If Kermit ordered a meringue, it’d be this one. Froggy green and zingy as hell; a lime meringue pie to be reckoned with. This isn’t a dessert that wraps you in a buttery, creamy blanket, stroking your temples and murmuring reassuring whispers before you’re carried to bed. It’s a hit you in the face, wake you up with a start, no-nonsense kind of a dessert.
If I still went out dancing the night away after dinner with friends, then this is the kind of sugar hit I might order to see me through the night. Nothing soporific about this baby. Energising, sharp and my favourite colour. All wrapped up in a bitter dark chocolate crust that’s more grown up than splitting the bill equally. I need more lime meringue pie in my life.
WARNING: Chocolate pastry is a total pain to work with and this one is very bitter and chocolately which makes it all the worse. Italian meringue should only be attempted with the use of a free standing mixer (in my humble opinion) and lime curd is well, not too bad to make when you take the previous two tasks into account. In short, I wouldn’t usually post this kind of recipe as it’s not something I’d make on an average day. However, a few people have asked me for it since the Bake Off, so here it is. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
QUANTITIES: This pie recipe was developed for the Great British Bake Off, hence the quantities are for a large, TV friendly pie. You could use a smaller pie tin and freeze/make biscuits with the extra chocolate pastry, bottle any leftover lime curd and of course just pile the meringue really, really high.
EXCESS EGG WHITES: May I suggest you age them and make them into macaroons? As the freestanding mixer is already on the counter top and all that…
Ingredients for the pastry:
- 175g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 50g cocoa powder
- 50g icing sugar
- 140g butter
- 3 large egg yolks
- Ingredients for the lime curd:
- 45g cornflour
- 375mls water
- 5 large egg yolks
- 440g granulated sugar
- 125mls fresh lime juice
- 2tsp grated lime zest
- Green gel food colouring
- Ingredients for the meringue:
- 240g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp liquid glucose
- 60mls water
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- Either extra lime zest or some chocolate melted and drizzled
1. Preheat the oven to Gas 5/190C. Make sure the rack is in the middle of the oven.
2. Make the pastry. Sieve the flour, baking powder, cocoa and icing sugar. Rub in the butter. Add the egg yolks and bind together using a knife. Form into a flat circle using hands, roll the pastry out onto a cocoa and floured work surface until larger than the pie tin. Transfer to a 26cm, loose bottomed pie tin using the rolling pin (careful as my, this pastry can break easily – if it does, transfer and then do a patch up job in the tin y pinching the pastry together with your fingers and adding leftovers as patches), gently ease into the corners and use the rolling pin to trim the top by rolling it over the rim gently. Place in the freezer for 45 minutes.
3. Bake the pie crust lined with greaseproof paper and holding baking beans for 15 minutes. Remove baking beans and greaseproof paper and bake again until crisp – about another 5 – 10 mins dependant on ferocity of your oven – if it looks like it’s puffing up out of all control then remove from the oven and pop back in at a lower temperature. Allow to cool in the tin.
4. Make the meringue. Whisk the egg whites in a very clean freestanding mixer with the whisk attachment to soft peak stage. Turn mixer off.
5. Put the sugar, glucose and water into a small saucepan with a jam thermometer. Heat on the hob until the sugar dissolves then turn the heat up and allow to boil until the temperature reaches 120C. At 115C turn the freestanding mixer back on and whip the egg whites on a low speed.
6. Remove sugar from the heat at 120C and pour the boiling sugar in a steady stream into the eggs whilst the mixer is running. Leave mixer running for 7 minutes or until the bowl is cool to touch Add the vinegar and cornflour (pre mixed) then mix again. Set aside.
7. Make the lime filling. Take 125mls of the water and add cornflour – whisk well until combined. In a saucepan whisk the egg yolks, sugar, juice and rest of the water. Add the cornflour mix and then place on hob, whisking continually until it boils. Should take about 8 minutes. Then remove from the heat once it’s boiled continuously for 1 minute, still whisking all the time. Add the zest, stir and leave to cool a little. Add food colouring to make the curd green. Curiously it won’t be Kermit in colour already, even after all that zest.
8. Remove the pie shell from the fridge and add the lime filling, level with a knife.
9. Spoon the meringue onto the lime curd filling, being careful to push it to the edge of the crust with the back of the spoon, thus binding it. Use a blow torch to brown the top of the meringue, though worry not if you don’t own such a thing as the meringue is already cooked so this step can be left out. Chill the pie until ready, then unleash from the tin (or not, it’s your call) and pop onto a serving plate.
10. Decorate with lime zest or melted chocolate as you so wish. Serve, eat, dance.
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