(kenfrog, edited and modified from cookbook)

A nice, light, fragrant summer pie. It may seem difficult with its two layered filling, but it’s really easy. Unlike many other recipes (custard for example…or some cakes)  in which the egg yolks are the main star and the whites are confined to am eternity in a tuppaware in the fridge, this pie uses the yolk and white of the whole egg. Convenient.

Once you’ve made it once, you can reduce the sugar each time you make it until you find the right level…then you can make it for breakfast.

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makes 1 large 25 cm pie…multiply as led.

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 110 g plain flour (use 1/4 whole wheat)
  • pinch salt
  • 25 g butter, at room temperature
  • 25 g lard, at room temperature (or just use 5o grams of butter in all.)
  • water

For the filling:

  • grated zest and juice 2 large lemons
  • 3 level tablespoons cornstarch
  • 40 g golden caster sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 40 g butter
  • 275 ml of water

For the meringue:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 100g golden caster sugar

Pre-heat the oven to (190°C).

Start by making the pastry: first sieve the flour and a pinch of salt into a large bowl, holding the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing. Then add the butter and lard, cut into smallish lumps, and, using only your fingertips, lightly rub the fat into the flour, again lifting the mixture up high all the time. When everything is crumbly, sprinkle in some cold water – about 1 tablespoon. Start to mix the pastry with a flat-bladed knife and then finish off with your hands, adding a few more drops of water until you have a smooth dough that will leave the bowl clean. Then pop the pastry into a plastic bag and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Next, roll the pastry out to a circle about ½ in (1 cm) larger all round than the rim of the tin. Cut a ½ in (1 cm) strip from the edge of the pastry, dampen the rim of the tin with water and fix the strip round it, pressing down well. Next, dampen the strip and line the tin with the pastry circle, making sure you don’t trap any air underneath it. Then prick the base all over with a fork. Bake on a high shelf in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove the pastry case from the oven.

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Meanwhile, make the filling. Measure cold water into a jug, and spoon the cornflour and sugar into a bowl. Add enough of the water to mix the cornflour to a smooth paste, then pour the rest of the water, along with the grated lemon zest, into a small saucepan. Bring this up to the boil, then pour it gradually on to the cornflour, mixing all the time until it is smooth.

Now return the mixture to the saucepan and bring back to the boil, still mixing. Next, simmer very gently for about 1 minute, stirring all the time to prevent it from catching. Then remove the pan from the heat and beat in the egg yolks, lemon juice and, finally, the butter (do this fast so the egg yolks do not cook in little swirls in the hot mix). Pour the lemon mixture into the pastry shell and spread it out evenly.

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Finally, for the meringue, use a large, roomy bowl and in it whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Now whisk in a quarter of the sugar at a time until it is all incorporated, then spread the meringue to the very edge of the pastry rim with a palette knife, so that it seals the edge completely. (With your knife you can also make a few decorative swirls.) Cook in the oven on the centre shelf for 45 minutes, by which time the meringue will have turned pale beige, and be crisp on the outside and squashy within.

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Serve warm or cold, but if warm, leave it to settle for about 20 minutes.

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