Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Orange & Lime Meringue Pie with Lime & Walnut Pastry (gluten free) - Week 6 GBBO


This week was the Great British Bake Off week 6, which was a new one..... Botanical Week. This started with the remaining bakers making a signature Citrus Meringue Pie.

I LOVE a good meringue pie and since starting this little blog, I have shared both an amazingly-coloured Raspberry Meringue Pie (excuse the photos.... it was my early blogging days...) and also a perfectly tangy summer Rhubarb-Strawberry Meringue Pie and have done my best to be innovative with my gluten free pastries and fillings.


A Meringue Pie should have a really tangy curd filling which is tempered by the sweetness of the meringue. The pastry case should be short and crisp and the meringue mallowy on the inside with a good crunch to the surface. Beyond that, the permutations are endless.....

This week's Bake-Off was specific in its use of citrus and has given me the perfect excuse to play.... Citrus fruits are at their best at this time of year, with the Autumn Mediterranean harvest. I have chosen to use ripe juicy oranges in this pie, paired with limes to add the essential tartness..... Perfect!


The pastry is a variation on my favourite home-developed almond short-crust pastry..... switching out the almonds for walnuts for a slightly more earthy base. I have also added some lime zest and juice  to compliment the overall flavour theme.

I always find that adding a little citrus to the pastry dough seems to make it more malleable (a helpful trait for gluten-free pastry)...... I have no idea why, or whether there is any scientific base to the process. Either way, this pastry came out without a crack in sight and moulded into the pie-tin like a hand in a glove. Gluten free pastry generally doesn't have the same shrinkage when baked that you find with glutenous pastry, so I always trim it flush before baking, being fairly sure that it will keep its size and shape.


The curd filling is one that does not require further baking.... you simply make it in a pan and then pour into a blind-baked pastry case, leaving to chill before the meringue gets piled on top.

This pie is so delicious..... a perfect twist on the old lemon classic. The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that it is also a fantastic recipe for showing off the versatility of eggs...... In addition to the egg used to bind the pastry, there are three egg yolks in the filling and four egg whites used to make a wonderfully stiff, voluminous meringue. With World Egg Day on the 14th October, this is an ideal celebratory dessert. Make a traditional large pie to share..... or some mini individual tartlets to keep to yourself...... Actually, I made both!


I am sharing my amazing Orange & Lime Meringue Pie with :

#TheFoodCalendar with Charlotte's Lively Kitchen, celebrating World Egg Day.

Bake of the Week with Casa Costello







The Great Bloggers Bake Off with Mummy Mishaps : Week 6

The Bake Off Bake Along with Rhyme and Ribbons and This Particular



Cook Blog Share with the very talented Eb, over at Easy Peasy Foodie

Free From Fridays with the Free From Farmhouse and new co-host Le Coin de Mel





Sunday Fitness & Food with Ilka's Blog and Marathons & Motivation

Simple & in Season with Feeding Boys


Orange & Lime Meringue Pie with Lime & Walnut Pastry (makes 1 x 25 cm/10 inch round pie or 1 x 20 cm/8 inch pie and approx 12 mini tartlets)


Ingredients

Pastry
130g fine rice flour
60g corn flour
40g walnuts - finely ground
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
110g unsalted butter - cold & cubed
60g golden caster sugar
1 lime - finely grated zest +
juice of 1 lime made up to 1½ tablespoons liquid with cold water
1 large free range egg

Orange & Lime Curd Filling
juice of 3 to 4 large oranges - sieved }
juice of 2 limes - sieved                    } total juice volume 450 ml (use additional orange if needed)
150g golden caster sugar
45g corn flour (starch)
3 large egg yolks
40g unsalted butter - cubed

Meringue
4 large egg whites
215g caster sugar


Method

Pastry case
  1. Prepare your pie tin(s) - if you use non-stick, they won't need any preparation, otherwise lightly flour the inside.
  2. Weigh and mix the flours, ground walnuts, xanthan gum and salt in a large bowl, making sure any lumps are completely broken down.
  3. Rub the butter into the flour mix until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  4. Add and stir in the sugar and lime zest.
  5. Lightly beat the egg and add to the dry ingredients.  Add the lime juice (and water if required). 
  6. Mix with a flat knife until it comes together as a dough.
  7. Dust your hands with corn flour and gently knead the dough to ensure it is evenly blended.
  8. Do not chill the pastry dough - use straight away.
  9. Lay a large piece of cling film on your rolling surface and dust liberally with corn flour. Place your dough in the middle and flatten slightly. Dust the top of the pastry with flour and lay another piece of cling film on top. It is now ready for rolling. (If you are making smaller pies, you may find it easier to cut off and roll smaller pieces for each individual tart one at a time).
  10. Roll the dough (inside the cling film sheets) out to a thickness of about ½ cm. Re-flour if it starts to stick to the cling film.
  11. Line the pie tins with the pastry and carefully trim the edges with a sharp knife (I used the base-layer of clingfilm to flip the pastry over onto the tin, before moulding it gently into the tin). 
  12. Now chill the pastry in the fridge for about half an hour in the tins, to allow to rest.
  13. Whilst chilling, pre-heat the oven to 190 C/375 F/Gas 5.
  14. Line the pastry cases with baking paper and fill with a layer of baking beans. 
  15. Blind bake for 10 minutes with the baking beans and then remove the beans and bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes until the pastry is golden.
  16. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Curd Filling
  1. Squeeze the citrus fruit and sieve the juice to remove any fibrous bits. You should have approximately 450 ml fruit juice.  If you have less, top up with a little extra orange juice.
  2. Put the corn flour into a small bowl, add a little of the juice and mix into a smooth, quite liquid paste.
  3. Pour the rest of the fruit juice into a clean saucepan and add the sugar.
  4. Add the cornflour paste to the pan and stir well to combine.
  5. Gently heat the mixture, stirring continually, until the mixture thickens and comes to a simmer. 
  6. Once thickened, remove from the heat and cool slightly.
  7. Add and beat in the egg yolks one at a time using an electric whisk and then add and beat in the butter. 
  8. Spoon the filling into the pastry cases and smooth the surface.
  9. Chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the filling to set.
Meringue
  1. Whilst you are making the meringue, pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
  2. Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk in a large very clean bowl to stiff peaks.
  3. Gradually add the sugar to the egg whites a little at a time, continuing to whisk vigorously until the meringue has a stiff, glossy appearance.
  4. Pipe or spread the meringue onto the top of the tarts, spreading to the edge to seal.
  5. Place the tarts on a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes until the meringue surface is crisp and golden. Check frequently whilst cooking to make sure it is not burning and turn the oven down slightly if you are concerned.
  6. Once baked, remove the tarts from the tins.
  7. Eat warm or cold. Delicious with cream.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-16 unless otherwise indicated

