Monday, 6 February 2012

Individual Lemon Meringue Pies

So cute!
I also got a mini blow torch for Christmas and it was a toss up between lemon meringue pie or creme brulee. I think I made the right decision! The pastry and filling is from Gregg Wallace's favourite puddings, but he uses normal meringue and I wanted to do Italian.
I only have four mini tins, but this recipe will make 6 or one big one.

300g plain flour
150g butter, diced and chilled
50g caster sugar
75g ground almonds
1 egg yolk, beaten
2-3 tblsp iced water

6 tblsp cornflour
75g sugar
350ml water
finely grated zest of three lemons and the juice of two
3 egg yolks

160g granulated sugar
3 egg whites
60ml water

-Make the pastry. Sift the flour in to a bowl, add the butter and rub lightly until breadcrumby. Stir in the sugar and nuts and add a pinch of salt. Using a round ended knife, mix in the yolk and enough water to make a dough.
-turn on to a floured board and knead briefly. divide in to 4/6/one whole and roll out to line the tins you are using. Chill the tin(s) in the fridge for 30 mins. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 / 200C.
- line the pastry with pieces of baking paper and baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the lining and beans and return to the oven to cook for a further 5 mins until golden. Remove and cool.
- to make the filling, mix the cornflour and sugar together in a saucepan. Add the water, zest and juice and stir well. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl, add two tablespoons of the lemon mix to the eggs and beat, then add the eggs to the lemony saucepan. Cook, whilst stirring until the mixture has thickened further. Leave to cool for a bit, then fill your tart cases!
- Now for the meringue! Place the whites in to a heatproof, clean bowl.
-put the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat on the lowest setting until the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, whack up the heat and boil until it reaches 110 on the thermometer. Once it does, whisk the egg whites until they become stiff. Once the syrup reaches 118, pour it in to the egg whites in a thin stream, whisking all the while.
- continue to whisk on high until the bowl has cooled. Once cool and stiff and meringuey, pipe on to the cold lemon tarts in any way you fancy. Stick under a hot grill or have fun with a blowtorch!

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