I have never made lemon meringue before. i don’t like pastry on desserts like this very much so i haven’t thought about making it before. That is until i visited my mum and she cooked it without the pastry and it was so yummy that she inspired me to try it myself! Of course you can add the pastry if you like but if like me you aren’t a fan i certainly recommend it this way!
For the lemon filling:
grated zest and juice 2 large lemons
3 level tablespoons cornflour
2 oz (50 g) golden caster sugar
3 large egg yolks
1½ oz (40 g) butter
For the meringue:
3 large egg whites
6 oz (175 g) golden caster sugar
Heat the oven to 190°C or 170 if fan assisted oven.
To make the lemon filling measure 10 fl oz (275 ml) cold water into a jug, and spoon the cornflour and sugar into a bowl. Add enough of the water to mix the cornflour to a smooth paste, then pour the rest of the water, along with the grated lemon zest, into a small saucepan. Bring this up to the boil, then pour it gradually on to the cornflour, mixing all the time until it is smooth.
Now return the mixture to the saucepan and bring back to the boil, still mixing. Next, simmer very gently for about 1 minute, stirring all the time to prevent it from catching. Then remove the pan from the heat and beat in the egg yolks, lemon juice and, finally, the butter. Pour the lemon mixture into individual dishes (or the pastry shell if you want and spread it out evenly).
Finally, for the meringue, use a large, roomy bowl and in it whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
Now whisk in a quarter of the sugar at a time until it is all incorporated, then spread the meringue over the individual dishes (or to the very edge of the pastry rim with a palette knife, so that it seals the edge completely).
The instructions say to cook in the oven on the centre shelf for 45 minutes with the pastry case, by which time the meringue will have turned pale beige, and be crisp on the outside and squashy within, but i only needed 15 to 20 minutes for the individual dishes.
Serve warm or cold, but if warm, leave it to settle for about 20 minutes.