A recipe for lemon sherbet meringue pie, from Gizzi Erskine’s cookbook, Slow: Food Worth Taking Time Over
IMAGE: ISSY CROKER
Gizzi’s latest cook book Slow: Food Worth Taking Time Over could have been written specially for The Home Page. A glorious rebuff to the demand for recipes which are faster, easier, simpler – essentially a level up from a ready meal – Slow is a love letter to food where there is as much joy to be had in the making as in the eating. There will always be the requirement for a quick, satisfying meal (Monday evening, anyone?) but Gizzi’s new recipes are the ones to hold in reserve and prepare for; to linger over on a cosy Sunday afternoon. Here, we share her recipe for the sort of pudding that will send its lucky eaters into paroxysms of delight, and which will become the stuff of legend among your guests. It’s also a pleasure to make – what more could you possibly want?
Gizzi Erskine’s lemon sherbet meringue pie
For the pastry
- 225 g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 170 g ice-cold butter cut into small cubes
- 1 egg whisked with 1 tsp ice-cold water
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
For the filling
- 300 ml lemon juice
- 100 ml lime juice
- 100 ml orange or tangerine juice
- 50 ml water
- 240 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- zest of 1 grapefruit
- 4 tbsp cornflour
- 100 ml gin
- 170 g butter
For the meringue
- 6 egg yolks plus 2 whole eggs
- 350 g golden caster sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- First make the pastry. Place the flour in a food processor with the salt and sugar and whizz for a few seconds (this is a great way to ditch the process of sifting flour). Add the butter, and whizz again for about 20 seconds, or until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Turn out into a fridge-cold mixing bowl, and with a cold knife, slowly add enough of the whisked egg and water to bind the mixture together, being careful not to make the dough too wet. Bind the pastry into a ball. Kneading will make it tough, so try to handle it as little as possible. Lay the pastry on a baking sheet and roll out to flatten a little. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes or until needed.
- Once you are ready to make the pie, preheat the oven to 190˚C/170˚C/gas mark 5. Dust the work surface with flour and roll out the pastry until it’s the thickness of a 50p piece. Very carefully line a 24cm deep tart tin. Let the pastry overhang the edge of the tart dish so you can trim it once it has been blind baked. Place the lined tin in the freezer for 10 minutes and then line the raw pastry with greaseproof paper filled with baking beans and blind bake it for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, take out the baking beans and greaseproof paper and pop it back for a further 10 minutes. Take out and leave to cool. Lower the oven temperature to 140˚C/120˚C/gas mark 1. When the pastry is cool, carefully trim the pastry edges away with a knife, carving off the excess against the side of the tin, then brush away any crumbs with a pastry brush.
- While the pastry bakes, prepare the filling. Put the juices, water, sugar, salt and zest in a pan and bring to the boil. Mix the cornflour with the gin to form a smooth paste and whisk this into the juice mixture. Keep whisking and it will start to thicken. Lower the heat and add the butter, whisking until it has all melted. Now take the pan off the heat and stir in the eggs, beating furiously until you have a lovely smooth consistency. Leave to rest covered with some cling film touching the surface of the sherbet curd to stop a skin forming while you wait for the base to bake and cool.
- When ready to fill the tart, sieve the filling into the tart case to ensure a perfectly silky consistency. Level it out carefully with a spatula and return to the oven for 30 minutes.
- To make the meringue, place the sugar in a saucepan and add 4 tablespoons of water and the vanilla. Turn on the heat and bring to the boil until the sugar is melted, but do not stir as this will crystallise the sugar syrup. Whisk the egg whites into soft peaks so they fall down on themselves, and keeping the whisk going, slowly pour in the sugar syrup until it is all incorporated.
- With a metal spoon, top the tart with the meringue, creating lovely peaks as you go. Turn the oven up to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4 and cook the pie for 10 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for an hour before serving.
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