Whoever knows me, will know that food makes me happier than almost anything else in the entire world, and if they say you can't buy happiness, well I can pretty much bake it!
Coming home, for me usually means, amongst other millions things, having humongous dinners (and lunches) with my friends. And it's just one of those dinners that brought me to this fabulous encounter: Queen Mary Lemon Meringue Pies.
The recipe is for one big pie, but as I did, you can make about 10-11 mini pies out of it.
It's fool proof, and with Mary you can never go wrong.
For the pastry: For the lemon filling: For the meringue:
250 gr plain flour 3 large lemons (juice and zest) 300 gr egg whites (4 eggs approx)
125 gr butter 90 gr flour 100 gr caster sugar
30 gr icing sugar 600 ml water 100 gr icing sugar
1 egg yolk 4 egg yolks
2 tbsp cold water 175 gr sugar
Make the pastry: put all the ingredients into mixer and whizz it up. If you are a bit more traditional, you can sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it with the fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the egg yolk and enough cold water to make a soft pliable dough.
Clingfilm at your fingertips, and chill in the refrigerator for 30 mins.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, and line the tins (or tin if you're going for the big solo one).
Bake blind on a preheated oven at 200°C for 10 minutes.
Remove the baking beans (or lentils, as in my desperate case) and foil and bake the pastry cases for 5 minutes, or until the base has dried out reducing the oven temperature at 150°C.
Make the filling: Mix the lemon zest and juice with the flour in a pan. Bring the water to a boil and the stir into the lemon mixture. Bring back to a boil, stirring, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
Leave to cool slightly, then stir in the egg yolks and sugar. Return to a low heat, stirring, until just simmering. Pour into the pastry cases.
Make the meringue: Whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Whisk in the sugar, 1 tsp at a time, on full speed. Pile on top of the filling and spread over evenly.
Bake for 45 minutes or until crisp and pale brown.