Easy to make, but a real treat each time its served. This is a real classic, and a recipe that everyone truly should know.
Lemon Meringue PieServes: 8
For the Pastry:150g (1 cup) plain flour
pinch of salt
75g (2 2/4 oz) butter
cold water, to bind
For the Filling:50g (2 oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
300ml (1 1/4 cups) cold water
75g (2 2/3 oz) caster sugar
finely-grated zest of 3 lemons
juice of 3 lemons
2 medium egg yolks
For the Meringue:2 medium egg whites
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
Method:Begin with your pastry. Combine the flour and salt in a bow. Dice the butter, add to the pastry and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add just enough cold water to bring the mixture together as a dough. Knead lightly, shape into a ball, cover with clingfilm and set aside in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes.
Once the pastry has chilled, turn out onto a lightly-floured work surface and roll out until large enough to line a 20cm (8 in) diameter flan dish. Trim the top of the pastry roughly, then set in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
After chilling, line the pastry with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 170ºC (340ºF, Gas Mark 5) and bake blind for 15 minutes. After this time, remove from the oven and remove the baking parchment and baking beans. Reduce the oven temperature to 130ºC (270ºF, Gas Mark 2).
For the filling, begin by blending the cornflour (cornstarch) with a little of the water to a smooth slurry. Combine the remaining water, lemon zest and juice in a pan. Heat gently then whisk in the cornflour slurry. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
Continue cooking for 2 minutes then take off the heat. Allow to cool slightly before stirring in the sugar and then the egg yolks. Set aside to cool then pour into the prepared pastry case.
In the meantime, add the egg whites to a clean and dry bowl and whisk until very stiff. Now whisk in half the sugar, adding it a little at a time. Now fold in the remaining half of the sugar. Spread the meringue over the top of the filling, swirling the top attractively.
Return to the oven and bake for a further 35 to 40 minutes, until the top of the meringue is crisp. Serve warm or cold.