Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lemon and Blackberry Meringue Pie

Ok so recently I may have been indulging in a little too much reality TV.

I mean I don't watch THAT much TV, but when I do, it usually revolves around cooking shows.

I'm sure it drives Mr B bonkers, but well Saturday nights filled with American reality shows about big factories or mighty structures don't really do it for me either.

For months I watched the ads for Great Australian Bake Off with anticipation and you know when it finally came on, I was not all that impressed. Isn't it always the way?

However, one evening I flicked the channel and something caught my eye. The contestants were all trying to make a lemon meringue pie from the same recipe, but the catch was that each recipe was missing a few bits and pieces. I was absolutely amazed at how different each and every one came out and that was when I decided I was going to have a go at making my very own Lemon Meringue Pie....with a twist!

I decided to make a Lemon and Blackberry Meringue Pie and I will be honest, I did make this in stages. I started making the tart shell on Sunday, made the lemon curd on Monday and on Tuesday I made the meringue, assembled and baked the tart.

I was concerned that I hadn't baked the meringue long enough and that my first attempt at making a tart shell would be a disaster, but I was excited to try my new pie dish and well the end result was that between Mum, Dad, Mr B and I we demolished the entire thing Tuesday was delicious and I just love the tart lemon filling paired with the sweet blackberry jam, the buttery tart shell and the fluffy meringue - YUM!

I used Smitten Kitchen's recipe for the Great Un-Shrinkable Tart Shell. This was my first time making a tart shell and I decided to try this recipe because it sounded so simple and didn't require the use of weights during baking. I was really pleased with the end result so I think I will definitely keep this as my go to recipe in the future.

Lemon and Blackberry Meringue Pie

To make the tart shell

1.5 cups plain flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
125g cold butter cut into small pieces
1 egg

Using a food processor, pulse the flour and sugar together.

Scatter the butter over the flour mixture and process until combined.

Add the egg and process until dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. You can leave in the fridge for up to 5 days at this stage which is great if you want to make the dough in advance.

Lightly grease a 9-inch tart pan. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface (or between two pieces of lightly greased baking paper) to roughly a 12-inch round. Gently place the dough into the pan and seal any cracks that have formed. Fold any overhang in to strengthen your sides. Pierce the crust all over with a fork.

Freeze the crust for at least 30 mins, preferably longer, before baking.

Pre-heat oven to 190C. Butter the shiny side of a piece of foil and place, buttered side down, tightly against the pie crust, ensuring that the whole surface is covered. As the crust has been frozen, you can bake it without weights - hooray! Place the tart pan on a baking tray and bake for 20-25 mins.

Remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake for a further 10 mins until firm and golden and allow to cool.

To make the Lemon Curd

1/2 cup cornflour
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1.25 cups water
2 tspns grated lemon rind
3 egg yolks
60g butter
1/2 cup blackberry jam

Combine the cornflour and caster sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.

Slowly stir in the lemon juice and water, continue to stir until smooth.

Continue to stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils and thickens. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to stir for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and working quickly, whisk in the lemon rind, egg yolks and butter. Keep whisking until butter is melted. Cover with cling wrap touching the surface to prevent a skin from forming and allow to cool to room temperature.

Spread the cooled tart base with blackberry jam and pour lemon curd directly over the top.

To make the Meringue

 3 egg whites
1/2 cup caster sugar

Pre-heat oven to 200C

Blend egg whites using an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add in the sugar, beating until dissolved and the egg whites form stiff peaks.

Use a fork to gently score the surface of the lemon curd, this will ensure your meringue sticks to it and doesn't slide off.

Spoon the meringue mixture on top of the lemon curd and use a spoon to form peaks.

Bake for 2-3 mins or until meringue starts to brown.

Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

Mrs B x

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