust pastry:

125g plain flour
A pinch of salt
55g cubed butter
2-3 tablespoons of cold water

Place the flour, salt and butter into the food processor and pulse until the butter is fully mixed through and it looks like fine breadcrumbs. With the motor still running pour the water in bit by bit until it just forms a dough.
Remove it from the mixer and wrap in cling film. Chill for at least 20 mins before rolling out with a rolling pin.
Roll out to suit your dish then blind bake for 20 mins at 180c.
(to blind bake, roll out bigger than your dish so it over hangs all around the dish then line the pastry with parchment paper and pour in ceramic beans to weigh down the pastry, alternatively you can use uncooked rice.)
When cooked trim off the edges.
Shortcrust Pastry

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