Lemon Meringue Pie is one of my personal favourites, and I have found this recipe to be my foolproof and easy pie to bake. Lemon Meringue Pie is a real family favourite that can be served all year round as it tastes great warm or cold along side a dollop of thickened cream. The contrast of tangy, tart, lemon curd filling with sweet, soft, marshmallow meringue on top just melts in your mouth. The slightly sweetened pastry used for this pie shell is flavoured with lemon to compliment the topping. Using icing sugar instead of regular sugar for this pastry quickens the combining process- give it a try!
If you have any variations to this recipe, please let me know in the comments, I'd love to try them
Recipe serves 6-8
1 cup caster sugar
½ cup pure cornflour
½ cup lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons of grated lemon zest
1 ¼ cups water
3 large eggs separated
Separate your eggs into two bowls. Add the butter to same dish as the egg yolks. Put the egg whites covered, into the fridge. In a medium sized saucepan, add sugar, cornflour, zest, lemon juice and water. Using a whisk, stir over a low heat until the mixture comes to a boil. When ready the mixture will look like a thick, semi-transparent gel and be more difficult to mix. You need to make sure you stir frequently during the congealing process to ensure it doesn't burn or create gel balls in your mixture. As soon as this is ready, remove pan from the heat and tip in the egg yolks and butter, now whisk vigorously or you'll make lemon scrambled eggs! Make sure the mixture is all well incorporated and smooth. The colour will become a golden yellow. Put a sheet of greaseproof paper on top of lemon filling and cool.
225g plain flour
55g icing sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest or ½ teaspoon lemon essence.
100g chilled butter chopped into small cubes
1 egg lightly beaten
50mL ice cold water
I prefer to use a food processor to make pastry as I have hot hands and have to keep holding onto an cool bag ice block to cool them down otherwise my butter melts in the pastry. If you are more comfortable making pastry by hand (hyperlink), then proceed as usual. Otherwise, put flour, icing sugar and zest into food processor, and pulse for a minute to mix the dry ingredients. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Don't over pulse or the heat from the friction of the processor blade can melt your pastry also. Combine egg and water, and with the motor running, slowly pour in enough liquid at a time into the food processor until the mixture starts to clump together. You may still have some liquid left over, you don't have to use it all up. Don't over process at this stage, it should still be in large clumpy crumbly bits. Unwrap a 30cm long piece of cling wrap onto your bench, tip out the crumbly mixture onto it. Pull up all the edges of cling wrap around the pastry and press down on the pastry to make it come together. Do this quickly so as not to overwork the dough, shaping it into a squashed ball. Chill pastry for 30 minutes to gluten in the flour rest and re-chill the butter making it easier to roll out.
Preheat the oven to 200C. On a floured board (or you could use icing sugar), roll out the pastry to fit a lightly greased 24cm pie dish or flan tin (I used a 9” cake tin in this photo). Prick over the pastry base with a fork and bake blind (hyperlink) for 10 minutes on the lowest rack in your oven, then reduce temperature to 180C for a further 10-15minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
½ cup caster sugar
3 egg whites (left over from filling)
Preheat the oven to 180C. Once the pie shell and filling have cooled, place pie shell onto a baking tray and spoon lemon filling into it. Make the meringue by whisking the egg whites until they just start to form soft peaks. Add a third of the caster sugar into the egg snow until all has been whisking in. Continue whisking until the meringue is stiff, shiny and holds its shape when you stop the beater or whisk. The meringue should form a peak shape that doesn't collapse. Spoon the meringue or pipe it on evenly over the pie. You can use a fork or knife to scoop us swirled patterns, drag fork marks through the meringue to make it decorative. Put baking try into oven and bake for 10-15minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned.
TIP: I prefer to serve it cold, and for an extra touch of indulgence, with a spoon of thickened cream on the side. When cutting into the pie, wipe the blade of your knife after each cut so as not to mush the pie.