Lemon Meringue Pie

Continuing on from my weekend pie adventure. This is a pie that my mum and sister often make, like some sort of family specialty or something. The key is the pastry base. I have no idea where mum got that recipe from but it’s awesome. The filling just comes from Women’s Weekly cookbooks.
Best eaten on the day. The meringue goes a bit yuck after a while. So best made when you have lots of people to eat it.

For the pastry
90g butter (soft but not melted)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg
3/4 cup self-raising flour
3/4 cup plain flour

Cream the butter and sugar, using a mixer. Add the vanilla essence and egg and mix well. Add the flours and stir in (don’t use the mixer). Knead lightly and stick in the fridge for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Roll the dough out and then transfer (gently roll onto the rolling pin and then unroll it) into a 24cm pie dish (lightly floured). Poke the crap out of it with a fork. Bake for about 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180C and bake for another 5 minutes or until golden (but not brown). Let it cool.

For the filling
1/2 cup cornflour
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 1/4 cups water
2 tsp lemon rind
60g butter
3 egg yolks (keep the whites for the meringue)

Put the cornflour and sugar in a small saucepan and stir in the juice and water until smooth. Cook over the stove until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the rind, butter and yolks. Let it cool and then add it to the pie.
I’ve seen some people on MasterChef separate eggs with their hands. Ew. A cleaner way is to gently toss the yolk back and forth between the egg shells (making sure it doesn’t collide with the pointy bits and break). The white will drip down in the waiting bowl below.  

For the meringue
3 egg whites
1/2 cup caster sugar

Beat whites on a high setting. It should turn white and form stiff peaks. Gradually add the sugar, while still beating, until it all dissolves. You’ll see that the mixture gets a glossy look to it. To test if the sugar has dissolved, grab a bit and rub it between your finger and thumb. If it feels grainy then it’s not ready.
Once ready, lightly spoon it out onto the pie and spread it around. Don’t handle the meringue too much. Stick the pie in the oven for about 5 minutes to brown the meringue. All done.
*Note: I made extra meringue because I had extra egg white left over from my veggie pie.

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