Kyle’s Mum’s Lemon Meringue Pie

6

PORTIONS

Ingredients

Short Pastry Base

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 225g unsalted butter, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks

Foolproof Lemon Curd

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • pinch flaky sea salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • 150g unsalted butter, diced

To Cook and Serve

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 egg whites
  • 4 tbsp freeze-dried raspberries, lightly crushed
  • 1 cup soft whipped cream

 

Method

As a child I always enjoyed making this dish with my mum, long before I had any ambitions in the kitchen. So foolproof is this method of making curd that even the most inexperienced hands can achieve it. In the restaurant I don’t stray too far from that family recipe, sometimes using squeezed lemonade or yuzu lemons when in season.

 

Short Pastry Base

Preheat the oven to 150ºC. Grease a 28cm x 3cm-deep pie dish.

Place the flour, butter and sugars in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture has a coarse meal consistency. Add the whole egg and pulse again until the dough forms.

Turn out onto a floured bench and, with your hands, work quickly to bring the dough together. Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Once rested, roll out on a lightly floured bench to 4mm thickness, then carefully lay the pastry over the rolling pin and unfold into the pie dish. Push the pastry into the sides, then patch up any holes or cracks with the trimmings you have cut from levelling the excess pastry from the top edge. Refrigerate again for 30 minutes.

Once rested, line the inside of the pastry base with baking paper, weighted with rice or something similar, and blind-bake the pie shell for 20 minutes or so until it begins to turn golden around the top edge. Take out of the oven and remove the baking weights and paper.

Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl and, with a pastry brush, paint the pie shell with the yolks. Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.

 

Foolproof Lemon Curd

Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and zest in a medium-sized saucepan until well combined. Stir in the lemon juice and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk the water and cornflour until smooth, then add to the other ingredients in the saucepan. Place on a medium heat and whisk vigorously until hot and thickened. Once bubbling like a volcano, reduce the heat to low and cook out for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Taste and add a little extra lemon juice if it needs to be sharper.

Pour into the prepared tart shell and spread out evenly. Cool and refrigerate until required.

 

To Cook and Serve

Place the water and sugar in a small saucepan on high heat. Boil for 10 minutes until the water is reduced and the sugar has reached ‘soft-ball’ stage, 120ºC. You can test this using a candy thermometer, or you can drop some of the sugar mix into cold water – if the sugar is ready, it will form a soft, pliable ball.

When the sugar is ready, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks in a cake mixer, then pour in the sugar mix in a fine stream with the motor running. Whip continuously until the outside of the bowl feels cold, about 20 minutes.

Fold the freeze-dried raspberries through the meringue, then pipe onto the filling. Lightly blowtorch the meringue until golden brown.

Serve up thick wedges of pie with a dollop of whipped cream.

 

Wine match, Waipara Hills NV Equinox Late Harvest Riesling
Powerfully rich and weighty.

The hero in this dish is the lemon curd which will work beautifully with the Late Harvest Riesling. This wine is complex and decadent, boasting citrus, mandarin, honey and caramel characters which will be brightened by this sweet lemon dessert.


Credit: Depot: The Biography of a Restaurant by Al Brown. RRP $70, published by Random House, photography by Kieran Scott.

 


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