Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lemon Meringue Pie with Vanilla Bean Shortcrust

Last week my sister, Jessica, had an operation to get four wisdom teeth removed.  So for the past week, there she sat in bed, propped up by pillows, nursing her puffy cheeks.  Now that she's feeling better, she asked me for a lemon meringue tart and I was happy to give it a go. 

There were only two complications: I'd never made one before; and the added pressure was that she was impaitent.  And may I add, that my sister has absolutely no idea about cooking.  For example, when I was still rubbing butter into the shortcrust pastry, she came into the kitchen to ask whether I had "nearly finished yet." Yeah, Jess.  After 5 minutes of work, I'm done.  It actually took me 2 hours... but the result was astonishing.  The shortcrust pastry was definitely the highlight for me.  It had vanilla bean seeds throughout and was light and crisp.  Being a big fan of lemon curd, Jess loved it all.  Her only complaint was that there wasn't enough!  Next time, instead of individual tarts, I'll make it in a deep set tin for her.  Also, I only dolloped the lemon curd with a small amount of meringue; but of course, you can add more if you so desire.  Makes 8 individual tarts, or 1 normal size tart.

Ingredients for Vanilla Bean Shortcrust Pastry
1 1/2 cup plain flour
2 tbsp icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, chopped
1/4 cup iced water
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Ingredients for Lemon Curd Filling
1/4 cup cornflour
1/4 cup plain flour
1 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup lemon juice (185mL)
3 tsp lemon zest, grated
40g unsalted butter, chopped
6 egg yolks

Ingredients for Meringue Topping
6 egg whites
1 1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp cornflour

Method
Sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl.  Use fingertips to rub the butter into flour until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Add almost all water and mix with a flat-bladed knife.  Add vanilla bean paste and stir through.  Add more water if dough is too dry.  Turn onto a large piece of cling wrap (cling film).  Place another layer of cling film, the same size as the first, on top of the dough.  Roll out the dough, in between the cling film to prevent sticking, until you have a disc shape large enough to fit your size pastry tin.  Line pastry dish with pastry, trim edges and refridgerate for 20 - 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan-forced). 

Line the pastry with a sheet of baking paper and spread baking beads out over paper.  Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, then remove paper and beads.  Bake for a further 5 - 10 minutes, or until the pastry is lightly golden.  Leave to cool. 

To make the lemon curd filling, put the flours and sugar in a saucepan.  Whisk in the lemon juice, zest and water.  Whisk continually over medium until the mixture boils and thickens.  (Ensure you are whisking, not just stirring.) Reduce the heat and cook for 1 minutes, then whisk in the butter and egg yolks, one at a time.  Pour into to cooled pastry tart and leave to cool completely.

To make the meringue topping, preheat hte oven to 220 degrees (fan-forced).  Beat the egg whites in a clean dry bowl using electric beaters, until soft peaks form.  Add extra sugar gradually, beating constantly until the meringue is thick and glossy.  Beat in cornflour.  Pour meringue topping on top of lemon curd filling.  Shape peaks or soft swirls, as you desire.  Bake for 5 - 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Serve hot or cold.

43 comments:

  1. Mmmmmmmmmm. That's all that I have to say about that.

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  2. J'adore la tarte au citron meringuée, c'Est un des desserts que je préfère. Elle a l'air super bonne cette tartelette!

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  3. That is absolutely beautiful, Brittany! I am so glad to hear your sister did okay and is feeling better! How lucky is she to have you to bake her sweets?!

    xx,
    Tammy

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  4. Lemon meringue is one of my very favorite pies...your pie looks delicious...I hope that your sister is feeling better real soon...You are a very kind and dear sister...Blessings, Catherine

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  5. So lovely! Your curd set so perfectly, the last time I made the curd, it was quite runny and won't set, I must try one more time...thanks for sharing your recipe:)

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  6. You are a delight, my dear, and I love the fact that you have the patience for cooking, trying new recipes, doing things the old-fashioned way. Tell your sister that she is very lucky!

    That tart is divine!

    Bises,
    Genie

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  7. How sweet you are to make this for her! I bet it was delectable! It looks dreamy!

