First ever attempt at making it entirely from scratch…
sweet short crust
the pie ws pretty amazing (though i cant take credit for the recipe) and not too tricky to make… an easy cheat is to use a *lemon pie filling mix* though it doesnt save much work, you still have to cook the stuff. I use jamie olivers short crust recipe for the crust
The filling is a combination of two recipes…We like our filling tart with * actual * lemon flavor so I dont use a mix but I do add up to a Tablespoon of “lemon essence” (found w/ vanilla in the baking isle) to give it an extra kick.
500 g organic plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100 g icing sugar, sifted
250 g good-quality butter, cut into small cubes
zest of 1 lemon
2 large free-range eggs, beaten
A splash milk
2 c water
1 c sugar
5 egg yolks beaten (whites reserved)
1/4 c butter
1Tb lemon zest
3/4c lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
2tsp-1Tb lemon essence
For the Meringue:
5 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
PASTRY combine all dry in food processor. pulse together while adding butter. It should be a crumbly mixture. Break the yoke of the eggs and pour into the pastry while pulsing food processor does should just hold together and form a single ball a little splash of milk may be necessary. Do not over mix or work the pastry too much at this stage or it will become elastic and chewy, not crumbly and short. Flour it lightly. Flour your work surface and place the dough on top. Pat it into a flat round, flour it lightly, wrap it in plastc wrap and put it into the fridge to rest for at least half an hour.
Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop)
or between two pieces of plastic wrap
roll the disk to a thickness of 1/8 inch (.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about 1/2 inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.
FILLING: Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated. Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks *a little at a time to temper the eggs*, whisk until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil
bubbles will only just break the surface
. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest, essence and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.
MERINGUE: Preheat the oven to 375ºF . Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.
as far a I can tell the key to a good meringue is to make sure it is cooked all the way through and dry. You may need to lower oven temperature by 25 degrees and increase cooking time if it is browning to quickly