Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

 

This lemon meringue pie is a true family favourite and was one of the first pies I ever baked. The filling is very easy to make from scratch. It gives a mixture that is both creamy and full of zingy lemon flavour to complement the sweetness of the meringue on top.

 

Lemon Meringue Pie
Prepares: 4–6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 45 minutes
  • Standing time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: About 55 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the shortcrust pastry
  • 170g (6 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1⅓ cups)
  • pinch of salt
  • 40g (1½ oz) butter, cut into cubes (3 tbsp, or ⅜ stick)
  • 40g (1½ oz) lard, cut into cubes (3 tbsp)
  • about 2 tbsp cold water

  • For the filling
  • 3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) water (⅔ cup)
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 115g (4 oz) granulated sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue)

  • For the meringue
  • 2 egg whites
  • 115g (4 oz) caster sugar/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)

  • You will also need an 18cm (7 inch) round deep pie plate with rim and a baking tray/sheet.


  1. Method
  2. For the pastry
  3. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.

  4. Rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs. This can be done by hand or in a food processor.

  5. Sprinkle the water evenly over the surface (if it is not sprinkled evenly it can cause blistering when the pastry is cooked). Start bringing the dough together using a pallet knife until it starts clumping. Then knead the dough until it is smooth. Pop in a plastic food bag and refrigerate to rest for 30 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5).

  7. Roll out the pastry onto a floured surface to a thickness of 6mm (¼ inch) and 5cm (2 inches) larger than the pie plate.

  8. Now cut a 1.25cm (½ inch) strip from around the edge of the pastry. Dampen the rim of the pie plate with water and then use the strip to cover the rim, pressing it down.

  9. Next dampen the strip of pastry. Then line the pie plate with the remaining pastry, gently pressing it down into the pie plate and around the rim to make sure no air is trapped but being careful not to stretch the pastry.

  10. Remove any excess pastry from around the edge of the rim and prick the base of the pastry with a fork.

  11. Bake blind for 15 minutes.

  12. Carefully remove the paper and baking beans, and return the pastry to the oven for a further 5–10 minutes until it is cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside.

  13. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F) (gas 2) and place a baking tray/sheet in the oven.

  14. For the filling
  15. While the pastry is cooking, the filling can be prepared. Mix the cornflour with the water in a saucepan. Then stir in the zest and juice of the lemons. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring, until the mixture thickens.

  16. Now reduce the temperature to medium and add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved. Remove from the heat, cool the mixture for a couple of minutes.

  17. Beat in the egg yolks. Set aside.

  18. For the meringue
  19. Whisk the egg whites until stiff.

  20. Then gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

  21. To finish
  22. The pastry case can either be left in the pie plate or carefully removed. Place the pie plate or the pastry case only on the warmed baking tray/sheet.

  23. Now pour the lemon filling into the pastry case and level the surface.

  24. Pile the meringue on top, making sure it completely covers the filling. Finally pull the meringue up into peaks using the tip of a knife.

  25. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. The meringue will be crisp and lightly browned on the outside but still soft on the inside.

  26. It can be served warm or cold. If it is to be served warm, let it rest for 20 minutes after taking it out of the oven before slicing into portions.

Updated: February 20, 2020

Pavlova

Pavlova

 

Pavlova
Prepares: 6–8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus time to prepare the fruit
  • Cooking time: 1 hour
  • Standing time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • 3 egg whites
  • 225g (8 oz) caster/superfine sugar (1⅛ cups)
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 450g (1 lb) prepared fresh fruits
  • 2–3 tbsp Cointreau (with a winter pavlova)
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)

  • For a summer pavlova
  • Prepare strawberries, raspberries and other seasonal fruits of your choice.

  • For a winter pavlova
  • Melon (scooped out into balls), kiwi fruit, grapes and oranges.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).

  3. Separate the eggs. In a clean, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites until just stiff.

  4. Gradually whisk in 170g (6 oz) of the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition until the meringue is stiff and shiny.

