Delicious and tangy, this Lemon Meringue Pie recipe taken from the MasterChef Cookery Course book (DK) provides the perfect after-dinner full stop. Try it this weekend and see guests light up at its zest…
MasterChef Lemon Meringue Pie recipe
Makes 8 slices
400g (14oz) ready-made shortcrust pastry
6 eggs, separated
3 tbsp cornflour
3 tbsp plain flour
400g (14oz) caster sugar
1 tbsp grated lemon zest juice of 3 lemons
45g (11∕2 oz) unsalted butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Lightly grease a 23cm (9in) loose-bottomed flan tin. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line the tin.
2. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper, then fill with baking beans. Place on a baking sheet and bake “blind” for 15–20 minutes or until the pastry looks pale golden. Lift out the paper and beans, return to the oven, and bake for 5–8 minutes or until the pastry is golden and dry. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Reduce the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
3. Lightly beat the egg yolks in a bowl. Mix the cornflour, flour, and 225g (8oz) of the sugar in a pan with 360ml (12fl oz) water. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. increase the heat slightly and cook, stirring, for 3–5 minutes or until starting to thicken.
4. Beat several spoonfuls of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. pour this mixture into the pan and slowly bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 3 minutes, then stir in the lemon zest and juice and butter. Continue boiling for a further 2 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy, stirring constantly and scraping down the side of the pan as necessary. Remove from the heat; cover to keep warm.
5. Whisk the egg whites in a large, clean bowl until foamy. Sprinkle over the cream of tartar and whisk in. Continue whisking, adding the remaining sugar 1 tbsp at a time. Add the vanilla extract with the last spoonful of sugar, whisking until the meringue is thick and glossy.
6. Pour the lemon filling into the pastry case, then top with the meringue, spreading it so it completely covers the filling right up to the pastry edge. Set the tin on a baking sheet. Bake for 12–15 minutes or until the meringue is lightly golden. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before serving.
Top MasterChef tip: To unmould the pie, set the tin centrally on a can of food; the side of the tin will drop down, leaving the pie on the tin base. Slide onto a plate.
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Emily Peck, Editor
View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor