The combination of tastes and textures – zesty crust, creamy lemon filling and airy meringue topping – makes this an enduring favourite.
|125 ml||icing sugar|
|2||eggs — yolks only, beaten|
|2 ml||vanilla — seeds|
|lemon — zest only|
|30 ml||milk — cold|
|salt — just a pinch|
|250 ml||castor sugar|
|lemon — zest and juice|
|200 ml||cream — double thick|
|300 g||castor sugar|
|4||eggs — white|
1 Pastry: Cream the butter, icing sugar, egg yolks, vanilla seeds and lemon zest together. Add the milk and combine well. Tip in the flour and salt and beat to form a dough. Shape into a thick disc and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
2 Preheat the oven to 180°C.
3 Filling: Beat the eggs and sugar together then add the lemon zest and juice and stir in the double cream. Cover and set aside.
4 Roll out the pastry and use it to line a 23 cm tart tin. Leave the excess pastry around the edges as this can be cut off when the pastry has been cooked. Line the pastry case with baking paper, fill with dried beans or rice and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking paper and beans or rice and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Trim off the excess pastry from the edge of the tart using a serrated knife.
5 Pour the filling mixture into the pastry case. Reduce the oven temperature to 160 °C and cook the pie for 30 minutes or until set with a slight wobble in the middle. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
6 Meringue Put the sugar and 60 ml (¼ c) water in a pan over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Once it has dissolved, bring to the boil. Using a pastry brush dipped in cold water, brush down the inside of the pan just above the level of the sugar syrup from time to time to prevent the sugar crystallising.
7 Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk until soft peaks form then steadily pour the sugar syrup in a thin stream into the egg whites, while whisking. Continue to whisk for 10 minutes until completely cold.
8 Pipe or spoon the meringue onto the tart. Brown with a blowtorch if you like.