Now, it takes a little time and there are a few steps but the result is absolutely delicious.
I bought myself a cooks blowtorch recently and this was the perfect occassion to try it out. I also used it on a batch of Creme Brulee, so already it’s earned it’s keep!
My meringue topping is basically cooked before it’s layered onto the pie, which means a quick blast of the torch or popped under the grill is enough to finish and not worry about undercooked egg whites.
I also made my lemon curd in the Thermomix but I’m sharing a recipe where it’s cooked in the traditional way, slowly in saucepan over a low heat. Alternatively, you can use really good quality shop bought lemon curd instead.
The pastry case is my go to sweet pastry recipe that I use for all my tarts.
Lemon Meringue Pie
- 180g plain flour
- 100g cold butter cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 large free range egg, beaten
- 110g caster sugar
- 50g butter
- finely grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons
- 2 large free range eggs and 1 egg yolk, well-beaten
Swiss Meringue topping:
- 180ml egg whites (from approx 3-4 large eggs)
- 300g caster sugar
- Pinch salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- First make the pastry. I use a food processor to blitz the flour, butter and icing sugar until they resemble bread crumbs. Pour the egg in through the funnel on the lid and pulse the machine until the pastry just comes together. Roll into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill in fridge for at least 1 hour.
- While the pastry chills, make the Lemon Curd. On a low heat melt the butter, sugar, lemon juice and rind in a saucepan. Next add in the beaten eggs and stir carefully with a spatula over the low heat until the curd starts to thicken. It should coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and leave to side until you are ready to fill the pastry case.
- Preheat oven to 180C and lightly grease a 20cm round loose bottom tart tin. Roll out the pastry to slightly larger than the tin, then line the tin with the pastry. Prick the base with a fork then place a large piece of crumpled parchment over the base and pour over baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes then carefully remove the paper and beans, returning to the oven for a further 5-7 minutes to crisp up. This helps avoid a soggy bottom with the pastry case.
- Allow the pastry case to cool a little before pouring the curd into it. Leave to side while you make the meringue topping.
- Add approx 3cm of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer on a medium-low heat.
- In a stainless steel bowl, combine the egg whites, sugar and salt then place over the pot of simmering water. Stir with a spatula until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has heated up (not boiling). This should take approx 5 minutes.
- Remove bowl from the heat then whisk at high speed until the meringue turns glossy, thick and stiff peaks can be formed. Again this should take at least 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and quickly mix again.
- Spoon the meringue over the pie and use a fork to form peaks. You can pop this in a very hot oven (200C) to cook for 5-7 minutes until peaks turn brown or use a blow torch to caramelise the peaks (see image below).