First saw this one as a challenge on Masterchef and wanted to have a go at it myself. A challenging dish as it requires making a good flaky pie crust, a well combined filling and a fluffy meringue with a crispy coating. Give it a try!
For the pastry
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tsp castor sugar
- 150g butter chopped in cubes
- 1/3 cup of ice cold water
For the lemon filling
- 1/2 cup castor sugar
- 1/2 cup corn flour
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 large lemons zest and juice
- 5 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
- 100g of butter
For the meringue
- 5 egg whites
- 1/2 cup of castor sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the pie crust, combine the dry ingredients first, then using 2 knives or a fork, cut in the butter till it forms a coarseness combined with the flour. Add a little of the water to help combine the dough and then knead just a little. The key is not to touch the dough too much as we want to keep the butter from melting. Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
While that is resting we can make the lemon filling. In a medium saucepan mix the flour, sugar and water and combine. Add the lemon zest and bring the mixture to the boil. You will notice it thicken very quickly so continue to stir the mixture as it heats up. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks, lemon zest and butter. Return to the heat but lower the heat to cook until thickened and smoothed stirring throughout. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
Whisking egg whites
Pre-het the oven to 150C, a little less for fan-forced ovens. Roll out the dough and pad it onto a greased 9" pie dish. I place a sheet of baking paper over the crust and then put rice on the paper to weigh it down and blind bake the dough for 10 minutes with the weight, then remove the weight and bake for another 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool
For the meringue, pour the egg whites in a large, clean mixing bowl and beat on high speed for 5-10 minutes until stiff peaks form. Only then add the cream of tartar and gradually add the sugar continuing to beat the eggs.
Now the fun part. Pour that gorgeous yellow filling into the pie crust and using a plastic spatula top with the meringue putting a bit of design in the peaks of the meringue. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the meringue is browned and crisp. Turn off the oven leave the door open and allow the tart to cool completely inside the oven.
Serve warm for the best of the crispy meringue or refrigerate and slice later.