Monday, July 12, 2010

My love affair with lemons – The Easiest Lemon Meringue Pie

A few years ago, when I was a younger, thinner whippersnapper at uni, my good friend Duncan used to make the most amazing dinners for me. To be fair, I made a few for him in return, but Duncan stood out as the only one in my friend crowd who was really, really into cooking.

While I was cooking on the two electric hobs in the uni halls kitchen and my tiny (illegal) portable oven, he was serenely whipping up gorgeous confections in the gargantuan kitchen he had the good luck to stumble across in his house share for the year. Memorable as many of these dishes were, there’s one in particular that still brings a rumble to my tummy and a smile to my lips. Lemon meringue pie.

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ll normally forgo the sweet stuff in favour of stuffing in the savoury but this version of this pie is one of my favourite dishes. Served straight out the oven and smelling of citrus, pastry and meringue – ¾ of it disappeared immediately after the Sunday roast on the day I baked it, the rest remaining for a rather indulgent midweek treat.

Quick and easy lemon meringue pie

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
For the shortcrust pastry (adapted from Leith’s Cookery Bible)
170g plain flour
A pinch of salt
85g butter
2 tsp sugar
Very cold water to mix
Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Rub in the fats until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add 1-2 tablespoons water to the mixture and mix to a firm dough. You may need to add a bit more to make it workable but the crumblier the dough, the lighter the pastry.
Wrap in clingfilm, chill for ½ hour. Roll out and line tart tin, bake blind for 15 mins.
For the filling
250g sweetened condensed milk
80g caster sugar
3 medium lemons
3 eggs

Grate the zest of the lemons. Squeeze the juice into a separate bowl.
Seperate the eggs. Take the egg yolks, lemon zest and juice and beat together. Slowly add the condensed milk and beat until thickened. Add to the partially-baked pastry shell.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until light and airy, add the caster sugar one spoon at a time until the mixture forms stiff peaks and has a glossy sheen. Spoon onto the top of the pie filling and place into the oven. Cook for 25 minutes until cooked through and the meringue is firm to tap on the top.


girl down under said...

i have officially decided that when we move into our own place this week end that this will be the first thing i cook in our oven! ooh it looks yummy!

Julianna Barnaby said...

Good good! Let me know how it goes, I'm definitely remaking this one soon - tasted a treat!

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