Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Lemon Curd and Lemon Curd Miracle Pie

Lemon curd is great. For me it's mainly because it tastes like lemons, and lemons are one of my favourte things in the world.  It doesn’t keep for very long, but a couple of weeks in the fridge are fine and make it a really good present with a spring feeling all year round. This version has a bit of a twist to it and lots of lemon, and is at the base of my 5-minute wonder pie.

2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
3/4 cup brown sugar
80g of butter
¾ tablespoon of Limoncello or other lemon liqueur
Zest and juice of 3 lemons
Juice of 1 lime

Whisk the eggs and sugar in a saucepan until they become smooth and creamy, then place the pan over low eat. Add the butter, juices, Limoncello and zest and whisk it all together for about 5 minutes, until it thickens. Pour into jars and prop in the fridge. If you don’t like having bits of zest in it you can sieve it, but I like the tanginess of the little yellow speckles. If you like, you can also add a couple of drps of yellow food colouring the make the whole thing look more lemony.

A jar of this in the fridge when you have children around or know you might have sudden guests is great. You can always scoop in a tablespoon of it with a bowl of greek style yoghurt for breakfast, or spread on a thick slice of warm bread for an extra treat. Or, you can fold it in a batch of vanilla ice cream to make lemon ice cream (yea, it's not really, but this is so tasty nobody will care). But nothing beats a slice of my instant lemon pie.

You will need
8 egg whites
1 cup white icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
15 digestive biscuits
1 cup of melted butter
1 and ½ cup of mini marshmallows
1 tablespoon of milk
½ cup of lemon curd
drops of yellow food colouring

Crush the biscuits into a powder and mix them in with the butter. Press them in tightly at the base of your cake tin to make a cheesecake-like base. Put in the fridge to set for at least 15 minutes.

In a pan on medium heat melt the marshmallows into a cream and, off the heat, mix them up with the lemon curd. Add the food colouring until you are happy with the colour, which should be obnoxiously yellow. Of course you can skip this part f you don’t want to. Pour this mixture over the biscuity base, level it down to form a uniform state. If you literally have no time, or marshmallows, you can skip the marshmallow stage and just pour in about 1 cup of lemon curd on top of the base. Put back in the fridge to set for another 15 minutes minimum.

Whish the egg whites with the food processor until they are so stiff you can reverse the bowl and they wouldn’t fall down. Fold in the icing sugar very gently in order to maintain the meringue solid. Prop the meringue on top of the lemon curd cream, smoothing it out on the top. Put in the oven at 120°C with the fan on for an hour, until all the meringue is crunchy and cooked.

Serve with a nice cool glass of pink lemonade for a summery bliss, even in the middle of the winter.

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