Favourite British Pie - Lemon Meringue

These days it's so easy to go out and buy a ready-made dessert from a supermarket or shop but easier still not to bother having one at all. Even though there's something quite satisfying about making a nice dessert for everyone to ooh and aah over, I wonder why most of us still don't bother.

Is it because most people think like me and that it would be too complicated?  Well it isn't, I'd never made a lemon meringue pie before in my life.  Fear not and trust me, it's a doddle - if I can do it anyone can!
  

I was set a challenge by Most Wanted, the lifestyle magazine for their 'Making Summer Taste Better' series asking if I could make a dessert that was fairly easy, not over complicated and perfect for alfresco dining but costing no more than £7.00

So in an attempt to inspire everyone to have a go and make your own desserts instead of buying ready-made, here I go with lemon meringue pie.

By the way this pie serves 8 to 10 people and actually cost less than the challenge set and cost just £5.99 to make which is fantastic.  You can find the ingredient price list at the end of this post. 

Time for a small confession; I've been writing this blog for over five years and have never made meringue before until now and it has to be said I'm quite proud of my meringue!

My top tip for success when baking or cooking in general:
Get everything ready before you begin.  Have a quick read of your chosen recipe prepare your ingredients.  For example in this recipe, zest your lemons, separate your egg yolks from the whites, get the pastry out of the fridge.

Yes I know I used ready-made pastry, but one step at a time here please, I've only just got to mastering meringue never mind making pastry.

Also, have you got the right equipment at the ready, saucepans baking tin?  Have a quick check and your good to go!

Print Recipe


 For the filling you will need:

grated zest and juice of 4 large lemons
90g cornflour
600ml cold water
4 large egg yolks
175g caster sugar


For the meringue you will need:

5 large egg whites
250g  caster sugar
 
For the pastry base you will need:
1 x 500g ready-made shortcrust pastry 


How to do it:

While your getting everything ready, remove the pastry from the fridge as it's better if it's at room temperature.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough and line your loose-bottomed flan tin (mine was 24cm).  Prick the pastry base all over with a fork and line with a piece of greaseproof paper, allowing it to come above the rim so it can be easily lifted out after baking.  Fill the shell with ceramic baking beans, or uncooked rice, and bake in a preheated oven at 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6 for 10 minutes.

Remove the baking beans and foil and bake the pastry shell for 5 minutes or until the base has dried out, then remove from the oven.
If the pastry has risen during baking, gently press it down with your hand.


Reduce the temperature to 150C/130C Fan/Gas 2 and get on with the filling:

Mix the lemon zest and juice with the cornflour. Bring the water to a boil, then stir into the lemon mixture. Return to the pan and bring back to a boil, stirring, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
Leave to cool slightly, then stir in the egg yolks mixed with the sugar. Return to a low heat and cook, stirring, until just simmering. Leave to cool a bit before pouring into the pastry shell.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff then whisk in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time on maximum speed.
 

Pile on top of the filling and spread over - don't fuss too much, I didn't and mine turned out okay.



Bake for 45 minutes or until crisp and brown on top.  Leave to cool a bit before attempting to remove from the tin.  Recipe adapted from Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook


Ingredients purchased from a well known top UK supermarket cost:

Pastry £1.25
Kitty Campbell's Free range very large eggs £2.00
Cornflour 75p
4 lemons £1.00 on offer 4 for the price of 3
Caster sugar 99p - and of course you wont need to use the whole box

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Thanks for taking the time to comment - much appreciated.
Cheers
Jan




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