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  8. Je craque littéralement... la tarte au citron est mon dessert préféré!! À tester sans faute.

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  9. You sound like a great sister to have! I LOVE lemon meringue! This looks incredible : )

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  10. YUMMY! I love lemon meringue pie, your tart version looks so perfect and divine.

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  11. Very impressive tart...you even made your own lemon curd. Wow!

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  12. That looks so profesh. Lucky Jess, hope she is feeling better now. I empathise with her having her wisdom teeth out, I had mine out all in one go too, and lived off mashed potato with gravy for a week lol

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  13. This is really impressive... I admire your patience. :)

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  14. I have not made lemon meringue pie for years, perhaps it is time to think about it again this looks so delicious. Diane

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  15. So pretty! I made a lime meringue pie this week. They say great minds eh?

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  16. I've never made a lemon meringue pie before either and I am ALWAYS scared when working with pastry crust! I love this vanilla bean version and will definitely be giving in a try! This all turned out so wonderfully!

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  17. Mmm I love curd and meringue combinations, but the vanilla bean crust must put this over the top in deliciousness. What a wonderful pie :).

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  18. Hello again Brittany, just want to inform you that I have an award in my blog for you to pick up. Hope you like it.

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  19. This is fantastic! Beautiful and delicious...

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  20. Beautiful blog! It’s a delight to read and the pictures are refreshing. Taking note of your recipes from now on and hopefully learn from them. Best regards!

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  21. Good to hear your sis is feeling better! I must say, this lemon meringue pie looks amazing! Just perfect! I love the individual size :)

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  22. Hope your sister is in perfect health now. You are a very sweet and caring sister
    Love the look of your meringue pie, made me hungry :).

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  23. I think Lemon meringue pi is the best!! and this look Brittan y absolutely tempting, delicious! gloria
    I think is perfect!
    Hope your sister is OK! when this tart sure!! (LOL)

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  24. What a great sister! To have lemon meringue tarts for getting over surgery is a lovely way to convalesce! The tarts look yummy!

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  25. Your sister certainly knows when to challenge your weak heart strings my dear ;o)

    Hope she's feeling better with a great big bite of that scrumptious pie.

    Ciao for now,
    Claudia

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  26. i just LOVE lemony desserts and this one sounds amazing! and so sweet of you to make it for you sister : )

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  27. This is my favorite dessert!!! Oh this is so yummy! ^^

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  28. Wow this looks amazing, I'm not surprised your sister wanted more. I would too! Thanks for the recipe - bookmarking now.

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  29. I sympathize with your sis. I remember getting mine out. Very funny that she thought it might be ready so soon...lol My husband does that all the time. They just don't get it...lol

    This is one of my all-time-favorite pies, but I have never tried to make it myself. Yours looks amazing:)

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  30. You are such a thoughtful sister - and for first time or 100th time, these tarts look devine. I am a fan of lemon curd as well :)

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  31. i just made my first batch of lemon curd recently and i love it and i'm sure i might just be like jess, will never get enough of the tarts

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  32. It looks gorgeous - your sister is very lucky to have you to bake for her! Best wishes for a speedy recovery, teeth out must be horrible.

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  33. You're such a good sister. Looks like your first time with this tart was a smashing success. I can't imagine that it can get any better or tastier than that.

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  34. This looks amazing. I especially love the presentation. A refreshing change from the way this pie is usually topped in fluffy little peaks. I cannot wait to try it, the shortbread crust alone has lured me in :) Thanks for visiting and following my blog. Looking fwd to reading more of your posts here !

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  35. Mmmmmm lemon curd. This dessert would help heal anybody, I believe!
    ~found you through Sweets for a Saturday

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  36. This looks delish. Perfect for a sore mouth.

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  37. This looks so incredibly good...I can almost taste it :)

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  38. looks really yummy! I am gong to try this.

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  39. Hehe, the thing about making it in a big tin is that you can just sit there and eat away at it....30 mins later and there's two bites left!

    Great recipe by the way, it looks amazing :)

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  40. Looks delicious and impressive. I made some very easy lemon mini tarts, but no meringue...like I said, impressive!

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  41. your lemon meringue looks great!! yum yum. cute and tasty!

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