So after many years, with my confidence in cooking growing, I decided to give this pie a go. It was fabulous. Both me and my guests loved it. My own mother is not one to throw out compliments, but when she asked for a second slice of this pie, I knew she loved it to.
Although there are a few stages to making this pie, the stages are quite easy to make, just follow my instructions and you to will have made something that is amazing with every bite.
The pastry is delicious, the lemon filling amazing and the Italian meringue spectacular. Can you tell I love this.
Give this a go, it is so worth it. It not only looks great it tastes heavenly and it never fails to provide that 'ah' moment as you bring it to the table.
7 eggs, lightly whisked
310ml thickened cream
215g caster sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon rind
3/4 cup (185ml) fresh lemon juice
Place the egg, cream, sugar, lemon rind and lemon juice in a bowl.
Use a balloon whisk and whisk the ingredients until well combined.
Cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to develop the flavours.
While the filling is chilling in the refrigerator, make and bake your pastry.
225g plain flour
125g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
2 tablespoons icing sugar mixture
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons chilled water
Process the flour, butter and icing sugar in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolk and water. Process again to bring the pastry together. Wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200C. Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper. Make a disc that is 4mm thick and needs to be about 30cm in diameter.
Line the base of a 5cm deep, 25cm (base measurement) straight sided spring form tin.
Add the pastry into the prepared tin carefully, it needs to come up the sides of the tin at least 4cm high, re roll the pastry if you need to, as the filling will overflow if you don't have the correct height in the pastry. This pastry is quite versatile, it can be cut from one section and pressed to another.
Cover the base of the pastry with baking paper, fill it with pastry weights or rice. Blind bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the paper and weights. Bake for a further 5-8 minutes or until lightly golden. Set aside to cool, about 15 minutes.
315g caster sugar
4 egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
Stir sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves, brushing pan with a wet pastry brush, this stops sugar crystals forming.
Cook on medium-high heat (don't stir) for 3-5 minutes or until the syrup is 115C (soft ball stage-use a sugar thermometer).
While the syrup continues to cook, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
When the syrup is 121C (hard ball stage), slowly add it to the egg white mixture. Whisk on high speed until thick.
Spoon the meringue onto the baked pie. Use a flat bladed knife to make large swirls to create peaks.
Use a blowtorch to caramelise the meringue, or bake in an oven at 200C for 5 minutes or until browned. You can now refrigerate until needed.
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