Food with JP Passion: Lemon Meringue Pie

By JP Kennedy

John Paul Kennedy is a self-taught cook and an avid fan of collecting cookery books with a passion for good old-fashioned home cooking. his passion for proper family cooking stems from his TWO Grandmothers who were both excellent cooks, one of whom was a trained chef. JP promises to bring us plenty of family-inspired recipes and tasty treats while showing us how to get the basics right.

This is the final instalment in my series of meringue themed desserts and one that is a real showstopper.

This recipe not only gives you an opportunity to practice and perfect your meringue making skills but it also gives you a change to practice making pastry and a home-made lemon curd!

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I’ve made this a few times in recent weeks and it always goes down a storm after the Sunday roast. If you are nervous about making pastry, don’t be; you can lash all the ingredients into a processor and let it do all the work.

Of course, if you are stuck for time you can buy good quality ready-made pastry and Lemon curd. I would encourage you to make them as this recipe is really about three components; made separately and then it’s just a case of building and popping into the oven.

I would say this pie is best served on the day it’s baked and will feed eight people comfortably.

Ingredients:

Lemon curd filling

  • Grated zest and juice of two lemons
  • 90g caster sugar or golden castor sugar (whichever you have)
  • 80g diced cold butter
  • 3 egg yolks and one full egg
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour

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Pastry

  • 250g plain flour
  • 170g unsalted chilled butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 40g castor sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Meringue

  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • 180g castor sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour

Method:

1. Make the pastry first. Pop all the ingredients into a food processor or free standing mixer and combine until it forms a dough. Wrap in cling film and pop into the fridge for 30 minutes.

2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it together until nice and smooth/ Roll out the pastry to line a 23cm diameter loose base fluted flan tin. Trim the excess pastry around the edges and prick the base with a fork. Line with a sheet of tinfoil and then chill back in the fridge for an hour.

3. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees / gas mark 4.

4. Take your pastry out of the fridge and pour baking beans if you have them or rice – whichever you have and bake blind for 15 minutes, then allow to cool.

5. To make the filling, in a medium size pan and on a medium heat, mix together the juice and zest of two lemons, castor sugar and cornflour and stir constantly until nice and thick. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter. Beat the eggs yolks and one egg add to the mixture and return to the heat and stir vigorously until the mixture thickens – this will take a few minutes. Remove from the heat set aside while you make the meringue.

6. Place the egg whites into a clean dry bowl and use an electric mixer to whisk until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar a tablespoon at a time; whisking constantly until stiff and shiny. Sprinkle in the cornflour and gently fold through.

7. Pour the lemon curd filling into the pastry base and immediately spread spoonfuls of the meringue on top just about touching the sides of the pie. Use a knife to swirl the meringue to form peaks and bake for 20 minutes until the meringue is crisp and slightly browned.

8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving.

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Contact JP On:

Twitter: @JPKCooking
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Instagram: jpkennedy.kennedy

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