Lemon Meringue Pie

Call it retro, old fashioned, whatever you like, but lemon meringue pie is easy and quick to make and hits all the right spots between sweet and tangy.

The recipe makes one large pie if you are using a loose-bottomed cake tin or you can split it between two small pie dishes so that you have one to take to the neighbours

For the biscuit base:

300g digestive biscuits (or any other dry biscuit)

170g butter, melted

Break up the biscuits, add them to a plastic bag and smash them to smithereens.

Melt the butter in the microwave oven and mix the crumbed biscuits into it.

Transfer the mixture to your pie tin/s and press firmly to evenly coat the bottom and about 4cm up the sides.

Place the biscuit base into the refrigerator so that it can cool down completely and set.

For the filling:

2 tins of condensed milk

250ml lemon juice

the yolks of 6 eggs

Decant the condensed milk into a mixing bowl.

Add a small splash of the lemon juice and mix it into the condensed milk with a spatula or spoon. Keep adding and mixing until all the lemon juice is incorporated and you have a smooth mixture. If you add all the lemon juice at once, keep mixing, it will eventually come together.

Give the yolks a mix with a fork so that they break up and add them to the mixture, once again stirring until incorporated.

Take your biscuit base from the refrigerator and pour the condensed milk mixture into the base.

For the meringue:

Preheat your oven to 180℃.

Now, when you make the meringue with six egg whites you will have a very large quantity. You have two options: make the full recipe and save half of it in the refrigerator for tomorrow evening’s sago and meringue pudding or half the recipe; i.e. use only three egg whites and half the quantity sugar.

6 egg whites (or 3 if you decide to go half)

1ml cream of tartar, this stays the same

250g caster sugar (or 125g if you go half)

Add the egg whites and cream of tartar to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

Turn the mixer onto a low speed so that the whites froth up.

Once they are frothy, turn the mixer to medium speed and beat the whites until they only just start forming soft peaks.

Keep the mixer running and add one teaspoon of sugar. Wait for 20 – 30 seconds before adding the next teaspoon of sugar. This is important as you want to incorporate every grain of sugar into the whites before adding more sugar.

Once you have incorporated about half the sugar, you may add two teaspoons of sugar every 30 seconds, as the meringue mixture should now be stable. Put on your favourite record and breathe while attempting this as it is the only way of achieving a stable, glossy meringue that will hold its peaks.

Once all the sugar has been incorporated you should be left with a mixture that forms a stiff peak and has a beautiful sheen to it.

Scoop the meringue into a piping bag and decorate your pie or simply heap the meringue onto the pie to cover the entire surface.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Take the pie from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving.

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