So this week it was my turn to bring dessert over to a friend’s house. Not wanting to go with something as heavy as cake, but not as boring as fruit (note – fruit is wonderful, but it’s NOT a dessert), I went for a lemon pie, as it feels quite light, but still zesty and sweet.
It’s a simple recipe but it does take a bit longer than some of my usual bakes as this involves making your own pastry. If you can, I’d recommend kicking your partners/housemates/family out of the kitchen for a few hours on a weekend. Believe me, they’ll be very happy you’ve taken hostage of the oven and fridge when they taste the deliciousness.
My friends and I ended up eating it straight out of the dish with three spoons rather than in slices and on plates*, so I’m going to call this one a win!
Warning – you’re going to need a lot of eggs.
- 4 egg yolks
- 500g/1 lb plain flour
- 250g/8oz butter
- 140g/4oz icing sugar
- 5 eggs
- 3 lemons for lemon juice
- 1 lemon peel (for the zest)
- 140g/4oz caster sugar
- 150g/5oz double cream
- To make the pastry, mix the plain flour, icing sugar and butter with your hands until it’s crumbly. Mix in the four egg yolks.
- Roll it all together into a big ball. If the mixture is super crumbly or dry, add a few teaspoons of water. Separate the ball in two and put one in the freezer to use at a later date.
- Flatten today’s pastry, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
- Whilst the pastry is chilling, you can make the filling. For this, mix the double cream and sugar, and squeeze out the juice from your three lemons. Sieve the mixture, then add the lemon zest (grate about 2 teaspoons of lemon peel.) Put in fridge to keep cool.
- After 30 mins, take out your pastry and roll out so it’s wide enough to fit into a 23inch tart dish. Press down and cut any extra pastry that comes out of the sides.
- Stab a few holes in the pastry and leave it back in the fridge for 30 mins.
- Heat your oven to 160 C/Gas Mark 3. Line the pastry with foil and place a handful of rice on top of the foil. This sounds really strange, but it stops the pastry from cooking too quickly. Put in the oven and leave for 20 mins.
- Take out of the oven, and remove foil/rice. Fill the dish with the lemon mixture and put back in the oven for another 30-35 minutes.
- Leave to cool, for a few mins and remove the pie from the dish. Or if you’re as indulgent as me and my friends, you could just give your guests spoons and eat it straight 😉
*I may have saved one perfectly cut slice just for Instagram before demolishing it!