Gourmet Food Parlour’s Lemon Meringue Pie
For the pastry
200g flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp caster sugar
150g butter, diced
1 egg yolk
For the lemon curd
300g caster sugar
4 large egg yolks
grated zest of 3 lemons and juice of 3 lemons
60g butter, diced
For the meringue topping
4 large egg whites
250g caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Starting with the pastry, rub the flour and butter together in a bowl with your fingertips until the mixture resembles large breadcrumbs.
Mix in the caster sugar, egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of ice-cold water until the mixture comes together. Press it into a ball, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Dust a work surface with a little flour and roll out the pastry to 3mm in thickness and large enough to fit a 20cm diameter, 4cm deep tart tin with a removable base. Line the tin with the pastry and press it into the sides before trimming the edges.
Prick the base with a fork all over and line with foil, shiny side down, and fill with baking beans. Place the pastry shell in the oven to blind bake for about 15 minutes until the pastry is a light golden brown.
Remove the tart from the oven, lift out the beans and foil and allow it to cool on a wire rack.
While the dough is cooling, start preparing the lemon curd filling. Place the sugar, cornflour, and zest and 450ml of cold water in a large saucepan and whisk together.
Place the saucepan over a medium heat and bring the mixture slowly to the boil, stirring continuously until thickened. When it is thick, stir through the butter, then remove the pan from the heat. Beat in the egg yolks and mix thoroughly, then add in the strained lemon juice.
To make the meringue, put the egg whites and pinch of salt in a food mixer or use an electric handheld mixer in a bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. Add a little sugar at intervals then add the remaining sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until just combined and it looks glossy.
Place the cooled pastry shell in its tart tin on a baking sheet. Fill with the lemon curd and then spoon the meringue mix on top, piling it high and then using a palette knife to spread it evenly over the top. Sprinkle a little sugar on top. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the meringue is just set and lightly golden.
Leave to cool before transferring to a cake stand. Serve straight to the table with whipped cream.
To make it extra special, serve your pie on Gourmet Food Parlour’s own cake stand, €30, from its range of crockery designed by managing director Lorraine Heskin and the team in GFP. The bespoke set is inspired by original drawings around the inception of the restaurant chain 13 years ago. The hand-painted collection was manufactured by Shannonbridge Pottery, a family-run business in Co Offaly. The suite of crockery can be purchased separately online or in any of the restaurants. Prices range from €10-€30, gourmetfoodparlour.com.
Photographs by Conor McCabe Photography.
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