Friday, 8 February 2013

Bake Me: Lemon Meringue Pie

Mary Berry’s Lemon Meringue Pie.

I watched the Great Comic Relief bake off the other week and watch as several celebrities battled Mary Berry’s lemon meringue pie recipe. They all did well making the recipe and I thought maybe I should bake more!
Lemon meringue pie is my favourite. I love it so much and the idea of being able to make it was really fun. So I printed off Mary’s recipe from the GoodFood website and bought my ingredients, all of which was super easy to find.
I began with the pastry. I have made pastry before and always find when it comes to putting in the pie tin that I am useless. My sister taught me that if you balance the pastry on your rolling pin to pick it up rather than trying to unsuccessful pry it off the work surface its easier.  The pastry came together in my beautiful old Kenwood (thanks mum) although I did have to add a bit more flour as it was too sticky. Once in a ball the recipe said to roll it out , put it in the pie dish and cool and I managed it! Woo. I was so chuffed when it was not all stuck to the table that I did a small celebratory dance in my kitchen.  Whilst the pie dish was in the fridge I got to work on the lemon curd.

Some of my pastry
 The lemon curd  needed the zest and juice of 6 lemons mixed with cornflour  to from a syrup like texture. Then this mixture was mixed into 450ml of boiling water in a saucepan. It thickened up almost immediately and looked an awful lot like Vaseline (gross). I removed this off the pan and separated 6 eggs to use the yolks. I watched a youtube video once to teach me how to do this. Its actually easier than you think. I whisked the egg yolks with caster sugar and then poured them into the pan with the Vaseline lemon curd mixture and whisked over a high heat. What resulted was a pan of orange thick syrup (it does not look so orange in the picture but it was honest). I was tempted to Google why it wasn’t yellow but instead I left it alone, in hindsight this was a good thing.

It was orange!
 Next I blind baked the pie dish. I forgot to put grease proof paper underneath the beans but it didn’t make a big difference. The pie bottom just had a few dents in it! Once finished I poured the orange coloured curd into the dish.
Next came the meringue part of the recipe. I was pretty nervous and screwed up the first time but not following what Mary’s recipe stated. I added my sugar too early and end up with meringue that was gooey and was definitely not forming peaks. So I started again after messily binning all the failed meringue and washing a drying up my bowl I patiently made sure the egg whites formed soft peaks and then incrementally added the caster sugar and voila I had a meringue. Then I added a tsp. of cornflour as per Marys instructions and re whisked. The meringue was glossy and I was super pleased with it. With a few large dollops I covered the curd and then attempted to created swirls on top with a fork. They looked ok but they weren’t a patch on Mary’s.
 After 20 mins in my temperamental oven resulted in a slightly golden brown meringue. I nervously removed it from the oven   I impatiently waited for the pie to cool. I removed the pie time which was pretty scary and was worried  I would do a Claudia Winkleman and drop it but thankfully it survived.  I cut it open and revealed tell-tale yellow curd mixture and a crispy and fluffy meringue. Needless to say I am pretty chuffed with the result. It tasted delicious and hopefully I can recreate it another time for family and friends.
The Finished Product
I think this bake me project is going to be super enjoyable if it keeps up like this. As it was a comic relief programme that inspired me to start it I have decided to order the apron and oven gloves designed for the bake off  to donate to Comic Relief (when they are back in stock)
 Any suggestions for the next bake me project?

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