38 comments:

  1. utterly delicious sounding and looking,. your photos are just amazing and makes me want to reach into my screen and grab a slice please! Your pastry looks perfect and those peaks of your meringue well just mmmmmm!!!! thank you for linking up xx

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    1. Thank you Jenny. You're welcome! That's really kind of you x

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  2. That looks and sounds so good. I shall have a go and let you know!

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    1. Thanks Dc. I hope it works for you and you love it as such as us x

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  3. I just love this gluten-free orange lime meringue pie! I could go for a slice right now! Pinning and stumbling!

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  4. It looks great. I would like to try the pastry, it sounds interesting. Do you think it will turn out ok if I don't add the xanthan gum?

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    1. Thank you. I think that the pastry should work fine without the xanthan gum. It may be slightly more fragile, but gluten free pastry is very forgiving and can be easily 'patched' if you take a small rolled piece, wet one side with water slightly, place over any cracks or holes and then smooth to seal with a wet finger.
      Let me know how you find it!

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  5. Yum yum yum! This looks fabulous you clever lady. I love the idea of the flavours too! You'd win the bake off. I really think you should enter. X

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    1. Aww... thank Vicki. I would never manage anything like bake off..... I hate the idea of being in the spot-light!

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  6. A lemon meringue pie always looks so splendid and this really does do it proud. The pastry sounds just lovely too and I love how it adds its own little ray of citrus sunshine

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    1. Thank you Johanna. Citrus always brings a sunny smile and the combination of tart and sweet is perfect x

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  7. Oh man! This looks awesome, yum!

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  8. These look amazing Kate, your meringue looks perfect and I love the way you've piped it on top.

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    1. Thank you Kat. The meringue was the perfect piping consistency! Makes a change....., x

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  9. That looks absolutely amazing, the colour of the curd filling is beautiful and as for the peaks on the meringue - gorgeous.
    Angela x

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    1. Thank you Angela. This pie was definitely a success x

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  10. Fabulous flavour combinations and the little pies look so sweet (as in cute)

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    1. Thanks Jacqueline. The large pie is divine, but there is always something quite fun (& decadent) about being able to pop a whole mini one into your mouth in one go!

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  11. Yum! This looks and sounds amazing - I especially like the sound of your pastry - I do so love walnuts. Sounds far nicer than normal gluteny pastry, to be honest! And those little ones - so cute!! Thanks for linking up to #CookBlogShare :-) Eb x

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    1. Thank you Eb. You're welcome. Thanks for hosting x

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  12. What a lovely colour in your curd and I love the piping of the meringue too, the mini ones look like little ice cream cones too, yum

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    1. Thank you Lucy. Now you mention it, they do don't they?! x

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  13. Another amazing bake from you (I've come to expect nothing else). I think you should apply for bake off and make everything GF - I reckon Paul (and whoever is standing next to him next year) would be really impressed.

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    1. Thank you Charlotte. I am definitely not the 'put myself on the TV and be watched baking' sort of person...... But I am pleased with my bake-along efforts anyway and would hope that Paul might be surprised (even if they didn't meet his exacting standards). x

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  14. These sound and look lovely - a great GF bake x

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  15. What pretty meringues! I've never had an orange one before but now I need to try one!

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    1. Thank you Jane. Absolutely you must try orange..... If you like it sharp though, be sure to compliment with a little lime or lemon. x

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  16. This sounds & looks amazing! I can not wait to give it a try!!

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  17. Absolutely gorgeous! I love the sound of a nutty pastry - I've only ever experimented with an almond one before. Thanks so much for joining in with #BakeoftheWeek - You are one of the featured bakes of the week x

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    1. Thanks Helen for your kind comments and for the feature too xx

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  18. Just my kind of dessert... love the sharp tang of citrus matched with the sweet crunchy meringue topping... your spin sounds and looks divine! Thanks for joining in with Simple and in Season this month :-)

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    1. Thank you Katie. Mine too! Always good to share x

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