- Serves: 6
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Prep Time: 45 minutes plus chilling pastry
- Effort: medium
- finely grated zest and juice of 3 lemons
- 40 g cornflour
- 300 ml water
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 60 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 200 g vanilla sugar
For the pastry:
- 200 g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 100 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 1/2 - 3 tbsp ice cold water
- beaten egg whites
- single cream, to serve
1. First make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Transfer to a food processor. Scatter the pieces of butter over the flour. Process for 20-30 seconds, then add the water, a tablespoonful at a time, with the machine still running. If the dough is still crumbly after a minute or two, add another tablespoon of water. The moment it coheres into a single ball, stop the machine and remove the dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.
3. Roll out the pastry thinly and use to line a 22-23cm loose-bottomed flan tin. Line with kitchen foil and weigh down with baking beans. Bake the pastry blind for 15 minutes, then remove the beans. Brush the pastry with beaten egg white, and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes more, until dry but not coloured. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
4. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/gas 4.
5. For the filling, put the lemon zest and juice in the top of a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over simmering water. Add the cornflour and whisk in with 2 tablespoons of the water until you have a smooth paste.
6. Bring the remaining water to the boil, add to the lemon mixture and keep whisking until the mixture is thick and bubbling.
7. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks, butter and 80g of the sugar. Leave to cool slightly while you make the meringue.
8. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Sprinkle with one-third of the remaining sugar, and whisk again until stiff and glossy. Fold in another third of the sugar with a large metal spoon and whisk again.
9. Spread the lemon mixture over the pastry. Pile the meringue on top and sprinkle it with the remaining sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes until crisp and lightly browned.
10. Allow to cool slightly, then turn out. Best served with thin cream.
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