I was at Cafe Greco (560 Chapel Street, South Yarra) for dessert the other night, and after much consideration, decided to try a slice of their Lemon Meringue Pie. The verdict? Absolute heaven! I can't believe how I've survived all these years without having eaten it! The pastry was fragrant and crumbly, encasing a delightful lemon filling that was surprisingly not as sour as I expected it to be. It is all finished off with an extravagant and slightly chewy meringue topping, which is sweet and cuts through the tartness of the lemon. This delicious pie is now, by far, one of my favourite desserts :)
Lemon Meringue Pie
It was mum's birthday last week, so I endeavoured to create the wonder of lemon meringue pie for her at home. The recipe I used was one of Donna Hay's and am somewhat satisfied with the result. The only problem I had was that the meringue was sliding around on the lemon filling. Does anybody know how to prevent this? I'm thinking that maybe I overbeated the egg whites, or could have scored the filling before spooning on the meringue to give it something to grip on to. I've also just noticed Greco's version has a layer of pastry between the filling and the meringue!
*Note: Use 59g eggs at room temperature.
For the sweet shortcrust pastry:
- 2 cups plain flour
- 3 tbs caster sugar
- 150g cold butter, chopped
- 2-3 tbs iced water
For the lemon filling:
- 3 tbs cornflour
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup caster sugar
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 2 egg yolks
- 60g butter
For the meringue:
- 3 egg whites
- ¾ cup caster sugar
For the pastry, process the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. While the motor is running, add enough iced water to form a smooth dough and process until just combined. Knead the dough lightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To make the filling, place the cornflour and water in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Place the cornflour mixture, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat and whisk until the mixture boils, then boil for 5 minutes or until it thickens. Remove from the heat and stir through the egg yolks and butter. At this point, taste the mixture to ensure that it isn't too sour and is to your liking. Set aside to cool slightly.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface or between sheets of non-stick baking paper until 2-3mm thick. Cut out rounds to fit 6 x 9cm round pie tins. Place in the base of the tins, line with non-stick baking paper and fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice or beans. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the weights and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Pour the cooled filling into the pastry shells and refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.
To make the topping, place the egg whites in a bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually and beat until the mixture is thick and glossy. Spoon on top of the filled pies and place under a hot grill for 1 minute or until the meringue is set and golden. Serve immediately.
Lemon Meringue Pie