4 November 2013

Plate Up. Lemon Meringue Pie

Over the years I've grown up hearing about how amazing my grandma's lemon meringue pie was; my uncle had a particular hankering for it I'm told. Unfortunately I never got to try it myself [I'm sure it was delicious, she was a wonderful cook] but I thought it was about time I gave my own recipe a go and see how well I could make the dish that perfectly walks the line between sweet and tart. Result? Delicious and a very attractive dish if you ask me.

Note: This one needs to be made ahead of time as you need to factor in 3 hours for it to set in the fridge, so don't plan to whip it up for your dinner guests as they walk in the door.

What you'll need
1 sheet shortcrust pastry
lemon curd
1 cup milk
1 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup cornflour
1/2 milk, extra
80g butter, chopped
2/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon ring
6 egg yolks
the 6 remaining egg whites
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar

What to do
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Lightly grease a pie tin and line with the pastry ensuring you cover right up the edges as shortcrust tends to shrink back. Prick the base with a fork and line with baking paper and baking weights. Blind bake for 15 minutes then remove the weights and paper and cook for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, make your curd by dissolving your sugar and milk in a saucepan over medium heat, make sure you stir it continuously. Place the cornflour and milk in a bowl and stir to combine then add this mixture into the saucepan. Bring this to the boil and then reduce the heat to low. Add the butter and whisk until melted and combined. Add the lemon juice, rind and egg yolks and whisk for 5 minutes or until thickened. Make sure you don't leave this alone as your mixture can curdle. Spoon the lemon mixture into your pastry case and refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.

When your curd is set, make your meringue. Place the egg whites into a bowl with the vinegar and start beating. Gradually add in the sugar. Continue beating until all the sugar is added and the mixture is stiff and glossy. (The remaining 6 egg whites will likely make too much meringue but I chose to use them rather than waste them, if you have left over meringue make up some mini pavs and bake them on a lined tray in a 150 degree oven for 45 minutes. Bonus!) Spoon the meringue on top of the curd [artfully, with plenty of whisps] and place under a hot grill for 1-2 minutes or until browned.

Photos by Krissie