What do they say? The proof is in the
These came about in a two-fold way: Firstly, I love anything miniature. Secondly, I really wanted to try out my meringue piping skills!!
The orange juice in the filling subtracts the tartness from the lemons which is why these pies are so lovely. I also made the pastry myself, which I don't normally do and managed to convert myself to making my own pastry from now on!
200g plain flour
100g cold butter, cut into cubes
2 egg yolks (save whites for meringue)
1tbs icing sugar
A little milk to loosen
You will also need tin foil and baking beans, or some heavy dried pulses such as pinto beans
2 level tbs corn flour
100g caster sugar
2 lemons grated finely
125ml lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
Juice of 1 orange
85g butter, cubed
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
4 egg whites
200g caster sugar
1 heaped tsp cornflour
(preheat oven to 180, have a 12 hole cupcake tin greased, or 6 mini fluted flan tins)
- Put all of the pastry ingredients into a food processor and blend until pastry is formed, add a little milk (no more than 1tbs) to loosen
- Roll out pastry onto a lightly floured surface. I like a very thin pastry, around 2mm. With a cutter, or a cup if you don't have the right size.
- Cut out your 12 pastry rounds and press into cupcake holes. Prick all over with a fork and chill for 15 minutes
- Cut out 12 tin foil squares and place them, shiny side down onto the cases. Pour baking beans or pulses into each one and place in the oven and bake blind for 5 minutes before turning the oven down to 160, removing the foil and beans and baking for a further 5 minutes or until a light golden brown
- While the pastry bakes, prepare the filling: mix the cornflour, sugar and lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Strain and stir in the lemon juice gradually. Make orange juice up to 200ml with water and strain into the pan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Once the mixture bubbles, remove from the heat and beat in the butter until melted.
- In a cup, whisk the egg yolks and whole egg together with a fork, stir them into the pan and return to a medium heat. Keep stirring vigorously for a few minutes, until the mixture thickens and plops from the spoon. (It will bubble, but doesn't curdle.) Take off the heat and set aside while you make the meringue.
- Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl till they form soft peaks then begin adding the sugar, spoonful by spoonful. Half way through, add the cornflour, all the time, whisking until thick.
- Spoon lemon filling into pie cases- make them level with pastry.
- Attach a large round nozzle to your piping bag and spoon meringue into it. Pipe meringue onto your pies, beginning at the edge before curling into the middle
- Put pies back into the oven and bake for around 10 minutes or until meringue has colour to it and is slightly crisp.
- Remove from oven and leave in the tins for 10 minutes before removing from tins and leaving for a further hour.