Lime Meringue Pie

Pastry base ready to be
                cooked Pastry base cooked Cooked filling in pastry case Meringue ready for final stage
                of cooking The pie fully cooked

A combination of this pastry, this filling and the meringue from the lemon meringe pie recipe in Delia Smith's Complete Illustrated Cookery Course.  If you want to call this "Key Lime Pie" you will need to purchase key lime juice from somewhere (e.g. "Nellie & Joe's Famous", which is available via the internet in the UK).  It is much better with key lime juice as this makes the filling more tart to contrast with the sweet meringue topping.  For such an impressive looking thing this pie is easy to make if you have a Kenwood Chef or similar.

Serves 8.

Ingredients

For the pastry:

For the filling:

For the meringue:

Method

  1. Put the plain flour, butter and sugar into a food processor (i.e. a thing with a blade) and mix until they are fully combined, looking like a crumble topping.
  2. In a bowl combine an egg with the mixture to make a slightly sticky dough.
  3. Make a ball of the dough, wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge to cool for several hours; if you're in a hurry putting it in the freezer for 30 minutes is good enough.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 190 C while you're waiting for the dough to cool.
  5. Take a 25 cm diameter metal flan tin with a removable base and cut a piece of silicon baking paper big enough to cover the base then grease the inner side of the rim well.
  6. Roll out the cooled dough with a rolling pin until it is ~3 cm wider than the flan tin all round; the dough will be quite sticky so use plenty of flour when rolling it out, it may take two attempts.
  7. Place the rolled dough into the flan tin, rolling it back onto the rolling pin to support it partially as you do so, then make sure it is tucked well into all the corners; trim it to the top of the rim.
  8. Prick the base with a fork, cover it with a large sheet of silicon paper (so that you will be able to grab the sides afterwards to remove the baking beads) then add lots of baking beads to prevent the base rising and the sides collapsing inwards during baking.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes; continue with steps 10 to 12 while the base is in the oven.
  10. Beat the egg yolks in an electric mixer for 1 minute.
  11. Add the condensed milk and beat for 3 minutes.
  12. Add the lime juice and chopped lime zest and beat for 3 minutes; taste this, it should be like a tart lemon curd, only lime.
  13. When the base comes out of the oven, turn the oven down to 160 C.
  14. Place a support (e.g. a ramikin) beneath the middle of the flan tin and let the rim drop away, just to be sure that the pastry has not stuck to it (if it has you can deal with it now much more easily than you can later); then carefully put the rim back into position,
  15. Remove the top sheet of silicon paper with the baking beads and let the base cool for 15 minutes.
  16. Pour the filling into the base and return it to the oven for another 15 minutes; continue with steps 17 and 18 while the pie is back in the oven.
  17. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until they are opaque and fluffy (about 2.5 minutes on full speed in a food mixer).
  18. Add the caster sugar slowly, while continuing to beat, until it is fully incorporated.
  19. Use a spreader to plop the meringue on top of the pie and then spread it out so that it covers the pie entirely, touching the pastry case all around.
  20. Take a moment to use the corner of your spreading implement to flick little wave crests into the meringue topping; these will cook more and add crunch.
  21. Return the pie to the oven for 45 minutes.
  22. Serve hot or cold.


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