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Pudding Club – Celebrating National Pie Week the Sweeter Way

10/3/2017

Did you know that this week has been National Pie Week? We love pie, especially when it comes to one for dessert. Our favourite? Lemon Meringue of course! And for this month’s Pudding Club, we thought we’d share an easy recipe with you so you can enjoy our favourite at home.

You can be really good and make everything yourself, or you can cheat a little if you are not great in the kitchen. Either option tastes fabulous.

Not quite a top chef but hands on in the kitchen:

You will need:

For the pastry

  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • 175g/6oz butter
  • 45g/1¾oz icing sugar
  • 1 large free-range egg, beaten

For the lemon filling

  • 6 lemons, zest and juice
  • 65g/2¼oz cornflour
  • 250g/9oz caster sugar
  • 6 free-range egg yolks

For the meringue topping

  • 4 free-range egg whites
  • 225g/8oz caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

 

Pastry first.

Mix your flour and butter together so that your mixture resembles breadcrumbs (you can either mix by hand or use a food processor if easier). Add the icing sugar, egg and one tablespoon of water and mix until you have a big ball of pastry.

Work your pastry on your kitchen surface and roll out to a 3mm thickness. Transfer your pastry carefully into a 23cm/9in loose-bottomed flan tin. Be careful not to stretch the pastry as you tuck it into the corners. Cover in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for approx. 30 min.

After 30 min, take the pastry out of the fridge and trim the excess pastry away from the edging. Press the top edge of the pastry so that it stands slightly higher than the top of the tin.

Line the pastry case with parchment and fill with baking beans (this will stop it from rising in the oven.) Bake for about 15 minutes then remove the beans and parchment and return to the oven for a further five minutes.

Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 170C/340F/Gas 3½.

The filling.

Mix the lemon zest and juice with the cornflour and stir to form a smooth paste.

 

Pour 450ml of water into a pan and bring to the boil. Add the lemon cornflour mixture to the hot water and stir over the heat until the mixture has thickened, then remove from the heat.

In a bowl, mix together the sugar and egg yolks. Carefully whisk into the lemon mixture in the pan.

Stir over a medium heat until thickened. Let the lemon mixture cool for a few minutes before pouring into the pastry case.

The crowning glory – meringue

Whisk the egg whites in a free-standing mixer until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.

Add the caster sugar a little at a time, still whisking until the meringue is stiff and glossy.

Add the cornflour and whisk again.

Spoon on top of the filled pastry case and spread the meringue to completely cover the lemon filling. Then create a swirl on the top of the meringue.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the filling is completely set and the meringue is lightly golden and crisp.

How you serve it is up to you – warm and gooey or cold. Both are delicious.

 

For the complete novice, there are easier options.

You will need:

1 x pre-baked pastry case – these can be bought from any good supermarket

1 x 500g jar of lemon curd

For the meringue topping

  • 4 free-range egg whites
  • 225g/8oz caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour

Pour your lemon curd into the pre-cooked pastry case and smooth right the way up to the edges.

We’re afraid that you will have to be a little hands-on and make your meringue topping.

Whisk the egg whites in a free-standing mixer until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.

Add the caster sugar a little at a time, still whisking until the meringue is stiff and glossy.

Add the cornflour and whisk again.

Spoon on top of the filled pastry case and spread the meringue to completely cover the lemon filling. Then create a swirl on the top of the meringue.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the filling is completely set and the meringue is lightly golden and crisp. (No one will ever know it wasn’t made from scratch)

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