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Lemon meringue pie with dark chocolate & anise

Lemon meringue pie with dark chocolate & anise

A thin layer of dark chocolate, warmed with a hint of anise gives this classic dessert a refreshing twist


For the pastry case

Sweet pastry base (either pre-made or use the recipe below) 100g dark chocolate, melted 3-4 star anise seeds, crushed and added to the melted chocolate

To make the tart case

  • 220g plain flour
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp cold water

For the lemon filling

  • 250g sugar
  • Zest and juice of 4 large lemons
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 300g unsalted butter

For the meringue

  • 2 large free-range egg whites
  • 120g castor sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp liquid glucose

(Adding liquid glucose when making a sugar syrup, helps to stop the sugar crystallising. You should find in the baking isle of your local supermarket).


To make the tart case

  1. Cream the icing sugar and butter together until smooth, then add the flour.
  2. Mix the egg yolks with water and add to the dry mixture until the pastry comes together.
  3. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll out the sweet pastry to line a 23cm tart tin, then fill with baking beans and chill. Meanwhile heat oven to 180°C. Blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes, remove the beans and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  5. When the pastry has cooled, spread a thin layer of the melted chocolate and anise on the bottom of the tart case. Allow to set before adding the filling.

To make the filling

  1. In a large heatproof mixing bowl, rub the lemon zest into the sugar. Whisk in the eggs then the lemon juice.
  2. Put the bowl over a pan of boiling water. Cook, stirring with a whisk, until it thickens to a sabayon (about 10 minutes).
  3. Strain through a sieve and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a mixing bowl and beat on high. Gradually add the butter a little at a time. Once all the butter has been added, continue to beat for a few more minutes so the mixture is light and fluffy. Allow to cool completely.

For the meringue

  1. Put the sugar, water and glucose into a small heavy-based saucepan and gently dissolve over a low heat.
  2. Once the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear, increase the heat and allow to boil for 5-7 minutes (120°C on a sugar thermometer).
  3. Meanwhile, put the egg whites in a clean, dry mixing bowl and slowly whisk until they are frothy. Increase the speed and whisk until soft peaks form.
  4. Turn the speed down to low while slowly pouring in the boiling sugar syrup. Make sure the syrup is poured down the side of the bowl, away from the whisk attachment, so hot syrup doesn’t splash up.
  5. Once all the syrup has been added, increase the speed and continue whisking for another 5 minutes until the meringue is silky and smooth.
  6. Transfer the mix into a piping bag and pipe dollops onto the meringue tart. Finish off with a blow torch or under a hot grill for a few minutes until browned and crisp.

Recipe by Jody Spencer

Taste Buds chef: Jody Spencer

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