  5. Whisk in the cream of tartar, vanilla essence, and cornflour.

  6. Cut a sheet of baking parchment large enough to fit a large baking sheet. Draw a 24cm (9½ inch) oval onto the paper. Dab a little meringue in each corner of the baking sheet to secure the paper and stop it moving. Then place the paper on the baking sheet with the drawn oval side down.

  7. Spread the meringue inside the marked oval shape. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour.

  8. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar.

  9. Meanwhile prepare fruits. Cut larger fruits into slices or segments. Cut any orange segments free from their connecting tissue with a small, sharp knife. You want to end up with all the fruits being of a similar size. Place them in a bowl as you prepare them.

  10. Sprinkle the fruit with the remaining sugar and, if making a winter pavlova, add the Cointreau. Allow to soak for 1 hour before serving.

  11. Carefully peel the paper off the pavlova then place it on a flat serving dish.

  12. Whip the cream until it will hold a soft peak and then spread over the meringue.

  13. Carefully spoon the fruit on top.

  14. Serve immediately.

  15. More pavlovas
  16. If you enjoyed this recipe, you might like to try these other pavlovas:
  17. Individual Banoffee Pavlovas
  18. Strawberry Pavlova
  19. Individual Chocolate and Raspberry Pavlova
  20. Easter Lemon Pavlova

 

Coffee and Hazelnut Swirls

Coffee and Hazelnut Swirls

 

A very light meringue dessert, with chocolate and cream, that tastes heavenly. This is really easy to make and looks impressive.

 

Coffee and Hazelnut Swirls
Prepares: 12 meringues
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 170g (6 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¾ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp coffee extract
  • 3 tbsp hazelnuts, finely chopped (or walnuts)

  • For the filling
  • 70g (2½ oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 20g (¾ oz) butter (1½ tbsp)
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1 cup)

  • To serve
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder (optional)


  1. Method
  2. For the meringue
  3. Preheat oven to a cool setting, 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).

  4. Toast the hazelnuts by heating in a pan over a medium–low heat until just turning colour and begin to smell nutty. Watch them carefully as they can burn very quickly. Set aside to cool.

  5. Now whisk the egg whites until stiff. Then slowly add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition. Drizzle over the coffee extract and whisk again until mixed in. The meringue should form stiff peaks and be glossy.

  6. Carefully fold in the nuts.

  7. Line two baking trays/sheets with parchment paper. Dab a little meringue in each corner of the trays/sheets to hold the linings in place. Then swirl small spoonfuls of meringue onto the paper. The mixture will make approximately 24 meringues (you want an even number). Do not try piping the meringue as the nuts will clog the tip!

  8. Now bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the meringues are dry and lift freely from the paper. Turn off the oven and, if you have time, leave them to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar. Otherwise transfer the trays/sheets onto wire cooling racks and leave the meringues to cool. When they are cool, remove from the paper.

  9. For the filling
  10. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl that will fit over a pan of just simmering water. The bottom of the bowl must not touch the water. Stir as it melts until the mixture is smooth. Then remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  11. When the chocolate is cold, coat the flat surface of 12 meringues.

  12. Now whip the cream. Use the cream to sandwich together a chocolate-coated meringue and a plain meringue.

  13. To serve
  14. Cocoa powder can be sifted lightly over the top of each meringue to decorate.

Updated: January 22, 2020

Floating Islands with Spun Sugar

Floating Islands with Spun Sugar

 

I saw Mary Berry create this recipe for floating islands on the Great British Bake Off Masterclass. I have always sprinkled cocoa powder over the meringue eggs (see here) but would certainly recommend this for a change.

 

Floating Islands with Spun Sugar
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the crème anglaise
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (1 cup)
  • 180ml (7 fl oz) double cream/heavy cream (¾ cup)
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only (reserve 3 egg whites for the meringue)
  • 85g (3 oz) caster/superfine sugar (⅓ cup)

  • For the meringues
  • 3 eggs, whites only (reserved from the crème anglaise)
  • 85g (3 oz) caster/superfine sugar (⅓ cup)

  • For the spun sugar
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup)

  • You will also need a deep sided sauté or frying pan/skillet with lid and four shallow dessert bowls.


