Food writers have always featured in their writings about the memories food brings throughout our lives and I really couldn’t agree more. It’s pure bliss to be able to think about recipes that my mother used to make (unfortunately she passed a few years ago). Remembering the exact moment I tasted it for the first time and the moment all those happy siblings around the table suddenly turn to ultimate combat when you’re all fighting over the last piece of cake, pie, tart, cookie…endless delights.
Of course this recipe has been done through and through, and of course, being my creative and adventurous self, I wanted to adapt the recipe or at least make it a bit different. So I spent most of the day and most of the night toying with meringue.
However there is a reason that these recipes just don’t change at all. There is not much change in recipe methods or styles of lemon meringue pie, and the occasional lemon and lime version always crops up but in my opinion it just never really hits the mark. Classic is best but today I felt like adding some Manuka honey- I’ve had a lot of it lingering in the cupboard begging to be used (other than just on some toast). I was looking at Dan Lepard’s chocolate and honey meringue recipe a couple of weeks ago and as you can imagine my mind suddenly clicked.
So, here we are. A rather rustic, traditional dessert with a tiny twist- one that doesn’t really break that classic taste all too much…
Still there’s still the debate whether it’s better hot or cold. I like it warm personally, with cream. What about you?
A rather (Warm and Soothing) Lemon and manuka honey meringue pie
[Substitution notes: I find that the all purpose Doves Farm brand of gluten free flour works particularly well for this recipe- i also added half a teaspoon more of Xanthan gum but this isn't really necessary if the purpose blend has it in already. ]
200g Gluten Free Plain White Flour
100g Cold Butter
5 tbsps Cold water
Pinch of salt.
Zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons
175g caster sugar (110g for the filling and 75 for the meringue)
5 tbsp cornflour
3 medium Eggs separated.
2 teaspoons of 6+ Manuka honey
Put your oven on to 190 degrees C.
Make the pastry case by mixing the flour and salt together in a bowl. Add in cold butter in small pieces and mix together with your hands or a mixer until it crumbles. Then add the cold water bit-by-bit till doughy. The mixture can be a bit sticky but after 30 minutes in the fridge it should be more pliable.
Roll out your pastry and pop into a pie dish leaving a good amount of crust edge. Prick the base over with a fork and pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes (You can now make the filling while it’s in the oven for convenience) until it just turns golden and take out to rest.
Lower the oven temperature to 160 degrees for later.
Separate your eggs into whites and yolks and put aside. (I did do an extra yolk and egg white so I could brush it over my pastry cases and use my left over pastry for an extra tartlet)
Place the lemon zest and juice, 100g of the sugar and 300ml cold water in a pan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Mix the cornflour with 6 tablespoons of cold water, then stir this into the lemon mixture and mix very well! Increase the heat, bring to the boil and cook for about 1 minute, stirring continuously, until smooth and thickened.
Allow to cool slightly then beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Pour the very warm filling into the cooked pastry case and level the surface.
In a large bowl or mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then gradually whisk in the remaining sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until thick. Fold in 1 teapoon of the honey very gently- (its very thick honey!). Spoon the meringue over the filling and spread out evenly in the center. If you make patterns in the meringue it will make it look pretty! Drizzle the rest of the manuka honey over the peaks.
Bake for 40 minutes and serve warm or cold :) Classic.