Extracted from Jane’s Patisserie Celebrate! By Jane Dunn (Ebury Press, £20) Photography by Ellis Parrinder
Mini Lemon Meringue Pies
A lemon meringue pie is one of the most fresh and zingy bakes you can make and my classic recipe features on my blog, but for this book I wanted to improve it if I could and that’s when I came up with individual Mini Lemon Meringue Pies
- 350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 200g chilled unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp cold water
- Zest of 4 lemons
- 150ml lemon juice
- 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 185g white granulated sugar
- 85ml water
- 95g egg whites
Grease and dust flour over the insides of eight individual 10cm loose-bottomed tart tins.
In a large bowl, sift the flour and icing sugar and add the butter, egg yolks and cold water. Rub the mixture together with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs, bring together with your hands and knead in the bowl until smooth.
Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out until 3mm thick. Cut out eight circles of pastry a little larger than the tart tins and press each pastry circle into the bottom and sides of each tin, trimming the edges. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan. Cover each pastry case with a circle of parchment paper and fill each one with baking beans/rice. Bake ‘blind’ for 15 minutes.
Remove the parchment paper and the beans from each tin and bake for an extra 10 minutes or until the pastry is cooked through and turning golden in colour. Leave to cool in the tins.
In a large pan, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, butter and sugar and heat, stirring until the mixture has dissolved and is smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolks together and then add to the pan. Heat the mixture for 7–8 minutes until thickened. Add 1–2 tablespoons of the mixture to each pastry case.
In a heavy-based pan, add the sugar and water and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. When the mixture starts to boil, monitor the temperature until it reaches 120ºC (firm ball stage) with a sugar thermometer. If any sugar splashes up the sides of the pan while boiling, brush the sides with a pastry brush and cold water to stop the mixture crystallising.
Meanwhile, using a clean bowl and whisk (otherwise the egg whites won’t stiffen), add the egg whites to the bowl and whisk until they start to form stiff peaks. When the sugar syrup has reached temperature, start to slowly trickle it onto the egg whites at the edge of the bowl while continuously whisking. Make sure you do this carefully so that the egg whites stay smooth.
Once all the sugar syrup has been added, continue to whisk the mixture fast and at high speed for 5–7 minutes until the mixture is smooth and has cooled down. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and with a piping nozzle of your choice fitted, pipe onto the eight individual lemon meringue pies.
If you have a cook’s blowtorch, carefully toast the edges of each meringue. Otherwise, place the meringues under the grill in the oven to brown slightly. Chill the lemon meringue pies for 1 hour. Remove them from the tins and enjoy