  1. Method
  2. For the spun sugar
  3. Melt the sugar, without stirring, in a small stainless steel pan over a medium heat. Meanwhile, cover a rolling pin with parchment. When the sugar turns a deep golden-brown remove the pan from the heat. Leave to cool slightly, about 30 seconds, then, using the back of a fork or a whisk, quickly flick the caramel backwards and forwards over the rolling pin. (Take care as the sugar will still be very hot.) Gather the strands into a rough ball shape while gently pulling upwards and place on a clean sheet of parchment paper.

  4. For the poaching liquid
  5. This will become the crème anglaise. Pour the milk and cream in the sauté or frying pan/skillet and stir in the vanilla. Then bring to a gentle simmer over a low heat while making the meringue.

  6. For the meringues
  7. In a large grease-free bowl, using an electric hand whisk on fast speed, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form (or use the whisk attachment on a food mixer). Now gradually whisk in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form and the meringue is thick and glossy. 


  8. Have a glass or jug of water to hand. Then using two metal tablespoons or serving spoons, shape large eggs from the meringue mixture, dipping the spoons in the water to help shape them and keep them smooth. The meringue should make 4 very large eggs. Place the meringue eggs in the poaching liquid as you form them. Cover the pan and, over a very low heat, poach the meringue eggs for about 8–9 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Make sure the poaching liquid simmers very gently. It must not boil or the meringues will puff up and then collapse. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a wire rack covered with paper towel to drain. 


  9. For the crème anglaise
  10. Strain the poaching milk through a sieve into a large jug. 


  11. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 2–3 minutes.


  12. Gradually stir in the warm poaching milk. Then pour the mixture into a clean heavy-based pan and cook over a very low heat for 3–4 minutes, stirring continuously, until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat.

  13. To serve
  14. Divide the crème anglaise amongst the dessert bowls and then float a meringue egg on top.

    Decorate with a ball of spun sugar.

Updated: December 29, 2019

Floating Islands Dusted with Cocoa

Floating Islands Dusted with Cocoa

 

Floating Islands make a  lovely light dessert where poached meringues float on a creamy crème anglaise and are dusted with cocoa powder.

 

Floating Islands Dusted with Cocoa
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the crème anglaise
  • 200ml (7 fl oz) milk (⅞ cup)
  • 200ml (7 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (⅞ cup)
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 
4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only (reserving 3 egg whites for the meringue)
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup)


  • For the meringues
  • 3 egg whites (reserved from the crème anglaise)
  • 85g (3 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)


  • To serve
  • Cocoa powder for dusting or grated plain/dark chocolate.

  • You will also need a large sauté pan or large deep sided frying pan/skillet with lid.


  1. Method
  2. For the meringues
  3. In a large grease-free bowl, using an electric hand whisk on high speed, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form (or use the whisk attachment on a food mixer). Then gradually whisk in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the meringue is thick and glossy. Put to one side while preparing the poaching liquid.


  4. For the poaching liquid
  5. This will become the crème anglaise. Pour the milk and cream into the pan and stir in the vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract. Bring to a gentle simmer over a low heat.


  6. For the islands (also known as quenelles)
  7. Fill a tumbler or jug with water. Now, using two metal tablespoons, shape eggs from the meringue. Dip the spoons in the water between making each egg as this will help in shaping them and keeping them smooth. Place the meringue eggs in the poaching liquid as you go. There should be enough meringue to make 8 eggs. Cover the pan and, over a very low heat, poach the meringue eggs for 4–5 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. Make sure the poaching liquid simmers very gently. It must not boil or the meringues will puff up and then collapse. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, carefully transfer them to a wire rack covered with paper towel to drain. 


  8. For the crème anglaise
  9. Strain the poaching liquid through a sieve into a jug. 


  10. Next, in a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 2–3 minutes. 


  11. Gradually stir in the poaching liquid. Then pour the mixture into a clean pan and cook over a low heat for 3–4 minutes, stirring continuously, until the mixture is smooth and begins to thicken. When it has become thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from the heat.

