Monday, 8 August 2011

Lemon Meringue Pie

Recipe Number Seventy Three:  Page 361.


When pondering this recipe I realised that, not only have I never made a lemon meringue pie before, but I have never actually eaten one – shocking I know! I never was that keen on meringue that is until I started making them for this challenge; I am quite a fan now.

Mary's recipe is a bit different to what I was expecting as she doesn't use shortcrust pastry but uses a biscuit base. As I have never eaten lemon meringue pie, I wasn't sure if this was a good or bad thing. However, I did know that this way would be easier and quicker, which was definitely a good thing! I had a value packet of digestives for the base. I weighed out what I needed and ate one or two, purely for quality control purposes, and I can confirm they are just as good as Mcvitites! I put the digestives into a bag and bashed them with a rolling pin until I had a bag of biscuit crumbs. Melting some butter was the next job. I didn't need as much as I thought I would. I tipped the crumbs into the saucepan of melted butter and gave it a good stir. Then I located my 8 inch deep flan tin and pressed in the buttery biscuit crumbs. I left the base to set in the tin whilst I had a much needed sit down!

Twenty minutes later I hauled myself back into the kitchen and moved on to making the lemony filling. As I have mentioned before, I am not a lover of condensed milk; I personally find it to be too sickly sweet. I reluctantly poured the condensed milk into a mixing bowl and then found another bowl for the egg whites to go into - lots of bowls equals lots of washing up! I separated the eggs, put the egg yolks in with the condensed milk and the whites in the previously empty bowl. Now I was ready to add the very important lemons. I needed three of them, which seemed rather a lot. I can't say I really enjoyed grating the rind off the lemons. As always, the juice managed to seek out a tiny cut on my finger, of which until that moment I had been blissfully unaware! I squeezed the juice from all three of the lemons. After I had done this, I remembered that I'd read that giving the lemon a short sharp blast in the microwave before juicing will help get more juice out of the lemon. Oh well, maybe next time! I poured the lemon juice through a strainer to join the condensed milk and egg yolks. The mixture appeared thick. But, as I stirred, I found it was actually rather runny. Mary says that this is perfectly normal. It is caused by the combination of condensed milk and lemon juice. The mixture soon thickened after a short burst of whisking. I poured the very lemony filling over the biscuit base and smoothed it out. I couldn’t resist a lick of the spoon afterwards. It did taste exactly like lemon curd; it was yummy!

I turned the oven to a moderate temperature and started work on the meringue. This was easy enough; I whisked up the egg whites and then added in some caster sugar a teaspoonful at a time. When I say it was easy, it doesn’t mean it wasn't boring. I felt tempted just to chuck all the sugar in at once, but I managed to restrain myself! Soon the meringue was stiff and glossy and ready to be piled on top of the lemon filling. I didn't want the surface to be too neat, so I swirled the meringue with the back of my spoon. I put the flan tin into the oven and then anxiously hovered in the kitchen waiting for the lemon meringue to cook; it only needed around 15 – 20 minutes in the oven. After 15 minutes the meringue was light brown so I decided to take it out to avoid it scorching, I was terrified it might burn. Once it was out of the oven and cooling down I asked Neil what he thought. He said it could have done with a couple more minutes - typical!! After the suggested 30 minutes of cooling, I cut into the lemon meringue pie and was amazed that it didn't all fall apart! Neil and I shared a slice and both enjoyed it. Neil, who has had lemon meringue pie before, said it tasted exactly as it should. I, who have never tried one before, thought it very tasty. I loved the base; it reminded me of a cheesecake. The lemon filling was like eating a luxurious lemon curd; it was heavenly! The meringue was sweet and marshmallowy. We tried another bit once it was cold, I preferred it cold as the meringue had firmed up and was a little chewier. Thank goodness Neil took the remainder into work, or I think I would have ended up picking at it all day! Due to the biscuit base, I found this very easy to make, but the washing up did accumulate! A huge thank you to Neil who very kindly washed it all up after seeing how tired I was; he is definitely a keeper!
Fresh from oven

Tasty!

5 comments:

  1. Looks fab Anneliese, that lemon curd trick sounds nice and simple think i'll try this one, omg I want to cook everything you blog xx

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  2. Lemon meringue pie is one of my favourite desserts ever..it looks absolutely yummy!

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  3. Thanks Jo :-) Yes, I was surprised by the lemon filling, it tasted just like lemon curd (which I love). Let me know if you try it - join me on my road to obesity!! xx

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  4. Thanks so much Nicola! It is now one of my favourites :-)

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  5. Will do xx Meant to be dieting it's impossible xx

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