The Daily Telegraph - Saturday
LEMON MERINGUE PIE THE SHORTCUT
Lemon meringue pie is such a classic, but there are so many points at which failure can occur: weeping meringues, soggy bottoms, runny lemon curd. From the outside you can seemingly have the perfect pie, but slice into it at the wrong moment and you can be faced with a slippery, sliding, not-quite pie, more a pool of something that once looked like a pie. My version avoids all of these pitfalls. Firstly, I don’t bother making pastry – instead, I use a delicious crunchy biscuit base. Secondly, I buy a jar of lemon curd – no more lemon-flavoured scrambled eggs. Lastly, my favourite: using the liquid from a can of chickpeas, aka aquafaba, to create the best, sweet, sticky pillowy crown. This is just such a fabulous dessert – it’s fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
300g digestive biscuits 150g butter, melted
2 x 312g jar lemon curd Liquid from 400g tin chickpeas
2 tsp cream of tartar 100g caster sugar METHOD
Put the biscuits into a food processor and whizz to form fine crumbs, then add the melted butter and pulse to combine. Alternatively, put the biscuits into a strong sealable plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin, then stir together with the butter in a bowl.
Use the back of a spoon to press the buttery crumbs into the base and sides of a deep 22cm pie dish or tart tin. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove the base from the freezer and fill with the lemon curd, then chill until ready to serve. To make the meringue topping, pour the chickpea water (aquafaba) into a large bowl. Add the cream of tartar, then beat the mixture for 10 minutes with an electric whisk. After five minutes, gradually add in the sugar, beating after each addition, until the meringue is thick and glossy. Pile the meringue over the lemon curd up to the edge of the crust.
Put in the freezer for 20 minutes. Remove from the freezer and use a cook’s blowtorch to brown the meringue. Cut into wedges and serve.