  12. To serve
  13. Divide the crème anglaise amongst four shallow individual serving bowls and then float two meringue eggs on top of each one. 


  14. They can then be decorated with a dusting of cocoa powder or a little grated chocolate.

Updated: December 29, 2019

Coffee Meringues Drizzled with Chocolate

Coffee Meringues Drizzled with Chocolate

 

These meringues are flavoured with coffee and, when cooked, a little melted chocolate is drizzled over. Serve on their own or with whipped cream or ice cream. Whatever you choose, they just melt in your mouth.

 

Coffee Meringues Drizzled with Chocolate
Prepares: 8 meringues
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Chilling time: about 15 minutes


  • Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules or coffee extract
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 170g (6 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¾ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 85g (3 oz) dark chocolate

  • You will also need 2 medium baking sheets/trays lined with baking parchment


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).

  3. If using coffee granules, dissolve in 1 teaspoon of hot water and leave to cool.

  4. Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until just stiff. Now gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly until the mixture becomes very thick and glossy. Then sprinkle over the coffee and whisk until it has thoroughly mixed in.

  5. Dab a little meringue on the corners of the baking sheets/trays which will prevent the parchment paper from slipping. Then line each sheet/tray, pressing the baking parchment down at the corners. Spoon 4 mounds of meringue onto each baking sheet/tray, spacing them well apart. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. The meringues should feel hard to the touch and lift off the parchment paper easily.

  6. If you like your meringues crisp on the outside but chewy in the centre, then remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack. If you prefer them crisp all the way through, then leave in the oven until it has become cold.

  7. Meanwhile break the chocolate into small pieces, put in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of just simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Stir the chocolate until melted and smooth, then remove from the heat and leave until it has become cold.

  8. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the meringues. Leave in a cool place for the chocolate to set.

Updated: November 16, 2019

Meringue Layers with Red Plums

Meringue Layers with Red Plums

 

For meringue lovers – this is another recipe that is delicious at the end of summer. Juicy red plums lie on freshly whipped cream, sandwiched between meringue, topped with chopped nuts.

 

Meringue Layers with Red Plums
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes, plus cooling time for meringues
  • Chilling time: 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • For the meringue layers
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 170g (6 oz) caster/white sugar (¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts or walnuts

  • For the filling
  • 8 large red plums
  • 2 tbsp caster/white sugar
  • 284ml carton double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)


  1. Method
  2. For the plums
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)

  4. Wash the plums and cut in half following the natural line. Twist the halves in opposite directions to separate. Remove the stones.

  5. Arrange in a single layer in a baking dish, cut sides up. Sprinkle with the sugar and add 2 tablespoons of cold water.

  6. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.

  7. For the meringue layers
  8. While the plums are cooking, the nuts can be roasted. An easy way to do this is by tipping the nuts into a small non-stick frying pan/skillet placed over a medium-low heat. Cook until they just start to smell ‘nutty’, stirring occasionally. This only takes a few minutes.

  9. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  10. Once the plums have cooked, lower the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F) (gas 2)

  11. Prepare the meringue while the oven is cooling down to the right temperature.

  12. Draw a 20cm (8 inch) circle with a pencil on two sheets of baking parchment. (Using a 20cm (8 inch) up-turned plate makes this easy.). Turn the sheets over and lay on two baking sheets/trays.

  13. Whisk the egg whites to a stiff peak and then add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition. Finally, whisk in the lemon juice.

  14. Add a dab of meringue on the four corners of the baking sheets/trays, pressing the baking parchment down to keep in place. Then divide the the meringue evenly between the paper lined sheets/trays, spooning it into the centre of each circle. Using the back of the spoon, level the top of the meringue on one of the sheets/trays. Keep the top of the meringue rough on the other sheet/tray and then sprinkle the nuts over the meringue on this one.

  15. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Turn out the oven but leave the meringues inside until the oven has become cold.

