Mini Lemon Meringue Pies
Makes 12 gluten-free, dairy-free, very pretty pies
110g Gluten-free plain flour mix
1 pinch of gluten-free baking powder
1/4 tsp Xanthum gum
1 pinch of salt
55g block soya margarine like Pure
1/2 medium egg, beaten
splash of cold water (if dough too crumbly)
3 lemons, zest and juice
125g caster sugar
3 free-range egg yolks (keep the whites for the meringue)
Or cheat, and use Gale's Lemon Curd (which is both gf and df)
3 free-range large egg whites
170g caster sugar
1.5 tsp cornflour
How to make the pastry
- Place the flour, salt, Xanthum gum, baking powder and margarine into a bowl and rub with fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
- Add the egg and combine with hands to make a dough
- Keep an eye on the texture, you may need to add a little water if it's too crumbly
- Refrigerate for 20 mins
- Roll out the dough using plenty of icing sugar to cover both work surface and rolling pin to prevent the dough sticking and to provide a little sweetness to the pastry
- Cut out 12 rounds using a cutter (or wine glass) and place each pastry circle into one of the cups of a 12 x cupcake baking tray. Do not grease the baking tray beforehand
- Cover the tray with cling film and refrigerate the pastry cases for at least 30 mins before blind baking for 12 - 15 mins at 180c
- To blind bake, fold a sheet of baking parchment in half, then thirds, and then draw around your cutter on the top face. Cut your folded parchment along the line of the circle created by drawing round your cutter thus cutting out 12 circles at once. Pop one parchment circle on top of each pastry case and weigh it down using baking beans (not baked beans) if you have them or use uncooked rice. After cooking the pastry blind for 12 - 15 mins, take off and discard the rice and parchment and return to the oven for a further 2 - 4 mins, until the cases are slightly golden.
How to make the lemon filling (if you're not short-cutting with shop-bought lemon curd)
1. Mix the lemon zest and juice with the cornflour and stir to form a smooth paste. Bring to the boil 225ml of water, then add the lemon cornflour paste and stir over the heat until the mixture has thickened. Then remove from the heat
2. In a bowl, mix together the sugar and egg yolks and carefully whisk into the lemon mixture in the pan. Stir over a medium heat until thickened. Set aside for a few minutes and then pour into the baked pastry cases
How to make the meringue
Whisk the egg whites in a free-standing mixer until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Add the caster sugar a little at a time, still whisking until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Add the cornflour and whisk again.
Pie construction and final bake
1. Reduce oven heat to 170c
2. Spoon a generous dollop of the meringue on top of each lemon curd-filled pastry case, and spread it to completely cover the lemon filling. Then create a swirl on the top of each meringue-topped pie
3. Bake in the oven for about 10 - 15 mins, until the filling is completely set and the meringue is lightly golden and crisp.
Serve hot or cold.
Warning: these pies are so darn cute, they're almost too sweet to eat. Good luck.