Lovely recipe for Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

Ingredients

For the filling:
1 can condensed milk
1/2 cup (125 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the pastry:
250 g cake flour
125 g cold butter, cubed
1/3 cup (80 ml) caster sugar
a pinch of salt
1 XL egg yolk
2-3 tablespoons ice-cold water

For the Italian meringue:
300 g caster sugar
100 ml water
4 XL egg whites

How to

For the filling:
Place the ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl and use electric beaters to beat until thick and smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use – it will thicken more on standing.

For the pastry:
Place the flour, butter, caster sugar, salt and egg yolk in a food processor. Process well, then add the cold water little by little until the pastry comes together in a ball. Immediately stop processing, turn out onto a clean surface and press together into a disc shape. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 180 C. Spray a mini muffin tray with non-stick baking spray.

On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to a thickness of 2-3 cm, then cut rounds of about 8 cm to line the insides of the mini muffin tray. Carefully nudge them into the holes, then use a fork to gently prick each pastry circle on the bottom. Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden, then remove and set aside to cool. Repeat with remaining pastry.

For the Italian meringue:
Place the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, swirling it around in the beginning to melt the sugar evenly. As soon as it comes to a rapid boil, set a timer for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, start whisking your egg whites until stiff peaks form. As soon as the syrup is ready (after boiling for 5 minutes) remove it from the heat and, with the whisk running on medium-high speed, pour the syrup in a small but steady stream into the egg whites until everything is incorporated. The mixture will be very hot. Continue whisking for about 10 minutes until the mixture has cooled to room temperature and has a thick, glossy texture. Cover and refrigerate until needed, or transfer to a piping bag fitted with the desired nozzle and use at once. I prefer using a twisted wide star-shaped nozzle.

To assemble:
Place the cooled pastry cases on a serving plate. Use a teaspoon to fill each case with a dollop of filling. Pipe the meringue filling neatly on top, then use a kitchen blowtorch to add a toasty finish. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of The Food Fox. Visit the blog for more delicious recipes. Recipe copyright – Ilse van der Merwe. Photo copyright – Tasha Seccombe.

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