  16. Lift the meringue layers from the paper and slide the base one onto a serving plate.

  17. For the filling
  18. Whisk the cream until stiff and then spread over the base meringue layer.

  19. Pour off any juice from the plums and reserve. Top the cream with the plum halves with the cut sides facing downwards. Sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of reserved plum juice being careful not to allow it to get too close to the edge or it will run down the outside of the bottom meringue layer.

  20. Cover with the top meringue layer and chill in the fridge for at least two hours.

  21. To serve
  22. When slicing the meringue into portions use a long bladed knife that has been dipped in a jug of hot water. Shake off any droplets of water before cutting and wipe the blade clean between each cut.

Updated: October 26, 2019

Posh Raspberry Mess

Posh Raspberry Mess

 

This is a grown up version of the famous Eton Mess but with raspberries. Raspberries are drizzled with framboise, a raspberry liqueur, and then folded with crushed meringue shells into mounds of whipped cream.

 

Posh Raspberry Mess
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time without making the meringues: 10 minutes
  • Preparation time including making the meringues: 18 minutes
  • Cooking time if making the meringues: 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Standing time if making the meringues: 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 350ml (12 fl oz) double cream/heavy or whipping cream (1½ cups)
  • 4 meringue shells*
  • 450g (1 1b) raspberries, washed
  • 2 tbsp framboise/raspberry liqueur, optional

  • *This dish is a great way to use up any left-over meringue. However, if making the meringues especially for this dish, follow the recipe below and prepare these first.

  • For the meringue
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)

  • You will also need 4 glass dessert dishes or sundae glasses.


  1. Method
  2. For the meringue
  3. Preheat oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (mark 1)

  4. Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff. Gradually whisk in the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition until stiff and glossy.

  5. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Dab a little meringue on each corner of the baking sheet first to keep the lining in place.

  6. Spoon 6 mounds of meringue onto the baking parchment. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes until the meringues will lift from the paper easily. Turn off the oven but leave the meringues in the oven for a further 2 hours. This will allow the meringues to completely dry out.

  7. For the fool
  8. Pat dry the washed raspberries and put in a bowl, reserving 12 for later.. Drizzle over the framboise, if using, and set to one side.

  9. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.

  10. Roughly crush 4 meringue shells and fold into the cream.

  11. Just using a few strokes, fold in the raspberries along with any juice.

  12. Divide between the glass dishes and top each one with three reserved raspberries.

  13. Note
  14. This summer dessert still tastes delicious without the framboise. It just misses that little bit extra. To make your own, see Drinks – Framboise Liqueur.

Updated: June 28, 2019

Easter Lemon Pavlova

I am indebted to Mary Berry of The Great British Bakeoff for this recipe. It is very light, and the lemon makes it a refreshing end to a holiday meal with family and friends.

 

Easter Lemon Pavlova

 

This is a lovely dessert that really does taste heavenly and looks very impressive too. The one thing I like about it is that you can prepare a lot in advance. The candied lemon peel can easily be made the day before and the lemon curd a few days before. The meringue is best made on the day you wish to serve it but that takes very little time to prepare. Then all there is to do is to mix the whipped cream into the lemon curd and assemble everything.

 

Easter Lemon Pavlova
Prepares: 8–10 servings (picture shows 4–6)
 
  • Preparation time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 2 hours or over night for the candied lemon zest
  • Cooking time: about 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • For the candied lemon zest
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup + ½ tbsp) plus extra for coating
  • 2 lemons

  • For the meringue
  • 6 egg whites
  • 340g (12 oz) caster/superfine sugar (1¾ cups)
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch

  • For the lemon curd filling
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 340g (12 oz) caster/superfine sugar (1¾ cups)
  • 
2 lemons at room temperature (plus the 2 reserved from making the candied lemon zest)
  • 225g (8 oz) butter, cubed (1 cup, or 2 sticks)
  • 480ml (16 fl oz) double/whipping cream (2 cups)

  • To serve
  • 30 chocolate mini eggs

  • You will also need a piping bag fitted with a rose nozzle.


