Perusing the cheap bookshops nets some fantastic bargains at times and we love books both old and new. So I’m having a snoop and find this cook book for the whopping price of £2.99 called Bite Me. The title drew me in and after a quick flick it was in my bag heading home…paid for of course! So this book is full of great recipes and each one has a little anecdote from the 2 sisters who wrote the book.
So on with the recipe
Pie Crust…buy a ready made one….or….
175g plain flour
1/4 t salt
115 g butter cut into cubes and chilled
4 T ginger ale…yup ginger ale…honestly
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 200c. Pop flour, butter and salt into a food processor and whiz it up on pulse until it looks like coarse crumble. Put the lemon juice and ginger ale into a cup and mix together. While the food processor is running add the liquid and process until it magically turns into a ball of dough! should take about 10 seconds. Carefully take it out of the processor, watch the blades as they are bloody sharp and taken my blood a few times! Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough about an inch wider than the diameter of your pan. I use an 8″ pie pan. Place the rolled out dough into the pan and then flute the edges (make them look pretty) Line the dough with baking paper and fill with baking beans and blind bake the crust for about 15 minutes. Take the beans out (they’ll be hot!) and prick the base of the crust with a fork and pop back in until the crust is a loverly golden brown. About another 10 – 12 minutes. Let it cool a bit before putting the lemon filling in. turn the oven down to 180c.
The filling….lovely, tart, lemon filling!
4 large egg yolks
200 g caster sugar
45g corn flour
1/4 t sea salt
350 ml water
125 ml lemon juice…fresh is preferred…about 3 lemons…what I do is juice 3 lemons and then if if’s not enough I top up with the bottled stuff. I have used all bottled stuff and it’s not as nice but still enjoyable.
the zest of the 3 lemons you squeezed!
50 g butter
Separate the eggs. Put the whites aside and put the yolks into a bowl, whisk em up and put the yolks to the side. Grab a medium saucepan and put the sugar, corn flour and salt in and whisk them to combine. Stir in the water and lemon juice until it’s smooth and heat over a medium heat until it thickens. Don’t panic that it’s not that lovely sunny yellow. That happens at the next part! Gently pour a bit of the hot mixture into the egg yolks stirring constantly so you don’t end up with lemon scrambled eggs….yuck! When it’s combined pour the egg yolk mix back into the saucepan and whisk it all up to a lovely smooth sunny yellow mixture. Bring to a slow boil and stir constantly for a couple of minutes. Take off the heat and mix in the butter and lemon zest until the butter is all melted and the zest evenly distributed. Put to one side to cool slightly.
The mile high meringue part!
6 egg whites….save the 2 yolks from the filling and use them somewhere else…as an egg wash for scones perhaps? (they can be frozen for later use)
1/2 t cream of tartar…NOT tartar sauce!
150 g caster sugar
Get a squeaky clean bowl and beaters…I use glass bowls for this and if I’m concerned at all about grease, which ruins meringues by the way, I’ll rub everything down with lemon juice. Whip the egg whites up until they form soft peaks. Whip in the sugar and cream of tartar until you get stiff peaks. If you can turn the bowl upside down and not end up with a mess it’s spot on!
Pour the slightly cooled filling into the pie crust. Then scoop the lovely soft meringue onto the bright yellow filling. Start at the edges so that when it goes back into the oven it doesn’t shrink away from the sides of the crust and covers it completely. Pile it on and pile it up1 Pop it into the oven until the meringue is golden and lovely…about 10-12 minutes. Let cool for at least an hour then dig in! Slice it carefully to reveal that sunny yellow lemon…mmmmmmmmmmm…one of my all time favorites!