Lemon Meringue Pie


250 g plain flour , plus extra for dusting
50 g icing sugar
125 g good-quality unsalted cold butter , cut into small cubes
1 lemon, zest
1 large free-range egg , beaten
a splash of milk
23cm flan tin
Sieve your flour and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl. work the cubes of butter into the flour and sugar. Add the lemon zest and mix again.
Add the egg and milk to the mixture and gently work it together using your hands until you have a ball of dough.
Put it into the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out your pastry to 0.5cm thick. Ease the pastry into the tin. Trim off any excess by running a knife along the top of the pastry case, then prick the base of the case all over with a fork and pop it into the freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
Bake blind for 10 minutes in your preheated oven. remove the baking beans, then return the case to the oven to cook for a further 10 minutes until it’s firm and almost biscuit-like. Leave to cool.
3 lemons, zest and juice
30g cornflour
100g golden caster sugar
1 Orange
85g butter
3 free-range egg yolks plus 1 egg
Mix the cornflour, sugar and lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Strain and stir in the lemon juice gradually. Make orange juice up to 200ml/7fl oz with water and strain into the pan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Once the mixture bubbles, remove from the heat and beat in the butter until melted. Beat the egg yolks (save white for meringue) and whole egg together, stir into the pan and return to a medium heat. Keep stirring vigorously for a few minutes, until the mixture thickens and plops from the spoon. (It will bubble, but doesn’t curdle.) Take off the heat and set aside while you make the meringue
4 egg whites, room temperature
200g golden caster sugar
2 level tsp cornflour
Put the egg whites in a large bowl. Whisk to soft peaks, then add half the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking between each addition without overbeating. Whisk in the cornflour, then add the rest of the sugar as before until smooth and thick. Quickly reheat the filling and pour it into the pastry case. Immediately put meringue around the edge of the filling (if you start in the middle the meringue may sink). Pile the rest into the centre, spreading so it touches the surface of the hot filling (and starts to cook). Return to the oven for 18-20 mins until the meringue is crisp and slightly coloured.

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