Comfort Food 7: Lemon Meringue Pie

12 11 2006

Second stage of my “let’s use up some of that frozen lemon juice and those extra eggs…” afternoon. I haven’t made lemon meringue pie in I don’t know how long – years and years. I love eating it, but just never make it. So today was the day! I used the recipe from my old favourite: Australian and New Zealand Complete Book of Cookery (published by Paul Hamlyn back in 1970!)

First off, I find I have to make shortcrust pastry – which reminded me why I don’t make this recipe… I really don’t like making pastry. It always goes wrong, and it’s fiddly. But anyhow, make the pastry I did, and blind baked it. Then it was on to the lemon filling. And finally, after about 2 hours of making, chilling, rolling, blind baking, whisking etc., I made the meringue topping and got it into the oven. Considering it will all go in a few minutes, I’m wondering whether this effort was worth it! I must say, it looked good when I’d finished!! (though if I did it over, I’d double the lemon filling as there didn’t seem to be enough once I’d added it to the pastry case)

lemon_meringue02.jpg

OK, here’s the recipe:

Rich Shortcrust Pastry

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 (4 oz) cup butter (cold!)
  • 2 tablespoons castor sugar
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • small amount of cold water (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup)

Sieve flour into a cold mixing bowl, add the butter and rub it into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre of the dry mix, add the beaten egg yolks and a little cold water. Mix until you have a slightly crumbly stiff dough. Knead the dough a little. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 10 mins before rolling out. Roll out and line a flan tin (or similar) with the pastry. Place some baking paper in the tin – enough to cover the bottom – then add some dried peas or beans or similar to weigh the pastry down. Let the pastry rest for 10 mins, then blind bake in a moderately hot oven for 10 mins. Remove the baking paper and contents, then return the pastry case to the oven for abouther 15-20 mins. Cool.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon filling:

  • 4 tablespoons cornflour
  • 1/2 pint water (285ml)
  • 1 oz butter (1/4 cup)
  • grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2/3 cup (4 oz) castor sugar
  • yolks of 2 large eggs (keep the whites for the meringue!)

Add all ingredients EXCEPT the egg yolks to a saucepan. Whisk over a moderate heat until boiling. Whisk for a further 2-3 mins. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Whisk in egg yolks. When a little cooler, pour into pastry case (see above).

Meringue:

  • whites of 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup (4 oz) castor sugar

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add half the sugar, continue beating, add remainder of sugar, beat until you get stiff peaks and the mix is glistening.

Pile meringue over lemon mixture making sure it covers the pastry edges. Bake in a slow oven for about 30 mins until the meringue is golden.
Lemon Meringue Pie





Comfort Food 6: Lemon Muffins

12 11 2006

It was a baking day this afternoon – I have a lot of frozen lemon juice to use up! So first cab off the rank was Lemon Muffins.

Lemon Muffins
I haven’t made these before so it was a bit of an experiment, and to add interest, I added some chopped dried apricots and a handful of dried banana chips. I thought of adding poppyseed, but I didn’t have any! I used the same Canadian recipe book that I use for my blueberry muffins.

Here’s the recipe (I doubled everything to use up more lemon juice and eggs!):

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (plain flour for Australians)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • grated rind of 1 or 2 lemons
  1. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and rind and beaten eggs.
  3. Stir egg mixture into dry until well moistened.
  4. Fill muffin cups, sprinkle tops with remaining sugar.
  5. Bake in 400F oven (about 180C) until lightly browned.