  1. Method
  2. For the candied lemon zest
  3. (Can be made up to 24 hours ahead)

  4. Peel the zest from two lemons and cut into thin strips. (Reserve the lemons for their juice in the lemon curd.)

  5. Lay a piece of parchment ready on the work surface and spoon over the extra sugar for coating.

  6. Now dissolve the sugar in a pan with 60ml (2 fl oz) (¼ cup) water, then bring to the boil, stirring constantly.

  7. Add the zest and gently boil until syrupy, about 2–3 minutes.

  8. Drain the zest and tip onto the parchment paper. Then toss in the extra sugar until each one is well coated.

  9. Leave to dry in a warm place for at least two hours, or overnight.


  10. For the meringue
  11. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) (gas mark 2)

  12. Draw a 25cm (10 inch) circle on a sheet of baking parchment. With the drawn side down, place on a baking tray/sheet.


  13. Add the egg whites to a bowl and whisk until stiff but before they get to peak stage. Use an electric hand-whisk or a free-standing mixer.

  14. Then gradually add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, while still whisking on the maximum speed, until the mixture is stiff and shiny, and stands in peaks. 


  15. Blend the vinegar and cornflour/cornstarch together in a small bowl until smooth. Then gently stir this into the meringue. 


  16. Take half the meringue and spread it onto the baking parchment within the lines of the drawn circle. Now fill the piping bag with the remaining meringue and carefully pipe 10 separate nests equally around the edge of the meringue base. 


  17. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 1½–2 hours. The pavlova will be a pale cream colour and will lift off the paper easily when ready. Begin to check periodically after 1¼ hours until it has reached this stage. Then turn off the oven but leave the pavlova on the oven shelf, with the door slightly ajar, until cold. 


  18. For the lemon curd
  19. (The lemon curd can also be made ahead of time and, once cooled, it can be refrigerated covered with cling film/plastic wrap until needed. It will keep in a refrigerator for up to seven days.)

  20. Squeeze the juice from the four lemons. (4 medium lemons should yield ¾ cup.)

  21. Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Add the egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice to the bowl and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.

  22. Now gradually add the butter to the pan, stirring until the butter has melted.

  23. Continue stirring until the mixture starts to thicken, about 10 minutes. It should resemble pouring cream and coat the back of a spoon. Then remove from the heat and leave to cool. It will thicken further on cooling.

  24. To assemble
  25. Once the lemon curd has cooled completely, pour the cream into a large bowl and whisk until really thick. Then add it to the lemon curd, gently swirling it through.

  26. Spoon a little into each nest. Then fill the middle of the pavlova with the remainder (you may not need it all).

  27. Finally, place three chocolate mini-eggs in each nest and then sprinkle the candied zest in the middle of the pavlova, creating a mound.

Updated: April 22, 2019

Apple Amber

Apple Amber

 

A shortcrust pastry flan is filled with a cooked apple filling and topped with meringue.

 

Apple Amber
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Chilling time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • For the shortcrust pastry
  • 225g (8 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1¾ cups)
  • pinch salt
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, cubed (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 55g (2 oz) shortening, cubed (¼ cup)
  • 3 tbsp cold water

  • For the filling
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) water
  • 100g (3½ oz) sugar (½ cup)
  • 450g (1 lb) granny smith apples (about 3 medium)
  • strip of lemon rind
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 28g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp)
  • 2 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue)

  • For the meringue
  • 2 egg whites
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup)

  • You will also need a 20.5 cm (8 inch) loose bottomed flan case and a baking tray/sheet.


  1. Method
  2. For the pastry
  3. Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl.

  4. Rub the butter and shortening into the flour until there are no lumps and the mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs.

  5. Now sprinkle the water evenly over the surface (if the water is added unevenly, it can cause blistering when the pastry is cooked). Then, using a pallet knife, bring the mixture together.

  6. Once it starts to clump together, remove from the bowl and knead lightly to form a firm, smooth dough.

  7. Pop in a plastic bag or cover with cling film/plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F (225°C) (gas 7).

