Lemon Meringue Pie
This is one sweet dish, with its three distinct elements, that needs a careful balance of textures and quantities. So light it literally melts in the mouth!
|For the pastry:|
|4 oz (110 g) plain flour|
|1 oz (25 g) butter, at room temperature|
|1 oz (25 g) lard, at room temperature|
|For the filling:|
|grated zest and juice 2 large lemons|
|3 level tablespoons cornflour|
|2 oz (50 g) golden caster sugar|
|3 large egg yolks|
|1½ oz (40 g) butter|
|For the meringue:|
|3 large egg whites|
|6 oz (175 g) golden caster sugar|
|Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C).|
|Need help with conversions?|
|You will also need a 1 in (2.5 cm) deep pie tin with a ½ in (1 cm) rim and sloping sides, measuring 7½ in (19 cm) at the base and 9½ in (24 cm) at the top.|
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course and Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course. It has also appeared in Sainsbury's Magazine
Start by making the pastry: first sieve the flour and a pinch of salt into a large bowl, holding the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing. Then add the butter and lard, cut into smallish lumps, and, using only your fingertips, lightly rub the fat into the flour, again lifting the mixture up high all the time.
When everything is crumbly, sprinkle in some cold water – about 1 tablespoon.
Start to mix the pastry with a flat-bladed knife and then finish off with your hands, adding a few more drops of water until you have a smooth dough that will leave the bowl clean.
Then pop the pastry into a plastic bag and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Next, dampen the strip and line the tin with the pastry circle, making sure you don't trap any air underneath it.
Then prick the base all over with a fork.
Bake on a high shelf in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through.
Measure 10 fl oz (275 ml) cold water into a jug, and spoon the cornflour and sugar into a bowl. Add enough of the water to mix the cornflour to a smooth paste, then pour the rest of the water, along with the grated lemon zest, into a small saucepan.
Bring this up to the boil, then pour it gradually on to the cornflour, mixing all the time until it is smooth.
Pour the lemon mixture into the pastry shell and spread it out evenly.
Finally, for the meringue, use a large, roomy bowl and in it whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
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This is sharp, very lemony and most refreshing, truly an ice cream for summer. We have found that the shop-bought meringues actually work better than home-made ones for this as they retain their crunchiness.
Once you know how, meringues are the easiest thing to make and can be used in recipes from Eton mess to petits monts blancs and pavlova. They're also a great way to use up leftover egg whites from other recipes...
Lots of lovely recipes call for lemon curd and, once again, it’s something that is never the same when shop-bought.
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