Recipe: Slightly Cheaty Lemon Meringue Surprise Pie

I am so proud of this recipe.  It came about because I realised a while back that, actually, I make pretty good lemon curd and I know how to make meringue, so theoretically, lemon meringue pie should be within my grasp.  And guess what?  It turns out that it is.  Pretty exciting, don’t you think?

The cheaty part is that I don’t like making pastry, so I just made a ginger-biscuit crust – the kind one makes for un-cooked cheesecakes – which was lovely, except that then the butter tried to make a break for freedom all over the oven, fridge and table.  Learn from my example – make sure you line the outside of the tin with foil.

The surprise part is a SURPRISE!  Oh, alright, you’re reading the recipe, you probably deserve to know what it is.  It’s fresh raspberries.  Because everything is better with fresh raspberries, don’t you think?  Especially cheaty lemon meringue pie…

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250 g gingernut biscuits
125 g butter + 40 g
125 g fresh raspberries
4 eggs
75 g sugar + 200g sugar
zest of two lemons
juice of one lemon

Now what will you do with it?

First, take a 20-22cm loose-bottomed cake tin (oo-er!), and wrap the outside in foil.  This will help the butter not to leak everywhere later.

In a food processor, crush the biscuits to fine crumbs.

Soften the first 125 g of the butter or melt half of it, then add it to the food processor to pulverise and squish into the biscuits.  Tip out the biscuit mixture into the cake tin, and press it into the bottom and up the sides.  It will probably only come halfway up the sides.

Refrigerate while you make the lemon curd.

Start by separating the eggs, setting the egg-whites aside for later.  Now follow the instructions in my lemon curd recipe, because I am way too lazy to type it out again.  Use the egg yolks, 40 g butter, 75 g sugar and all the lemony goodness. When the lemon curd is done, pour and spread it over the ginger biscuit base.  Press the raspberries into the lemon curd, distributing them as evenly as possible.  Return the whole thing to the fridge for an hour or so, to allow the lemon curd time to set and chill.

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Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.

Beat the egg whites with an electric beater in a very clean bowl until soft peaks form.  Add in the sugar in three or four batches, beating each time until the sugar has dissolved before you add the next bit.  (Rub it together between your thumb and forefinger to see if the sugar has dissolved – if you can feel grains, keep on beating).

Remove the pie from the fridge, and spread the meringue carefully over the whole of the lemon filling.  Bake for 6 minutes, or until the meringue is a little brown in places.  Remove from the oven, and cool to just above room temperature, then return to the fridge for at least an hour so that everything can set nicely.

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Serve with pride.  And out of the tin – because you will be able to get the sides off, but if you can get the tart off the base of the tin without breaking the whole thing, you are a better man than I am.  Or woman, as the case may be.

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Variations

This is vegetarian and nut-free.  It could be gluten-free if you found gluten-free ginger biscuits, at which point it would be fairly low FODMAP, too, since citrus and berries are generally considered OK for these purposes.  There is nothing whatsoever that is healthy about this dessert, however, so let’s not deceive ourselves on that score, OK?

(It still tastes delicious, though.)

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4 responses to “Recipe: Slightly Cheaty Lemon Meringue Surprise Pie

  1. I am not a fan of lemon meringue pie but I applaud your gingernut base and addition of raspberries – now if we could just get rid of the lemon curd and meringue I would love it (sorry!) Actually I always think lemon meringue pie is one of the most spectacular desserts and have a sneaking admiration for it but just have never been that thrilled about it.

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