Lemon Meringue Pie

Ingredients – Makes 10-12 slices

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 x 397g tins condensed milk
  • Freshly squeezed juice and grated zest of 8 unwaxed lemons
  • 1 Basic Pie Crust, partially blind baked (ingredients and method below)

Simpler Meringue Topping

  • 6 egg whites
  • 330g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Or Italian Meringue Topping

  • 400g caster sugar
  • 7 egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Basic Pie Crust

  • 260g plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 110g unsalted butter

Equipment

  • a 23cm pie dish, greased
  • baking beans

Method

To Make the Pie Crust

  1. Put the flour, salt and butter in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Add 1 tablespoon water and beat until well mixed.
  2. Add a second tablespoon of water and beat until you have a smooth, even dough. If the dough is still a little dry, add another tablespoon of water, but be careful not to add too much water – it is safer to beat the dough at high speed to try to bring the ingredients together.
  3. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to rest for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.
  5. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Line the prepared pie dish with the dough and trim the edges with a sharp knife. Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper over the dough crust and pour in the baking beans.
  6. Partially bake the pie crust in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. The dough should still be pale and slightly raw in the centre.

To Make the Lemon Meringue Pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) Gas 2.
  2. Put the egg yolks, condensed milk and lemon juice and zest in a glass bowl and mix gently with a balloon whisk until all the ingredients are very well incorporated. The mixture will thicken naturally.
  3. Pour into the partially blind-baked pie crust and bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes. The filling should be firm to the touch but still very slightly soft in the centre (not wobbly!). Leave to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight if possible.

To Make the Simpler Meringue Topping:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) Gas 2.
  2. Put the egg whites in a freestanding electric mixer with a whisk attachment and whisk until frothy. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of the sugar at a time, whisking well after each addition. Once you have whisked in all the sugar, add the vanilla extract and whisk again until stiff peaks form.
  3. Spoon the meringue on top of the cold pie, making sure you completely cover the pie filling. Create peaks and swirls in the top of the meringue with the back of a tablespoon.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown and crisp to the touch. (Note: With this method, the egg whites are not cooked through, so should not be served to the very young, the very old, those with compromised immune systems or to pregnant women.)
  5. Leave to cool completely before serving.

To Make the Italian Meringue Topping:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) Gas 2.
  2. Put the sugar in a small saucepan and just cover with water. Set over medium heat and bring to the boil.
  3. While the sugar is on the hob, put the egg whites in a freestanding electric mixer with a whisk attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed. Whisk until the egg whites are light and foamy.
  4. When the sugar has been boiling for a short while, it should reach soft ball stage. (This is when the bubbles go more syrupy. To check, dip a spoon into the sugar, then drop it directly into a glass of cold water. The sugar will firm up on contact with the water. You should be able to form a soft ball out of the sugar. If it sets to hard to be able to form a ball, it has been boiled too long and has reached hard ball stage. Be careful, as the sugar goes from soft ball to hard ball stage very quickly. Don’t touch the hot syrup with your bare hand until you have dipped the spoon into the glass of cold water, otherwise you will burn your fingers.)
  5. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites. Once all the syrup is incorporated, turn the mixer up to maximum speed and whisk for about 10-15 minutes, or until the meringue has tripled in size and is very white and fluffy.
  6. Turn the mixer back down to medium speed and continue to whisk for a couple more minutes until the meringue has cooled down slightly.
  7. Spoon the meringue on top of the cold pie, making sure you completely cover the pie filling. Create peaks and swirls in the top of the meringue with the back of a tablespoon.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown and crisp to the touch. Leave to cool completely before serving.

Here’s another recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook: Green Tea Cupcakes


Leave a Reply