Lovely Lemon Meringue Pie - Dairy Free



While this recipe isn't exactly something new because how many Lemon Meringue Pie recipes are floating around the internet? A lot I am sure. This is more about the story about making a simple yet super delicious lemon meringue pie.

It's about a tired pregnant mummy dreaming about pie, thinking about pie, talking incessantly about pie to her poor husband until she finally figured it was time to make a pie. It all started after watching the movie The Help. Don't ask me why the chocolate pie in that movie got me thinking about pie because it should be a turn-off. If you don't know what I am talking about, go and watch the movie. However, that chocolate pie (the good one) that the maid Minnie is well known for really got my mouth watering. Chocolate in pie form what else could a girl want - especially a pregnant one.





However, I didn't have any chocolate in the house and as you may well know I can't handle dairy so I started thinking what kind of pie would suffice instead of a chocolate pie. I think somewhere in my ravings about pie to my husband he mentioned a lemon meringue pie, and I couldn't stop thinking about it after that. For days on end lemon meringue pie would pop into my mind, my mouth would water, and the baby would give me a kick in what seemed like agreeance. The thought of a beautiful buttery crust, tart and creamy lemon curd filling and fluffy sweet clouds of meringue piled high. Perfection. Yes, pie was on the cards in the very near future.




I hauled my pregnant belly down our back stairs and trotted over to our lemon tree which is currently dripping in lemons. I made the lemon curd and the base the day before I planned to eat it so it gave it enough time to set overnight before adding on the pillowy clouds of meringue on top. Make sure you add lots of peaks on your meringue to allow for some lovely golden brown tips when baked. I made a couple of changes to the typical lemon meringue pie recipe. I used wholemeal flour in the base to up the fibre content a bit and made this dairy free by using Nuttelex in place of butter.


While this is not a groundbreaking new recipe but more about recalling an old favourite. Through the process of mixing, stirring and baking it and allowing it to provide comfort in times of some serious cravings.

Can I say the first mouthful of this pie was pure heaven, the second was delightful, and then the third was slightly painful. I ended up calling this a pleasure and pain pie. The lemons I picked from the tree seemed to be very tart and as per the recipe, I followed it ended up making a very tart lemon curd. So for my recipe, I have reduced the amount of lemon juice and added a little extra water to balance the flavours. 





Lovely Lemon Meringue Pie
Recipe Adapted From: Taste.com
Prep Time: 50 minutes + Chilling
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients:
    Base
    • 1 1/2 cups plain wholemeal flour
    • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
    • 125g nuttelex, roughly chopped (or other dairy free spread)
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons iced water
    Lemon Curd Filling
    • 1/3 cup cornflour
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (Approx 5-6 lemons)
    • 2 cups caster sugar
    • 60g nuttelex, roughly chopped
    • 4 eggs, separated (room temperature)
    Instructions:
    1. In a large mixing bowl sift the flour and icing sugar. Add in the nuttelex and gently rub it between your fingertips with the flour until it becomes incorporated into the flour and forms something that looks like breadcrumbs.
    2. Add the water to the flour mixture and with a bread and butter knife mix in until rough dough forms. Mix it together further with your hands in the bowl. Sandwich the dough between two pieces of baking paper and roll out with a rolling pin to a 5mm thick round disc.
    3. Spray a 23cm pie dish with some oil spray and gently lay the dough into the dish. Trim the excess dough with a knife and pinch the edges in with thumb and forefinger. Cover the pastry with baking paper and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
    4. Preheat oven to 180°C. Pill the lined pie dish with dry rice or beans (or pastry weights) and bake in the over for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until light and golden. Let the pastry cool completely.

    Lemon Curd Filling
    1. In a small saucepan add the cornflour, water, lemon juice and half of the sugar. Gently stir together to combine ingredients with a whisk. Place over a medium heat and gently whisk until the mixture boils and thickens. Continue cooking for a further 1-2 minutes until the mixture completely thickens. Remove the curd from the heat and continue to whisk while adding in the nuttlex and egg yolks.
    2. Transfer to a bowl or small tray and cover with clingfilm. Place in the fridge to cool completely. Once cooled spread the filling into the cooled pastry base.

    Meringue
    1. Preheat oven to 190°C. In a clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer add in the egg whites and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the rest of the sugar slowly until the meringue becomes thick and glossy and forms hard peaks.
    2. Using a spoon spread the meringue mixture over the lemon curd filled pie and create peaks with the back of the spoon. Place into the oven for 5-10 minute until the peaks turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before serving.
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