This classic dessert is the perfect combination of tart lemon and sweet meringue, culminating in a sweet treat that will have you reaching for seconds.
For the pastry
- 175g plain flour
- 100g cold butter, cubed
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
For the filling
- 100g caster sugar
- 125ml lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
- Zest of 2 lemons
- Juice 1 small orange
- 85g butter, cubed
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 2 level tbsp cornflour
For the meringue
- 200g caster sugar
- 4 egg whites at room temperature
- 2 level tsp cornflour
- Make the pastry. Mix the plain flour, cold butter, icing sugar, egg yolk and 1 tbsp cold water in your Cooks Professional food processor. Pulse until the mix starts to bind, but be careful not to overwork it. Lightly flour your kitchen surface, then tip the pastry mixture out. Gather it together until smooth, then roll out and line a loose-bottom fluted flan tin. Trim and neaten the edges, pressing the pastry into the flutes. Don’t worry if it cracks; push it back together. Prick the base with a fork, line with foil – the shiny side down – and chill for between half an hour to an hour, or overnight.
- Heat your oven to 200℃/180℃ fan/gas mark 6. Blind bake your pastry; fill the pastry case with baking beans or rice to weigh it down, then bake for 15 mins. Remove the foil and bake for another 5-8 minutes until the pastry is pale golden and cooked. Remove the pastry from the oven and set to one side. Lower the oven heat to 180℃/160℃ fan/gas mark 4.
- While the pastry is baking, prepare the filling. In your Cooks Professional saucepan mix the cornflour, caster sugar, and lemon zest. Strain the lemon juice, and add to the saucepan gradually. In a jug, combine the orange juice with up to 200ml and strain into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thickened and smooth, making sure to stir constantly.
- When the mixture starts to bubble, remove from the heat and add in the smaller amount of butter, beating until it has melted. In a bowl, beat the whole egg and 3 egg yolks together – save the whites for the meringue – and stir into the pan, returning it to medium heat. Continue to stir vigorously for several minutes until the mixture thickens, and plops from the spoon. It will bubble, but won’t curdle. Remove from the heat and set to one side.
- Make the meringue. Use your Cooks Professional stand mixer to whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add half of the sugar a spoonful at a time. Make sure to whisk between each addition, being careful not to overbeat the mixture. Whisk in the cornflour, and then add the remaining sugar a spoonful at a time until smooth and thick.
- Reheat the lemon filling quickly, then pour it into the prepared pastry case. Spoon the meringue around the edges of the filling, then spread it so that it touches the pastry. This will help to anchor the meringue and prevent it from sliding. Avoid adding the meringue straight to the middle of the mixture, otherwise it may sink. Once you’ve added meringue to the edges, then you can pile the rest of it in the centre – make sure to spread it so that it touches the surface of the hot filling, then give it a swirl.
- Return the now complete pie to the oven for between 18-20 minutes until the meringue topping is crisp and slightly coloured. Remove from the oven, and allow the pie to sit in the tin for half an hour. Remove it from the tin and leave to rest for at least another half hour to an hour before slicing.
Lead image: AnaMOMarques via Getty Images.