Lemon Meringue Pie
Member recipe by saglerum
For the pastry
- based on Good Food recipe "Berry almond tartlets with white chocolate"
- 200 g plain flour
- 170 g ground almonds
- 170 g golden caster sugar
- 170 g butter
- 4 medium egg yokes ( whites will be used for the meringue )
For the filling
- grated zest of 3 lemons
- 200 g fine caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 100 ml lemon juice
- 200 g butter
For the meringue
- 200 g fine caster sugar
- 75 ml water
- 4 egg whites
- For the almond pastry, put the flour, ground almonds, sugar anda pinch of salt into a food processor and work for 5 seconds until mixed. Add the butter and pulse for about 10 seconds until the mixture forms fine crumbs. Tip into a bowl, add the egg yolks and mix with a knife to make coarse crumbs (don't do this in the machine or you'll overwork it and make the pastry tough). Turn out on to the work surface and knead briefly by hand to a smooth, pliable ball. If it's too sticky, work in a little more flour. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes until firm.
- Brush the sides of a 23 cm loose-bottomed flan tin with melted butter. Roll the ball of dough out until 3mm thick. Cut out a round large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the tin and ease into the tin and press on to the base and sides so the edges of the pastry come slightly above the top edge of the tin. Prick the base with a fork so it won't puff up in the oven. Chill for at least 15 minutes until firm. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to fan 180C/conventional 200C/gas 6.
- Line the base of the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill with a layer of baking beans. Bake for about 20 minutes until the pastry starts to brown. Remove the paper and beans and continue baking for a further 5-7 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Leave to cool.
- Grate the lemons above a large bowl and add the sugar. With your hands rub the zest and sugar together. Add the eggs and the juice.
- Put the bowl above a pan of boiling water ( au bain marie). Make sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stirr with a whisk untill the mixture has thickened and has reached a temperature of 82-83 C. It is best to use a cooking thermometre to get the right temperature.
- Put the lemon mixture through a sieve into another big bowl and let it cool to a temperature of 60C, stirring as it cools. With an immersion blender blend in the butter in knobs. Blend the mixture for 10 minutes in total untill you get a smooth mixture. Add the filling to the cooled base.
- For the meringue add the water and sugar to a pan and put it on a low heat to dissolve the sugar. Heat the sirup to 116C (soft ball stage) but start whisking the egg whites when the sugar has reached the temperature of 112 C. Put the eggs in a large clean bowl and whisk to soft peaks. Keep whisking the eggs and slowly add the 116C sugar sirup. Keep whisking untill the meringue has cooled. The meringue should be stiff smooth and glossy when it's done. With a piping bag or a spoon add the meringue to the cake. Dust with icing sugar and place under the grill to get it's golden peaks.
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