  9. Now, on a floured surface, roll out the pastry in one direction only, turning it occasionally, until there is a round that is 5cm (2 inches) larger than the flan case. Line the flan case and trim the edges to neaten. Prick the base of the pastry with the tines of a fork to make sure no air gets trapped underneath the pastry.

  10. Bake blind for 15 minutes. Then remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 300°F (150°C) (gas 3).

  11. For the filling
  12. While the pastry is cooking start preparing the filling.

  13. In a medium-sized pan make a sugar syrup by gently dissolving the sugar in the water over a low heat.

  14. While the sugar in dissolving, peel, core and cut the apples into small chunks.

  15. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the apples along with the strip of lemon rind and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the apples have softened but still hold their shape.

  16. Drain the apples and then add the butter. Stir to melt the butter into the apples, mashing them slightly. Now add the egg yolks and mix in.

  17. Once the flan case has cooled, carefully remove the pastry case and sit it on a baking tray/sheet. Fill with the apple.

  18. For the meringue
  19. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Then gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

  20. Pile the meringue on top the apple, making sure it completely covers the filling. Finally pull the meringue up into peaks using the tip of a knife.

  21. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. The meringue will be crisp and lightly browned on the outside but still soft on the inside.

 

Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska

 

Individual servings of the Baked Alaska. Mini sponge flans are topped with raspberry jam and creamy ice cream, covered in a soft meringue, then quickly baked to set the meringue but leaving the ice cream frozen inside.

 

Baked Alaska
Prepares: 4 individual servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Freezing time: overnight
  • Cooking time: 3–5 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 mini sponge flans
  • 4 tbsp raspberry conserve
  • 250ml good quality ice-cream, raspberry or strawberry (4 large scoops)
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 7g (¼ oz) flaked almonds (1½ tbsp)


  1. Method
  2. Remove the ice cream from the fridge to soften a little, about 10 minutes.

  3. Fill each sponge flan with 1 tablespoon of conserve and level the top. Then, using an ice cream scoop, top with one large scoop of ice cream. Return to the freezer for at least one hour.

  4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Sprinkle over the cream of tartar and whisk in the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the mixture is stiff and shiny. Now, using a palette knife to spread the meringue, completely cover the sponges and ice cream. Then drawing upwards with the tip of a knife, make little swirls with the meringue. Freeze overnight.

  5. Preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F) (gas 8)

  6. Now scatter the almonds over the meringue, then bake for 3–5 minutes until the meringue is just starting to brown. Serve immediately.

  7. Tip
  8. The prepared Alaskas can be left frozen for up to one month. Bake in the oven as directed above but leave for 15 minutes before serving.

Updated: November 15, 2018

Coffee Meringues

Coffee Meringues

 

Very simple coffee flavoured meringues that just melt in the mouth. Sandwiched with whipped cream and dusted with cocoa powder. They are very light.

 

Coffee Meringues
Prepares: 10 meringues
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • For the meringues
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 170g (6 oz) caster/white sugar (¾ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 tsp coffee essence

  • For the filling
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • ½ tsp coffee essence

  • For the decoration
  • 1 level tsp cocoa powder

  • You will also need a large piping bag fitted with a medium-sized nozzle.


  1. Method
  2. For the meringues
  3. Preheat oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).

  4. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff. Gradually whisk in the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition. Sprinkle over the coffee essence and whisk again until blended in. The meringue should form stiff peaks and be glossy.

  5. Line two baking sheets with baking paper. (Dabbing a little meringue on each corner of the baking sheets first will keep the linings in place.)

  6. Spoon the meringue into the piping bag and pipe 20 swirls of meringue onto the paper. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour until the meringues are dry. Allow to cool, then remove from the paper. (If you want really crispy meringues, then leave to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar.)

  7. For the filling
  8. Whip the cream and coffee essence until soft peaks form. Use to sandwich the meringues together in pairs.

  9. To serve
  10. Dust a coating of cocoa powder over the meringues using a small sieve.

  11. Tip
  12. If you like your meringues really crisp and have the time, leave them to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar.

Updated: September 22, 2018