Lemon meringue pie

It’s ages since I made a lemon meringue pie… in fact I can’t remember when it was… I think we had friends for a meal and i thought it would be a quick and easy thing to do… so were they foreign friends, was I trying t show a typically British desert? Possibly…

Mum often made lemon meringue pie at home – not as anything special, just as one of the different things we had as pudding after our lunch. Our main meal was always at lunchtime, in the evening, after school it would be beans or cheese or something else on toast, or crumpets, just a little something. Other lunch times pudding were fruit pies, sponge puddings, tinned fruit and custard, fruit crumbles, all made by mum.

It seems funny now that I made something ‘special’ which at home as a child was just an ordinary every day dish, albeit a delicious one. Mum made the best pastry, crisp and crumbly but firm enough to contain the filling which was very sharp and lemony and not solid but flowed gently like a very thick custard. The meringue was soft and chewy inside but crips and dark brown, the sugar in it caramelising. I think it was the contrast of textures, pasty, filling, meringue, and the sweet and sharp of the lemon and the meringue which made it such a favourite.

I think this may have been mum’s recipe:

Lemon Meringue Pie

  • 4 oz. Be-Ro Short Pastry
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 8 oz. caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • ¼ pint boiling water
  • 1 oz. cornflour
  1. Line a 17 inch pie dish with pastry and bake blind at 190ºC, 375ºF, Gas Mark 5.
  2. put egg yolks, 4 oz. sugar, lemon juice and zest, boiling water in a pan, and blend stirring like fury
  3. mix cornflour with a little cold water, add to the lemon mixture, bring to the boil and pour into the baked flan case
  4. Whisk egg whites stiffly and gradually beat in remaining sugar; spread evenly over the lemon filling, and bake at 150ºC, 300ºF, Gas Mark 2, for about 25 minutes until crisp and pale golden brown


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