The Perfect Lemon Meringue
WORDS:: CHYKA KEEBAUGH
PHOTOS:: LISA ATKINSON
Every birthday should be celebrated with a delicious dessert!
And for this lemon loving birthday gal, I knew exactly what I wanted. Something simple, something fresh, something gorgeous and something super lemony. Lemon meringues are just perfect when done well, and something that can be prepared and given the finishing touch at the last minute, perfect! Pair it with a shot of Italian liqueur Limoncello and you have got yourself an impressive dessert.
Lemon Meringue Pie
- 1 2/3 cups (250g) plain flour
- 225g unsalted butter, chilled, finely chopped
- 5 eggs, separated
- 2 lemons, zested, juiced
- 350g caster sugar
- Process flour, 100g butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add 1 egg yolk and 3-4 tablespoons cold water and pulse until mixture just comes together. Form pastry into 4 discs, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Roll out pastry discs, 1 at a time, until 2-3mm thick, then line 4 non-stick (8cm base, 4cm deep) pie dishes. Using a small knife, trim pastry flush with edge of dishes, then prick bases with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Place chilled cases on an oven tray and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Cool.
- Meanwhile, whisk lemon rind, 1/3 cup lemon juice, remaining egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar in a large, heatproof bowl until well combined, then add remaining butter. Bring a saucepan of water to a simmer over medium heat. Place bowl on top and stir lemon curd with a wooden spoon for 10-12 minutes or until thick. Cover surface of curd with plastic wrap and allow to cool.
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Place remaining sugar and 1/2 cup water in a stainless-steel saucepan, then cook, stirring, over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium, then, using a clean, wet pastry brush, brush down sides of pan. Cook until syrup reaches 121°C or firm ball stage on a sugar thermometer*. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until firm peaks form. While whisking, slowly pour sugar syrup into whites and whisk until combined and cool.
- To assemble pies, carefully remove pastry from pie dishes and place on a baking paper-lined oven tray. Fill cases with curd, then top with meringue. Bake for 5 minutes or until meringue is light golden. Serve with cream.
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