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When life gives you lemons... make lemon meringue pie!
To go back of the origin of this scrumptious dessert, some history of its main components seemed only appropriate. Lemons, and other citrus fruits, have been known to be popular in cooking since the Middle Ages, whereas meringue first appeared in a French cookbook in 1692.
Lemon meringue pie as we know it today is believed to have evolved in America during the 19th century...
Before starting this Lemon Meringue Pie, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
Roll out the sweet shortcrust pastry.
Wrap it gently around the rolling pin...
... and line the pastry in a ceramic tourtière dish or a deep tart ring (greased).
Remove the pastry excess.
Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on the pastry...
... and place baking beans on top.
Blind bake the pastry shell.
Zest the lemons over the sugar.
Squeeze the lemons.
In a saucepan, combine the zest, lemon juice, caster sugar...
... and the whole eggs.
Cook over low heat...
... while stirring with a whisk.
Do not bring to a boil. The preparation should gradually thicken and form a smooth cream. Watch the heat intensity closely, as the preparation should not turn into scrambled eggs.
When nearly done, add the butter cut into cubes.
When the pastry shell is cooked, remove from the oven...
... and remove the baking beans and greaseproof paper.
Pour the lemon preparation into the pastry shell.
Spread evenly with a spatula.
Set the oven to 130°C (gas 1) for about 15 minutes. When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Whip up the egg whites until stiff.
Add the caster sugar and continue whisking on high speed for at least 5 minutes.
When the meringue is ready, ...
... scoop into a piping bag fitted with a large fluted nozzle.
Pipe swirls of meringue on top of the lemon preparation. The swirls should be piped tightly, next to one another.
Start on the outer edge then work inwards, so that the meringue swirls cover the whole surface of the tart.
If you used a tart ring to make the lemon tart, gently remove the ring first...
... then pipe the meringue on the surface (as described above).
Brown the meringue in a hot oven, under a hot grill or using a blow torch. Set aside in the fridge until ready to serve.
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