Day 23: Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie
Day Twenty-Three (12.06.2012)
Storage: Refrigerator (3-4 days) or freezer (2 months in air-tight container)
Yield: 1 x large (family-sized) pie + 6 x mini (muffin, 1/2 cup) pies
Recipe Source: Super Food Ideas magazine (September 2011, p. 88)

After making delicious lemon curd yesterday, today I made a Lemon Meringue Pie - not only to try out the curd in a recipe, but to also use some of the leftover egg whites (the remainder I froze).  There are a few "resting" periods in making the pie base, so allow approximately 1 1/2 - 2 hours before you want to serve.
Firstly you will want to make the pie base: mix the flour, almond meal, icing sugar and butter with a knife, then with fingertips rub together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Separate the eggs, adding the yolks and the cold (refrigerator-temperature) water and mix with a knife, bringing the dough together into a ball with your hands. Knead once or twice on a floured surface until smooth, shaping into a ball and flattening slightly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Roll out pastry between sheets of baking paper until size of pie dish (rub spare butter around dish to grease). Place pastry into dish, trimming sides (I used the leftover pastry to make a few mini pies using a muffin tray). Place back into refrigerator for another 15 minutes.
Cover pastry with a sheet of baking paper, and spread uncooked rice on top to weigh paper down. Bake pie base for 10 minutes at 180 degrees celsius, then remove rice and baking paper and cook for another 5 - 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Cool base while you prepare the meringue ...
Making the meringue is very easy: beat the egg whites on your mixer's highest setting, until high stiff peaks, then add the sugar a tablespoon at a time and beating well in between. This can take some time, depending on the number of egg whites you use (6-8). So meanwhile, spoon the lemon curd into the pie base and heat in the oven at 160 degrees celsius for 5 minutes or so to warm up. By then the meringue mixture should be ready: it will become very shiny and thick and will have stiff peaks (lifting spoon through makes stiff peaks). Spoon on top of curd, covering pie and rotate the spoon in places, forming little peaks. Bake in 160 degrees celsius oven for 5 - 10 minutes. Serve. Store in the refrigerator, covered, or you can freeze in an air-tight container once  it has cooled for up to 2 months. This recipe made 1 x family-sized pie and 6 x muffin-sized (1/2 cup) mini pies.
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/3 cup icing sugar
175g butter, cold, chopped
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons refrigerated (cold) water
2 cups lemon curd
8 egg whites
2 cups castor sugar
The recipe for making your own Lemon Meringue Pie like this is based on the recipe in the September 2011 issue of Super Food Ideas magazine.
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