A twist on how to bake a classic Lemon Meringue Pie – delicious.
Lemon Meringue Pie always used to be THE dessert to have whenever I went out, but the thing is, its hardly ever on the menu anymore! This makes me sad as I adore meringue, and pastry, and lemon so the answer seems obvious, I had to make it. I admit from the start that I tried 3 different recipes that I found online but I couldn’t get it right without a little bit going wrong, or not quite being good enough to write up in my own opinion. This led to a little bit of experimentation, some Homemade Lemon Curd , a Meringue Girls book, and this beauty was born!
I decided after my fails, and the utter deliciousness of my Lemon Curd, that I would try and make this easier for everyone an of course myself! You could use an already baked pastry case from the supermarket, or make your own… You could use some shop bought lemon curd, or make your own.. And finally, make a normal meringue, or an Italian meringue! Its entirely up to you!
My parents have always been a bit funny about meringue that isn’t baked entirely in an oven because of the potential of it being raw eggs and such, so this led me to make an Italian Meringue! I’m not saying the eggs are 100% cooked, but they are more stable, more cooked, and better than a normal meringue in my opinion! I used the Meringue Girls Italian Meringue method as I wanted to make sure that it was correct and would work – and it did! Surprisingly easy, and so delicious!
This delicious dessert can be stored in the fridge, and is a lot more likely to work as you’re not have to bake the lemon separately, or even the meringue! (Plus I think blowtorched meringue looks pretty!!)
This serves 10-12
– 175g Plain Flour, plus extra for dusting
– 100g Cold Butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
– 1tbsp Icing Sugar
– 1 Egg Yolk
– Lemon Curd Jar – 325g roughly!
Italian Meringue Topping
– 225g Granulated Sugar
– 6tbsp Water
– 120g Egg Whites (Roughly 4 medium eggs)
1) To make the Pastry – Sift the flour, icing sugar, and add the diced butter, egg yolk, and 1tbsp of cold water into a food processor. Blitz quickly on the pulse setting until the mixture starts to bind, it shouldn’t take too long at all!
2) Grease & flour a Tart/Pie/Flan tin – Roll the pastry mix out onto a lightly floured surface to the thickness of 1-2 £1 coin(s). Press the pastry into the tin and trim & neaten the edges. Fill any gaps of the pastry with any excess pastry so its all covered! Refrigerate for 1/2 an hour!
3) Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan – Cover the pastry with baking parchment and fill with baking beans/rice and bake the pastry ‘Blind’ for 15 minutes – remove the parchment and the beans and bake for an extra 5 minutes or until the pastry is cooked through and turning golden! Leave to cool in the tin.
4) Once the pastry case is cooled, fill with the Lemon Curd – I use my Homemade Lemon Curd! Leave to go cold in the fridge whilst you make the meringue!
5) To make the Italian Meringue – Pour the sugar and the water into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to boil, stir it occasionally with a wooden spoon. When the mixture starts to boil monitor the temperature until it reaches 120C (Firm Ball Stage) with a sugar thermometer! When the mixture is heating up and boiling, if any sugar splashes up the side of the pan, brush the sides with a pastry brush and cold water to get rid of it – this will stop the mixture crystallising and messing up!
6) Whilst the mixture is starting to get towards the temperature whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks in a spotlessly clean bowl – I seriously recommend using an electric stand mixer as it’ll make it easier as if you’re doing it by hand you will need two people and a steady hand! When the sugar syrup has reached the temperature and the egg whites are at stiff peaks start to pour the sugar syrup onto the egg whites at the edge of the bowl whilst still whisking – make sure you do this slowly so its a constant trickle of sugar syrup so that the egg whites stay smooth!
7) Continue to whisk throughout whilst the sugar syrup is pouring in, and after its all whisked in continue to whisk the mixture fast and on a high speed for 5-7 minutes until the mixture is smooth, and has cooled down.
8) Dollop onto the lemon/pastry and then blowtorch lightly, or flash under a hot grill to brown the edges of the meringue!
Tips and Ideas
If you don’t want to or don’t feel confident enough to make an Italian Meringue then you can do a normal Meringue using the 4 egg whites, and 200g of Caster sugar and mix like you would a normal meringue – blowtorch or flash under the grill in the same way as above to brown! 🙂 When pouring the sugar syrup onto the egg whites try to do this at the edge of the bowl so the heat isn’t going directly into the largest part of the egg white mixture.
You can also use pre-made Sweet Shortcrust Pastry instead of making your own – grease & flour the tin as said above and line with the pastry – bake in the same way as written above! 🙂
This recipe will last in the fridge for 2 days!
You can find my other Dessert Recipes on my Recipes Page!