Cookbook:British Lemon Meringue Pie
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These instructions will make a sticky and indulgent lemon meringue pie. If you want the normal gel-like centre, use the other recipe instead.
- 8 digestive biscuits (plain/tea biscuits)
- 2 imperial tbsp (36 mL, 2.4 US tbsp.) butter
- 1 tin (300mL) sweetened condensed milk
- 1-2 lemons, zest and juice
- 3 eggs (1 yolk, 3 whites)
- 6 imperial tbsp (108 mL, 7.2 US tbsp.) caster sugar
- Find a 10 inch (25cm) diameter pie dish about 1 inch deep (2.5cm). There are 3 layers to make.
- Make the bottom layer by pounding the digestive biscuits into crumbs with the end of a rolling pin. Add sufficient melted butter to make the mixture cohere, mix well, then smooth it into the bottom of the pie dish. Press down firmly with the tip of a spoon to make the base.
- Make the filling. Take a tin of sweetened condensed milk, and add the yolk of one egg. Stir gently, and add the lemon. Add the lemon to taste: more will be better, but be careful not to add too much or it will spoil the texture. Do not stir too much. Pour this into the pie dish, covering the biscuit layer.
- Make the top. Whisk all 3 egg whites, then add the caster sugar, then whisk some more. Spoon the meringue mix into the pie dish, sealing around the edges.
- Cook the result in a moderately cool oven (325 degrees F) for about 45 minutes until the meringue is a light golden brown. The aim is to cook the meringue and partly cook the centre (unlike, say, Baked Alaska, where only the top of the meringue is flash-cooked). Remove from the oven, allow to cool, and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours to set. Enjoy.
Notes, tips, and variations
- There are 2 types of lemon meringue pie. The more common version has a lemon "gel" in the centre (which is often a luminous yellow colour), and a hard pastry base. The version above is much stickier.
- In an earlier version, the centre used all 3 egg yolks. It isn't necessary, and it is more healthful to omit 2 of them.
- When making the middle, it's essential to mix in the egg before the lemon. The acidity of the lemon acts on the yolk protein to thicken it; putting in the lemon first (which is tempting if you want to "add lemon to taste" without eating raw egg yolk) will cause the yolk to go "stringy" on contact.