Celebrating Fathers’ Day last weekend meant attempting to create Mike’s all-time favourite dessert, Lemon Meringue Pie. I’ve found it difficult to make a good M-friendly pastry in the past and I wasn’t sure I wanted to struggle with it again, so instead I took inspiration from Mike’s other favourite pudding, cheesecake and decided to create my “pie” with a biscuit base. I whipped up a double batch of my digestive biscuits recipe, pressed it into a greased springform cake tin and popped it into the oven for about 25 minutes.
Once this was in the oven, I scoured the internet looking for an allergy-friendly lemon meringue recipe that I could adapt, if necessary, to suit us all. I found this great vegan recipe, which needed only the smallest of tweaks and set to making the lemon filling to put on top of the biscuit base. I was lucky to have nearly all of the ingredients in my cupboard, though I had to use gelatin instead of agar to set the filling and here I nearly failed. I had no idea of how much gelatin to add, so I added an amount that seemed reasonable for what I was making and kept my fingers crossed that it would all work out. The good news is that 2 (and a bit) sachets of powdered gelatin set the filling enough to create the layer I was looking for, but trust me, it was certainly more luck than judgement. Next time I will try more as I think it really needs to be a firmer layer.
Base baked, filling added and sitting in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours, I came to the final, and possibly the hardest, part of my Lemon meringue challenge – the meringue topping itself. I have successfully made small egg-free meringues before, but I wasn’t convinced that that recipe would work as the topping for a pie. Instead, I decided to attempt the meringue mix suggested on the vegan recipe I was following as it seemed easy enough and I had enough egg replacement powder in the cupboard to give it a whirl. It all started well, but I then added the rest of the water needed and things started to go horribly wrong. What I really should have done was stop there and start again, but I foolishly thought I’d attempt to rescue the gloop I was holding and added more sugar and egg replacement until I reached the consistency I thought I was after. You can find my adapted recipe here.
I doubtfully poured the meringue mix on top of the chilled base and put it in the oven, with everything crossed for a good result. The recommended baking time was nowhere near long enough and I ended up leaving it in for a whole hour. The end result? Well, Mike and the kids kindly said it was delicious and for a first attempt, I would agree that it wasn’t too bad. However, it was not up to my exacting standards and I will definitely be trying this one out again with a few more tweaks along the way as I attempt to bake the perfect M-friendly lemon meringue pie.
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