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)
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
4 large egg whites
215g caster sugar
- Prepare your pie tin(s) - if you use non-stick, they won't need any preparation, otherwise lightly flour the inside.
- Weigh and mix the flours, ground walnuts, xanthan gum and salt in a large bowl, making sure any lumps are completely broken down.
- Rub the butter into the flour mix until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add and stir in the sugar and lime zest.
- Lightly beat the egg and add to the dry ingredients. Add the lime juice (and water if required).
- Mix with a flat knife until it comes together as a dough.
- Dust your hands with corn flour and gently knead the dough to ensure it is evenly blended.
- Do not chill the pastry dough - use straight away.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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).
- Now chill the pastry in the fridge for about half an hour in the tins, to allow to rest.
- Whilst chilling, pre-heat the oven to 190 C/375 F/Gas 5.
- Line the pastry cases with baking paper and fill with a layer of baking beans.
- 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.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- 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.
- Put the corn flour into a small bowl, add a little of the juice and mix into a smooth, quite liquid paste.
- Pour the rest of the fruit juice into a clean saucepan and add the sugar.
- Add the cornflour paste to the pan and stir well to combine.
- Gently heat the mixture, stirring continually, until the mixture thickens and comes to a simmer.
- Once thickened, remove from the heat and cool slightly.
- Add and beat in the egg yolks one at a time using an electric whisk and then add and beat in the butter.
- Spoon the filling into the pastry cases and smooth the surface.
- Chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the filling to set.
- Whilst you are making the meringue, pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk in a large very clean bowl to stiff peaks.
- 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.
- Pipe or spread the meringue onto the top of the tarts, spreading to the edge to seal.
- 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.
- Once baked, remove the tarts from the tins.
- Eat warm or cold. Delicious with cream.
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