Lemon Merengue Pie
For the pastry: 150g flour; 65g cold butter; 1 egg; 35g sugar; ½ tbsp yeast; half lemon grated zest.
For the filling: 2 eggs; 150g sugar; 2 lemon grated zest; lemon juice from 2 lemons; 75 g butter.
For the meringue: 100g egg whites; 200g sugar; 3 tbsp water
For the shortcrust pastry, put the flour on a clean work surface with the yeast, the cold butter and the sugar. Using your hands, work the cubes of butter into the flour and sugar by rubbing your thumbs against your fingers until you get a fine, crumbly mixture. Try to do this as quickly as possible to prevent the dough becoming warm. Use a fork to form a well in centre and break eggs into well. Add the lemon zest. Start to gently work everything together till you have a ball of dough. Flour it lightly and wrap it in cling film and put it into the fridge to rest for at least half an hour.
Take the pastry out of the fridge, tip it onto a work surface and roll out. Use the rolling pin to lift the pastry up and transfer it to line a 23cm tin and trim the excess pastry.
Bake the shortcrust pastry in the oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes. Set aside.
While the pastry bakes, prepare the filling. For the lemon cream mix together the eggs and sugar in a pan, then add the lemon zest, stir in the lemon juice gradually and add 75g butter. Let it boil a “Bagnomaria”* until it gets dense enough.
Set aside and let it cool down while you make the meringue.
*For this technique you need 2 pots: a bigger one, filled halfway with water, and a smaller one with the lemon cream inside. This way the water in the larger pot surrounds the small pot and gently releases the heat for a better control on the result.
Use high heat at the beginning and then, when the water starts boiling, turn it down to medium/low and add the pot with lemon cream ingredients. Stir until it gets dense.
For your meringue put 100g egg whites in a large bowl and whisk to firm peaks. Mix 200g sugar and 3 tbsp water and bring to a boil on medium heat, whisking constantly for about 20 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture begins to thicken. Pour it into the egg whites, still mixing until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
Spread the lemon cream over the shortcrust pastry, spread the meringue all over the lemon cream, use the back of a spoon to create peaks all over the meringue.
Use a blowtorch to caramelize the meringue until it is golden brown.
If you want to see the video with the precedure just click here.