THIS RECIPE IS FROM CRUMB: THE BAKING BOOK by RUBY TANDOH
The bare bones of a lemon meringue pie — sharp, sunny lemon curd, voluminous meringue — without having to mess around with a pastry crust. Shop-bought lemon curd is ok in this filling, but homemade will have far more zing to it. There’s a handily economical recipe for it below which uses all the yolks left over from making the meringue.
4 large egg whites
½ teaspoon lemon juice
200g caster sugar
30g icing sugar, to dust
For the filling:
300ml double cream
40g icing sugar
150–200g lemon curd, to taste
Roasting dish or Swiss roll tin, approximately 22x33cm
1 Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas mark 3 and line the tin with baking parchment.
2 In a very clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites with the lemon juice just until they’re completely foamy and hold in soft mounds as the whisk is lifted out. Add the caster sugar a little at a time, whisking thoroughly between each addition. Adding the caster sugar all at once or before the previous addition has been incorporated may cause the meringue to collapse, so do be patient here.
3 Once all the caster sugar has been added, keep whisking. You’ll feel the meringue become thicker, you’ll see it grow glossy and smooth, but don’t stop until the point when, as you slowly lift your whisk away from the meringue, the mixture holds in a firm, well-defined, straight peak. Carefully spoon the meringue into the tin, level it and bake for 30 minutes.
4 Once the meringue is baked, dust another sheet of baking parchment with the 30g of icing sugar and turn the meringue out onto it so that it’s upside-down. Peel the paper off the underside (now the top) of the meringue and let cool.
5 Whip the cream and the 40g of icing sugar until the cream holds in soft peaks. Gently fold the lemon curd into the cream. Spread this lemony mixture over the cooled meringue then, using the baking parchment as an aid, roll the meringue up into a log. Roll from long edge to long edge (creating a roll that is around 30cm long). Don’t worry if the meringue cracks or if some of the cream oozes out — this is a beautiful dessert but not one to get precious about.
Most lemon curd recipes call for at least one whole egg. This one uses only the yolks, resulting in a rich, vibrantly yellow curd.
Makes around 200g
2 large or 3 smaller lemons, zest and juice
4 medium/large egg yolks
90g caster sugar
40g butter, cubed
1 Place the zest, lemon juice, yolks, sugar and butter together in a large heatproof bowl. Suspend the bowl over pan of simmering water, making sure that the base of the bowl does not touch the water.
2 Now: be patient. Linger over the curd with a wooden spoon, stirring continuously. The butter will melt and the sugar will dissolve, and over the course of the next 10-15 minutes the mixture will gradually heat up and thicken. Keep stirring over the heat until the curd is viscous enough to coat the back of the spoon – a yellow layer of curd that will hold the track left by a finger swiped through it, not a thin, translucent layer of the stuff. It'll thicken as it cools.
3 Take off the heat, decant into a very clean jam jar (preferably sterilised, if you're planning on storing the curd for any great length of time) and lid it. Let it cool to room temperature, then store in the fridge.