Tim’s lemon meringue pie
For the pastry:
100g cold butter, diced
200g plain flour
25g icing sugar
1 large egg yolk
2tblsp cold water
For the filling:
zest of 1 lemon
110g caster sugar
110ml fresh lemon juice (roughly 2 lemons)
2 large egg
5 large egg yolks
60g unsalted butter, cold and chopped
For the meringue:
4 large egg whites
225g caster sugar
0.5 tsp lemon juice
Making the pastry:
Rub the butter into the flour, icing sugar and salt by hand (or use a food processor if you have one) until it is a breadcrumb consistency and all the bits of butter are mixed in. Beat the egg yolk with two tablespoons of cold water in a separate bowl and then add to the mixture and stir with a knife (or turn your food processor back on). Bring the dough together into a ball by hand and then flatten into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Once the pastry has cooled, flour a surface and then roll out the pastry to around 3mm in thickness. Have an 8/9 inch tin lined or greased ready. Lay your pastry over your rolling pin and place on top of your tin. Now let it fall into the tin carefully and press in well around the slides and trim off the excess pastry. Chill in the fridge again for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200C, fan 180C, gas 6.
Crumple up a piece of baking paper and then smooth out again. Lay the sheet on top of the pastry and then fill the sheet of crumpled baking paper with baking beans or rice and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans/rice, press the pastry down in the base gently and then pop it back in the oven to bake for 7-10 minutes until pale golden and crisp. Remove and cool at room temperature.
Making the lemon curd:
We are going to make our lemon curd using a bain-marie which is a pot of boiling water with a bowl on top that will be heated from below. So you will need a saucepan and a bowl (metal, glass or ceramic that will sit on top of the saucepan).
Zest your lemons, and then juice them and set to one side. Separate your five egg yolks from the whites (keep four of the whites as you will use these for the meringue) and add the egg yolks and two full eggs into a large metal or glass bowl, then add in the caster sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice.
Boil a quarter full pan of water on the hob. Now place your bowl of ingredients on top and continually whisk as the mixture heats up. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and keep stirring until it thickens.
Once it has thickened, remove from the heat and immediately stir in the chopped cold butter and keep mixing until all the butter has melted. Pour the mixture into a sieve and with a spatula press through the sieve to remove the zest and any eggy bits that may have formed. Now pop this into the fridge and allow to cool.
Once cooled, spoon into your cooled pastry case and smooth out making sure it comes up around halfway, leaving room for the meringue. (If there is left over keep it refrigerated in an airtight container and enjoy it on toast over the next couple of days).
Making the meringue:
Now you are ready to make the meringue to go on top. Preheat your oven again but this time at a lower heat of 150C, fan 130C, gas 2.
In a super clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and lemon juice to stiff peaks – you can use the mixer on full. Once you have stiff peaks, add the sugar slowly a spoonful at a time, while all the time still whisking. Don’t whisk too much as you want it to be silky/shiny and forming stiff peaks still.
Spoon on top of the cooled pie all the way to the edges so they don’t burn. With the back of the spoon swirl and peak it to make it look how you want it to. Bake, still in its dish, for 25-30 minutes until the meringue is set and crisp on the outside, but not too browned. Leave to settle and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving either warm or at room temperature.
You can make any curd filling you like and be creative in the decorating.
Queen of eclairs
CHOUX pastry, chocolate and cream proved a winning combination for the entrants in this week’s Bake Off competition.
Last week, Tim Langlois of Cobo Bakes set the challenge of making chocolate eclairs and he was delighted with the results from the island’s many budding bakers.
‘Well done, Guernsey, on another amazing week with some beautiful bakes coming out of your kitchens,’ he said.
‘It has been amazing to receive so many entries each week, seeing the sweet treats you have all been making and hopefully enjoying too.
‘This week was eclair week and they are not the easiest to create but you have all done an amazing job and made my job very hard to choose a winner. But this week’s winner is Janine Clark with her lovely vibrant eclairs that would light up any afternoon tea table. The bake looked really good with a lovely colour to the eclair and what looks like a nice crisp bake. The decorations on top just added a little extra bit of excitement to the overall presentation too. Well done.’
Janine had made a mixture of raspberry and white chocolate, lemon and dark chocolate and chocolate and cassata eclairs.
She said she was ‘really chuffed’ to have been chosen as the winner.
‘I’ve always loved baking. My childhood Sunday afternoons were always baking days, and now it’s my go-to happy place. It makes people happy to eat the end product and it’s always a good feeling, making people happy.
‘My work team have been great tasters, and it was great during lockdown for them to have something to look forward to on a Monday morning when they came into work at the hospital pharmacy.’
Janine decided she would like to donate her £50 prize money to one of the children who entered in the hope that it would help ‘foster their interests in the enjoyment of preparing food’.
That lucky entrant was 11-year-old William Gates. Tim chose him as a runner-up this week because his entry ‘looked like a really consistent bake, with a great size to each eclair and a lovely glaze on the chocolate’.
‘I can almost smell the dark chocolate just from looking at the picture,’ he added.
Vicki Merrien was also selected as a runner-up. Tim said: ‘Her elegant simple eclairs looked as if they had just come straight out of the bakery. These were a brilliant classic chocolate eclair. Well done.’
Vicki’s prize was a voucher for a free box of Cobo Bakes cakes.