It was all yellow: Mini lemon meringue pies

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Oh my goodness – apologies for the hiatus! This stupid day job thing, apart from providing me with a salary, is proving enormously inconvenient and disruptive. I have about 5 posts waiting in the wings which I hope to get out over the next couple of days. First up – this super delicious and easy lemon meringue pie. Why easy you say? Because the base is a wonderful delicious cheat – no pastry, no messy flour/butter disasters. No sirree – just a simple coconutty biscuit base. This is the stuff dreams are made of. Really.

For the base:

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– 1 packet of Tennis biscuits (this is a South African biscuit that tastes of coconut and is wonderful for biscuit bases. I found these quite easily in UK supermarkets. However, if you are struggling to find them just use any plain coconut biscuits, or if you aren’t a fan of those use digestive biscuits)

-100g butter

For the filling and meringue

– 3 large lemons (perfect to use the leftover lemons from the limoncello recipe)

– 1 tbsp grated lemon zest

– 6 eggs separated

– 3 tbsps cornflour

– 400g caster sugar

– 45g unsalted butter diced

– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.

2. Line a muffin pan with cupcake cases.

Make the biscuit base:

3. Crush the packet of biscuits to a fine crumb. I did this in a mortar pestle. You could also put the biscuits in a plastic bag and gently bash with a rolling pin/ bottle/ the head of someone annoying you…. (I kid!)

4. Melt the butter and mix it with the biscuits crumbs. You want a slightly wet mixture, that sticks together when pressed, but it must not be too wet or sloppy. Divide this mixture evenly and firmly press it down into the cupcake liners.

Make the curd:

5. Lightly beat the egg yolks in a bowl. Mix the cornflour, flour and 225g of the sugar in a pan with 360ml of water. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat slightly and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes, until it starts to thicken.

6. Beat several spoonfuls of this mixture into the egg yolks. Pour this mixture into the pan and slowly bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 3 minutes, then stir in the lemon juice, zest and butter. Continue boiling for a further 2 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and glossy, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Make the meringue:

7. Whisk (using whisk or an electric beater or stand mixer) the egg whites in a large, clean bowl until foamy. Continue whisking while slowly adding the remaining sugar, about a tablespoon at a time. When the meringue is thick and glossy it is ready.

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Assemble:

8. Pour a thick layer of the curd filling into each cupcake liner. Top with the meringue. I piped mine on, but you can just easily dollop on spoonfuls. Either way it will look fantastic. Try to cover all the curd and spoon/pipe the meringue right up to the edge. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the meringue is lightly golden. Leave to cool completely, then eat, or store in the fridge.

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DSC_0392 (my recipe was adapted from the Masterchef Cookery Course cookbook)