Cit­rus tang

LE­MON SHER­BET MERINGUE PIE (Makes 8 slices)

Leicester Mercury - - Food & Drink -

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

For the pas­try: 225g plain flour; pinch of salt; 170g ice-cold but­ter, cut into small cubes; 1 egg whisked with 1tsp ice-cold wa­ter; 1tbsp caster sugar

For the fill­ing: 300ml le­mon juice; 100ml lime juice; 100ml orange or tan­ger­ine juice 50ml wa­ter; 240g caster sugar; 1tsp salt; zest of 1 grape­fruit; 4tbsp corn­flour; 100ml gin; 170g but­ter; 6 egg yolks plus 2 whole eggs

For the meringue: 350g golden caster sugar; 4 egg whites; 1tsp vanilla ex­tract

METHOD

1. First make the pas­try. Place the flour in a food pro­ces­sor with the salt and sugar and whizz for a few sec­onds. Add the but­ter, and whizz again for about 20 sec­onds, or un­til the mix­ture re­sem­bles bread­crumbs. Turn out into a fridge-cold mix­ing bowl, and with a cold knife, slowly add enough of the whisked egg and wa­ter to bind the mix­ture to­gether, be­ing care­ful not to make the dough too wet.

2. Bind the pas­try into a ball. Knead­ing will make it tough, so try to han­dle it as lit­tle as pos­si­ble. Lay the pas­try on a bak­ing sheet and roll out to flat­ten a lit­tle. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to rest for 30 min­utes or un­til needed.

3. When ready to make the pie, pre­heat the oven to 190°C/170°C/gas mark 5. Dust the work sur­face with flour and roll out the pas­try to the thick­ness of a 50p piece. Care­fully line a 24cm deep tart tin, let­ting the pas­try over­hang the edge so you can trim it once it has been blind baked.

4. Place the lined tin in the freezer for 10 min­utes and then line the raw pas­try with grease­proof pa­per filled with bak­ing beans and blind bake it for 20 min­utes.

5. Re­move from the oven, take out the bak­ing beans and grease­proof pa­per and pop it back for a fur­ther 10 min­utes. Take out and leave to cool. Turn the oven down to 140°C/120°C/gas mark 1. 6. When the pas­try is cool, trim the edges away with a knife, carv­ing off the ex­cess against the side of the tin, then brush away any crumbs with a pas­try brush. 7. While the pas­try bakes, pre­pare the fill­ing. Put the juices, wa­ter, sugar, salt and zest in a pan and bring to the boil. Mix the corn­flour with the gin to form a smooth paste and whisk this into the juice mix­ture. Keep whisk­ing and it will start to thicken. Lower the heat and add the but­ter, whisk­ing un­til it has all melted.

8. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the eggs, beat­ing fu­ri­ously un­til you have a lovely smooth con­sis­tency. Leave to rest, cov­ered with cling film touch­ing the sur­face of the sher­bet curd to stop a skin form­ing while the base bakes and cools.

9. When ready to fill the tart, sieve the fill­ing into the tart case to en­sure a per­fectly silky con­sis­tency. Level with a spat­ula and re­turn to the oven for 30 min­utes.

10. To make the meringue, place the sugar in a saucepan and add four ta­ble­spoons of wa­ter and the vanilla. Bring to the boil un­til the sugar is melted, but do not stir as this will crys­tallise the sugar syrup. Whisk the egg whites into soft peaks so they fall down on them­selves, and keep­ing the whisk go­ing, slowly pour in the sugar syrup un­til it is all in­cor­po­rated.

11. With a me­tal spoon, top the tart with the meringue, cre­at­ing peaks as you go.

12. Turn the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan/gas mark 4 and cook the pie for 10 min­utes un­til golden brown on top.

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