Christmas meringue pies
- Preparation and cooking time
- plus chilling and infusing
- More effort
- MAKES 8
Whip up these mini meringue pies for a buffet. To make one large tart instead, simply use a 20cm tart tin and follow the same method
For the clementine curd
For the meringue
- STEP 1
Make the pastry by pulsing the flour, icing sugar, spices and ½ tsp fine salt together in a food processor, then add the butter and pulse again until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and 1-2 tbsp cold water, and pulse until it forms a ball. Wrap and chill for 30 mins.
- STEP 2
For the curd, mix the cornflour with a splash of clementine juice to dissolve, then tip into a pan with the remaining juice, orange juice, clementine zest, lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a simmer briefly, then remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, a few pieces at a time, then whisk in the egg yolks thoroughly. Put back on a low heat, stirring constantly until thickened, then transfer to a bowl. Cover and leave to cool at room temperature.
- STEP 3
Roll the pastry out (in two halves if you need to) to a few millimetres thick, and line eight individual tart tins about 8-9 cm wide. Trim the edges and chill for 10 mins. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
- STEP 4
Line the pastry cases with a piece of parchment and some baking beans, and blind-bake on a large tray for 10 mins until golden brown.
- STEP 5
Remove the beans and bake for a further 5-8 mins until the pastry is completely cooked, and looks dry and crisp. Leave to cool in the tins.
- STEP 6
For the meringue, put the sugar in a pan with 50ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer until it reaches 116C on a sugar thermometer. At around 110C, whip the egg whites in a stand mixer to soft peaks. With the motor still running, slowly drizzle in the sugar syrup in a thin stream, then keep whisking until the meringue cools. Spoon into a piping bag with a round nozzle about 1cm wide.
- STEP 7
Spoon the curd into another piping bag, and pipe an even layer into the base of the pastry cases, or spoon it in, smoothing over with the back of teaspoon.
- STEP 8
Pipe blobs of meringue over the whole curd to form peaks. Use a blowtorch to briefly cook the meringue, or grill for 30 secs-1 min until golden. Serve straightaway.