Friday, 13 February 2009

Lemon Meringue Pie


My facebook status yesterday was "I want to make a Lemon Meringue Pie you'd want to sleep with" and in fairness I came close. Not to physical intimacy with said Pie but those mmmm-y moments I get with really good stuff. Like Gu chocolate puds and scottish oatcakes. Don't ask. You could film a porno soundtrack with the noises I make over those delicacies.

Had some trouble with the photos - well I'm still using my camera phone and it's 2m pixels and er... sh!t? Well tbh it's about the effort and I didn't make the effort to wipe the plate clean which would have been a lot better. However, as no one reads this site bar the advertising bloggers I wouldn't worry about it. Here's a curious thing though. All cake pictures look better pointing with the narrow point to the left. What is WITH that???!!

The recipe came from Waitrose online. I saw loads around, but I liked the 3 egg approach - although I didn't opt for blacktails I just went for M&S free range. On saying that it lacked the more custardy taste to the curd that I wanted, and that I suppose is due to the lack of butter in the filling mix. I'll probably adapt the recipe I have rather than try someone new, but please see below for the recipe I used and my adjustments.

Lemon Meringue Pie
Crust

300g plain flour
150g butter (I used I can't believe it's not butter)
1 egg
zest and juice of 1 lemon (only half a lemon was used)

Filling
3 yolks
zest and juice of 2 lemons
100g caster sugar
5tbsp cornflour

Meringue

3 egg whites
75g sugar (I used an icing sugar and granulated mix as we had that in the house.)

Crust:

1. Rub flour and butter into breadcrumb (I smush with the back of a spoon)
2. Add zest and egg.
3. Add juice gradually till it forms a ball. (I used unwaxed Waitrose lemons which look tiny but generate and yield their juice easily.)
4. Wrap in sandwich bag and chill for 30 minutes.
5. Roll out and line pan which has been greased lightly. (I liked a deeper pie which is smaller - think it was smaller than 30cm but you can refer to original recipe)
6. Prick base and chill for 15 minutes and then bake blind for 10 minutes at Gas Mark 6. (I used a heavy saucer wrapped in foil.)
7. Remove beans/weight/saucer etc and bake for 5 minutes.

Filling:

1. Zest, juice, sugar and 300ml water in a saucepan and heat.
2. Dissolve cornflour in 6tbsp cold water and stir in, boiling for about a minute until thick.
3. Beat in egg yolks one at a time. (I sieved as I got a few stray eggy bits.)
4. Pour into case (I didn't wait for it to cool.)

We also added extra sugar to the recipe as - well, I had an extra half a lemon from the dough which I also added. I just got my mum to add to taste since she's more fussy.

Meringue:
1. Whisk whites in usual way (grease free, no water etcetc.) and add sugar.

Construction:
1. Top pie with meringue. I start from the outside and seal it to the edges and then once the outer circle is done I plop into the middle and just spread it about until it's flat on the curd but peaked where I want it to be.
2. Bake at Gas Mark 2 for 25 - 35 minutes.


When mine came out I didn't feel it was crusty enough - I like a crisp top although the foamy meringue underneath was perfect.

It also did the annoying weepy thing where little beads of condensation appeared on the top - albeit I managed to avoid the scary meringue and lemon separation some sites were talking about.

Live and learn. Definitely would make this again. I loved the crust, it was soft and gorgeous and my family basically ate the whole thing in one sitting which is rare for my cooking (no one likes fruit, no one likes chocolatey cakes, no one likes anything that isn't plain victoria sponge with whipped cream - sorry these days it's Chiffon cake :P )

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