Everyone loves lemons and everyone loves pies, so a really tangy, deep and luscious lemon pie is a wonderful thing. This lemon pie is pretty easy to make. The base is a crushed biscuit base, with three ingredients, and the filling has just three ingredients too!
I make the pie with an Italian meringue topping. You don’t have to have this – you could just as easily serve it with whipped cream on top, or simpler still, pile up a whole heap of lovely fresh berries like raspberries or blueberries on the pie, and the berries cut through the sweetness of the filling.
I have made this pie with ordinary and Meyer lemons, and while not essential, Meyer lemons give the pie a lovely flavour.
160g ginger nut biscuits + 90g digestive biscuits (McVities are my fave)
80g salted macadamias (you could use almonds if you like)
100g butter, melted
2 tins sweetened condensed milk
4 large free-range egg yolks
Juice of 4 lemons + the juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
Meringue Topping (optional)
100g caster sugar
2 free-range egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C fan-forced. You will need a 20cm pie/tart tin or dish. A larger tin or dish is fine, you will end up with a shallower pie. A lose bottom tin, while not essential, makes it easier to get the pie out of the tin.
Put the biscuits and macadamias into a ziplock bag and bash with a rolling pin or mallet till you have a rubble of biscuit pieces and crumbs. Place the biscuit/nut mixture into a food processor, and blitz until you have mostly crumbs with a few larger biscuit and nut pieces. Melt the butter in a microwave or on the stovetop.
Stir the butter through the biscuit/nut mixture. Press the mixture into the tin, on the base and up the sides. Keep pressing with your fingers to make sure the base covers the tin and there are no holes. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the base is firm. Remove from the oven.
While the base is cooking, put the condensed milk, egg yolks, lemon juice and zest into the food processor and whizz until everything is well blended. Pour onto the warm base. The mixture should come almost up to the top of the tin. You may end up with a little too much lemon mixture, you can always bake this in a little tin or muffin mold and you have an extra dessert! Cook’s treat!
Bake for 20 minutes or until just set but the middle still has slight wobble. You might like to check it after 16 or 17 minutes. Everyone’s oven is different and some ovens cook faster then others.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before removing from the tin. Or, if your pie is baked in a dish, leave as is. Chill in the fridge for at least a few hours.
Meringue topping (if using)
Combine sugar and 100ml water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook until syrup reaches 115C (soft ball stage) using a thermometer.
Now whisk the egg whites with cream of tartar on medium speed in a grease-free bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
Cook the sugar syrup to 121C (hard ball stage). With the mixer speed still on medium, carefully and gradually pour the syrup into the beaten egg whites. Increase speed to high and beat until the meringue is cooled to room temperature and it is thick and glossy.
Spoon the meringue into a piping beg with a plain nozzle, or you could just use a ziplock bag with the end snipped off – works a treat! Pipe in whatever way you like on top of the lemon pie. Scorch with a kitchen blow torch for added wow!
Serve with whipped cream and berries, lemon slices and anything else you fancy.