Individual lemon meringue pies

With a crunchy meringue coating, a rich lemon filling and a crisp pastry base, this outrageous dessert from Donal Skehan will make your guests weak at the knees. Makes 18-20 mini pies
By Donal Skehan
Individual lemon meringue pies
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 9
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes plus 15 minutes for resting
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the pies

  • 330 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 175 g cold butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing

For the lemon filling

  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 100 g cornflour
  • 120 ml lemon juice, or the juice of 2-3 lemons
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 lemons, zest
  • 60 g butter

For the meringue

  • 250 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 4 large egg whites

Method

1. For the the pastry: sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the caster sugar and combine.

2. Add the butter and using your fingertips, rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3. Add 4-6 tablespoons of water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together to form a ball. Take care not to overwork the pastry.

4. Wrap the dough in cling film and place it in the fridge to rest for at least 15 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and flour the muffin trays.

6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface into a rectangle about 3mm thick. Cut 9cm squares out of the pastry and place in the prepared muffin trays.

7. Pierce the bottoms with a fork and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 170C/150C fan/ gas 3.

8. For the filling: you can make the lemon filling whilst your pastry is resting in the fridge. Place the sugar, cornflour and 450ml of water in a large saucepan and stir until you have a smooth mixture.

9. Stir in the lemon juice, egg yolks and salt. Bring to the boil and keep stirring for 10-12 minutes. Then stir in the lemon zest and butter, allowing the butter to melt. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.

10. For the meringue:In a stand-alone mixer or using a hand-held electric mixer, whisk the icing sugar and egg whites together on high for 10 minutes until stiff glossy peaks form. Put the meringue mixture into a piping bag.

11. Top each pastry case with a little lemon filling and cover with a generous Mr Whippy-style swirl of meringue.

12. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the edges are browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before taking a bite.

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