FYI, the only kind of odd thing i used in making this pie was a food processor, its not essential but it saves a great deal of time
Step 1: Get all your stuff
quite a bit of flour
a good bit of sugar
a little of the sticky brown sugar
a block of butter
(optional but VERY useful)
cling film / plastic wrap
Step 2: Shortbread base
that means if youre measuring with cups its a cup of sugar, 2cups butter, 3cups flour.
i use 100g/3.5oz of suggar and i have a little leftover to put in the freezer for shortbread biscuits
put dry ingredients in the processor and blitz.
little by little add the butter until you get the right consistency, wet enough to stay together but dry enough to crumble in your fingers.
pour the crumbs into the mould and press into place
put the remaining shortbread into plastic wrap, flatten out and put in the freezer. this can be used in at a future time to make shortbread biscuits, just remove from the freezer, cut (while still frozen and put into a preheated over at 180C / 350F / Gas 4 for about 10 mins
Step 3: Extracting lemon juice
one at a time take a lemon and cut it
step 2: (optional)
arrange the lemons in a smiley face and txt the pic to a friend to brighten their day "when life gives you lemons, make a smiley face!)
use the juicer / a fork / the head of a wooden spoon to get the juice from all the lemons
Step 4: Seperating the eggs
the 2 bowls
the 8 eggs
break an egg over the cup, let the white fall into the cup. if you managed to seperate well, pour the whitefrom the cup into the bowl to make the meringue and the yolk in the other bowl.
If the yolk breaks throw the lot into the bowl for making the lemon curd. once you have 4 whites with no trace of yolk in one bowl break the rest of the eggs in the bowl for the curd.
if you have any brolken yolk in the whites it will be very difficult to whisk the whites
Step 5: Making the lemon curd
the bowl of eggs (with yolks) from part four
the juice from part 3
moar sugar 300g
moar butter 200g
whisk the eggs briefly then add in the butter (cut into chunks) and lemon juice
pour the mixture into the saucepan and put on a very low heat, stir constantly*
the curd is ready when it sticks to the spoon as shown. if it gets a little lumpy dont worry, its not the end of the world, itll come out of the oven fine.
this might be a good time to start preheating your oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4
pour the slick curd into the mould onto the shortbread. you know its really ready if a toothpick can stand in the curd. the bread roll has nothing to do with anything
*note: when stirring a sauce, stir in figure of 8 to keep the whole liquid moving, not just the outside, which can lead to burning of the middle of the pan, you dont want that, nobody does.
**note: some people use lemon zest too, i dont, because i dont really like it, but if you are going to use lemon zest, be sure to use unwaxed lemons.
Step 6: (almost there) making the meringue
MORE sugar 300g and a little of the sticky brown sugar for good measure
the mould with shortbread coverd in lemon curd (from part 5)
Whisk the egg whites until stiff
Add half the sugar (150g) and whisk again
Fold in the remaining sugar (and the sticky brown sugar) with a metal spoon
Gently spread the egg whites across the lemon curd using the metal spoon
Insert the mould into the oven for about 10 minutes, until the meringue is golden, crispy on the outside soft and fluffy on the inside. and the uncooked shortbread base will have melded seamlessly into the curd.
Step 7: Cool and enjoy
i was going to take pictures of the pie once cool but i forgot, and ate it all with friends in the space of one afternoon.
i openly welcome any comments, remarks and constructive criticisms.
MAJOR thanks to Nigella Lawson for her book 'how to eat' for the basis of the curd and meringue recipies
and thanks to Deb from Smitten kitchen, just for being awesome