Friday, September 13

Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

As you might have seen, the Great British Bake Off theme this week was tarts & pies.
I'm not going to lie on this one, pastry is definitely not my strength.
Even though making your own is good fun, I'm not ashamed to say that the pre made packs are usually a frequent flyer in my fridge.
But today I sucked up my pride, brandished my spatula, and got stuck in to some pastry prepping practise.



My mother and I are very similar in our tastes. Inevitably every restaurant that we visit ends up with us ordering the exact same meals and craving identical delicious nibbles.
I gave her a quick bell at work to declare that the pastry making skills were about to commence, but I had no idea as to what on earth I was going to create.
I swear the hardest part of baking is in fact choosing a recipe to begin with!


After a couple of Q&A's, we decided that a little 'nibble' would be better for our thighs than one huge tart or pie. Since we share a profound love for lemon curd (which is incredible on toast by the way), it wasn't long before I was whisking up meringues and zesting the lemons.


A sweet shortcrust mini tart, filled to the brim with a zesty, creamy lemon curd, and finally topped with a golden swirl of meringue.
A light, flavoursome mouthful which melts in your mouth with the crumbly pastry shell.

No soggy bottoms here ladies & gentlemen!



These 'Mini Lemon Meringue Pies' do take a while to make as you have to make each part in stages, but the flavours are worth it & you could always make the pastry in the morning and finish in the evening if short of time.

To make your own, you will need:


(For the flaky single crust pastry):

- 200g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp caster sugar
- 105g very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

(For the lemon curd filling):
- 185g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp corn flour
- Pinch of salt
- Finely grated zest of two lemons
- 4 large egg yolks, beaten
- 80ml of lemon juice, strained
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter

(For the meringue):
- 175g caster sugar
- 3 egg whites


To make your pastry, stir together the flour, salt and sugar and add to a food processor. (If not, use your hands, but it might get a tad messy!)



Sprinkle the butter over the top and pulse for a few seconds until the butter is slightly broken up in the flour but still visible.



Pour the water evenly over the flour mixture.



And then pulse (or mix), until the mixture starts to come together.





Flatten the dough into a fat disc and wrap up tightly in cling film.


Pop the dough into the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to one day, it can even just chill in the freezer for up to a month if you're truly short on time.

When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 190C/170 fan, take the dough out of the fridge and butter two mini muffin tins.
Roll out the dough to about 2-3mm thick on a floured work surface.



Using either a circular or shaped cutter about 2 1/2 inches wide, cut out enough shapes for each case and gently press inside.



Prick the bottoms of the shells with a fork and slide into the oven until golden brown, around 12 minutes.


Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then empty onto a baking sheet.

For the curd/ meringue steps the best decision is to have all of the ingredients weighed out and ready to use as there is no time to do so once you get cracka-lacking!





Once all of the ingredients are weighed, collected and juiced, whisk together the sugar, cornflour and salt in a saucepan. Add in the lemon zest and water and bring to the boil on a medium-high heat, stirring constantly as it will begin to thicken.

In the bowl with the beaten egg yolks in, pour in a little bit of the hot sugar mixture and whisk together.
Then pour the yolks into the saucepan and whisk to combine.



Bring to a simmer over a medium-low heat, still whisking constantly.
Pour in the lemon juice.


Then add in the butter, (still) whisking constantly.


After a few seconds the curd should be starting to become quite thick.


Using a tea spoon, fill each golden shell with lemon curd and slide into the oven to keep warm.
(BE CAREFUL: The shells shouldn't be kept in the oven like this for much longer than five minutes whilst you make the meringue. This is why pre measuring the ingredients and having them ready to go is vital!)


Whilst the shells are kept warm, whip the egg whites together on a high speed until frothy and then slowly add in the caster sugar, a desert spoonful at a time. The meringue should be thick and glossy and the peaks just curling at the ends.



Either by using a plain nossled piping bag or with a spoon, cover each mini pies with a delicious crown of meringue.



Slide these into the oven for a further 5-8 minutes until the meringue is golden brown. Let the pies cool completely, sprinkle with a light dusting of icing sugar and then you are ready to roll!

(Plus- There is plenty of lemon curd left to smother on piping hot toast! SCORE!)




Light, a guilt free mini nibble, and a concoction of different textures. 
Crisp, buttery pastry; creamy but zingy lemon curd, and a fluffy meringue.



There is another reason why we chose to make them mini, it means that you can keep on going back for more... and more... and more!


They definitely received both my mother and I's seal of approval!

*Oh and also the curd on toast for breakfast the next morning was pure, home made bliss!*
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16 comments

  1. Your pies look lovely, I've just started watching the Great British Bake-Off this series for the first time and I love it! In fact I'm literally about to see the most recent episode now!xx

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    1. Oh Paprika you've only just started watching?! Seriously go through every series, every episode is priceless!! xx

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  2. Oh you sweet angel! Thanks Em...I've been looking for the perfect lemon meringue recipe and you've given it to me!

    p.s. you're totally rocking the photography!

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    1. I do try to please! Glad to have been of some culinary help Em :) xx

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  3. Heavenly! You made these from scratch, sooo admirable!

    REAlity Bites

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    1. Brave/lucky is more of the term that I would use! x

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  4. I agree, lemon curd on toast is delish!

    Tara

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  5. So cute hun!

    I'm such a huge meringue fan...especially the soft, squidgy kind. I really want to try one of these! I bet they're a good palate cleanser.

    Cx
    Cocktails and Caroline

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    1. Exactly that, perfect for just after a heavy meal as they are light and refreshing. Meringue is the bomb isn't it?! x

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  6. Those look amazing Emily! I've never ventured into pies, must say the soggy bottom seems quite daunting, but I definitely need to dip my toes in it sometime.

    Teffy Xx

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    1. I'm not going to lie Teffy, I was ridiculously scared of a soggy bottom... Just go for it! Might as well give it a go :) x

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  7. Mmm, these sound amazing! I've always intended to make a lemon meringue pie but haven't ever got round to it… I love the idea of these though. x

    www.cooking-in-cashmere.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks Emma, they are a bit of a kafuffle but well worth the effort! x

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  8. wowowowow, these are the cutest meringue pies ever, ive never seen a mini pie that looks quite like this!
    and check out that non soggy bottom ;) x

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    1. Haha thanks Emine! They did turn out a little bit better than I thought they would! x

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