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Lemon Meringue Pie


Serves 8

for the pastry

225g plain flour

150g butter

grated rind of 1lemon

1 egg, beaten

for the lemon curd

2 lemons

200g caster sugar

3 eggs

250g unsalted butter, cubed

or 1 jar of good quality lemon curd

for the meringue

4 egg whites

125g caster sugar

First make the pastry. Place the flour, butter, grated lemon rind in a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the beaten egg and pulse until the pastry comes together in a ball. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. Place a 23cm loose bottomed tart tin on a baking sheet. Line the base of the tin with the pastry, making sure that there are no holes or cracks. Prick the pastry with a fork, line with greaseproof paper and baking beans. Chill for 30min then cook at 200C for 10min, carefully remove the paper and beans and cook for another 10min or until golden and cooked through. Set aside to cool.

To make the lemon curd, place the juice and grated rind of 2 lemons in a large heatproof bowl with the sugar and eggs. Whisk over a pan of simmering water. Add the cubed butter, a piece at a time, whisking well between additions.Keep whisking until hot and thick, then set aside to cool. Then spread over the cooled pastry base.

In a spotlessly clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until pale and stiff. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time, beating after each addition. Pile the meringue up over the tart, making sure that the lemon curd is entirely covered. Cook at 190C for 10-15min or until the meringue is golden. Set aside to cool.

Did you know?

Lemon juice is very high in vitamin C, which prevents scurvy. Scurvy causes bleeding gums, loose teeth and aching joints. Sailors out at sea and unable to have access to fruit and veg used to suffer from it. So the navy (and this continues to this day) carry enough lemons on board their ships to provide sailors with their daily ration of lemon juice!

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