Hairy Bikers Lemon Meringue Pie is a classic dessert, featuring a crisp pastry base, a tangy lemon curd filling, and a fluffy meringue topping. It’s a perfect balance of sweet and sour, crunchy and creamy, light and decadent. This recipe serves 8-10 people and can be prepared in approximately 2 hours.
In this article, I will show you how to make Hairy Bikers Lemon Meringue Pie step by step, with tips and tricks along the way.
What is Hairy Bikers Lemon Meringue Pie?
Hairy Bikers Lemon Meringue Pie is a variation of the traditional lemon meringue pie, which is believed to have originated in the 19th century in France or Switzerland. The name “Hairy Bikers” refers to the British TV chefs and cookbook authors Dave Myers and Si King, who are known for their love of hearty and delicious food. They have popularized this version of the lemon meringue pie, which uses a shortcrust pastry instead of a biscuit base, and a homemade lemon curd instead of a canned or bottled one. The result is a more authentic and flavorful dessert that will impress your guests.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
There are many reasons to love this recipe, such as:
- Simple Preparation: Clear, straightforward instructions make this recipe accessible for bakers of all levels.
- Customizable: Easily adjust the lemon curd’s sweetness or tartness and experiment with different pastries or meringues.
- Visually Stunning: With its golden meringue and vibrant filling, this pie is as beautiful as it is delicious.
- Delightful Contrasts: Experience the harmony of flavors and textures, from the buttery crust to the zesty lemon and fluffy meringue.
Ingredients Needed to Make Hairy Bikers Lemon Meringue Pie
To make Hairy Bikers Lemon Meringue Pie, you will need the following ingredients:
For the pastry:
- 250 g plain flour
- 125 g cold butter, cubed
- A pinch of salt
- 2-3 tbsp cold water
For the lemon curd:
- 4 large lemons, zest and juice
- 200 g caster sugar
- 100 g butter, cubed
- 3 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
For the meringue:
- 4 large egg whites
- 200 g caster sugar
- A pinch of cream of tartar (optional)
Instructions to Make Hairy Bikers Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe
Follow these steps to make this recipe:
Step 1: Make the pastry
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 and lightly grease a 23 cm pie dish.
- In a large bowl, rub the flour and butter together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the salt and add enough water to form a soft dough.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 3 mm thickness and line the pie dish with it, trimming the excess and pricking the base with a fork.
- Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for another 5 minutes, until golden. Set aside to cool slightly.
Step 2: Make the lemon curd
- In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together the lemon zest, juice, sugar, and butter until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
- Gradually whisk in the eggs and egg yolk, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth and thickened. Do not let it boil or it will curdle.
- Strain the lemon curd through a fine sieve into a bowl and set aside to cool slightly.
Step 3: Make the meringue
- In a large, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. You can add a pinch of cream of tartar to help stabilize the meringue if you like.
- Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition, until the meringue is glossy and stiff.
- Spoon the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle, or use a spatula to spread it over the lemon curd.
Step 4: Assemble and bake the pie
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5.
- Spoon the lemon curd over the pastry base, spreading it evenly.
- Pipe or spread the meringue over the lemon curd, making sure to cover the edges and create some peaks.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the meringue is lightly browned.
- Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
What Do I Serve With Hairy Bikers Lemon Meringue Pie?
When presenting the Hairy Bikers Lemon Meringue Pie, complementing it with the right accompaniments can enhance its flavors and textures.
Consider these refined pairings for an unforgettable dessert experience:
- Colorful Berry Medley: Offer a side of fresh strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries. Their vibrant colors and juicy freshness contrast beautifully with the pie’s rich flavors, adding a visually appealing and flavorful freshness.
- Velvety Whipped Cream: A dollop of softly whipped cream on the side offers a lush, creamy texture that beautifully contrasts with the pie’s tanginess and the meringue’s crispness.
- Luxurious Ice Cream: Serve alongside a scoop of premium vanilla ice cream for a delightful cold contrast to the pie’s warmth, adding a smooth, creamy texture that melts in your mouth.
- Garnish of Fresh Mint: A few fresh mint leaves not only add a splash of color but also introduce a subtle minty freshness that elevates the overall taste.
Expert Tips to Make Perfect Hairy Bikers Lemon Meringue Pie
Achieving the perfect Lemon Meringue Pie requires attention to detail and a few professional techniques.
Here are refined tips to ensure your pie is a masterpiece:
- Cold Ingredients for Pastry: Utilizing cold butter and water is crucial for achieving a flaky, tender crust. This technique ensures the fat is evenly distributed, creating pockets that result in a light texture.
- Pastry Preparation: Chilling the dough before rolling and baking prevents shrinking and ensures a perfect fit in your pie dish. Blind baking is essential for a crisp foundation, ready to hold the luscious lemon curd without becoming soggy.
- Premium Lemon Curd: Opt for fresh lemons to maximize the curd’s vibrant flavor and aroma. Gentle cooking on low heat while constantly stirring guarantees a smooth, rich curd without the risk of curdling.
- Meringue Mastery: Eggs for the meringue should be at room temperature to reach maximum volume. Incorporate the sugar gradually to achieve a glossy, stable meringue that holds its shape and adds a dazzling finish to the pie.
- Seal and Bake: Ensure the meringue completely covers the curd to lock in moisture and prevent weeping. Bake until the peaks are golden, offering a visually appealing texture and a slightly toasted flavor.
Variations of Hairy Bikers Lemon Meringue Pie
Personalizing your Hairy Bikers Lemon Meringue Pie allows for an exploration of flavors and textures.
Here are some suggestions for inventive twists:
- Alternative Pastries: Experiment with different bases like puff pastry for a flaky texture, filo for a crispy, layered effect, or a gluten-free option to accommodate dietary restrictions.
- Meringue Varieties: Consider other meringue types like Italian for a smoother, denser texture, French for a classic crispness, or Swiss for a marshmallow-like consistency.
- Citrus Infusions: Venture beyond lemon by incorporating lime, orange, or grapefruit to the curd for a unique twist on the traditional flavor profile.
- Nutty Additions: Introduce chopped almonds, pistachios, or pecans into the pastry or sprinkled on top of the meringue for a delightful crunch and depth of flavor.
- Spiced Curd Enhancements: Elevate the lemon curd with warm spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, or ginger, infusing the pie with aromatic complexity and warmth.
How do I Store Hairy Bikers Lemon Meringue Pie Leftovers?
To maintain the quality of your Hairy Bikers Lemon Meringue Pie leftovers, follow these storage tips:
- Cool Completely: Before storing, allow the pie to cool completely at room temperature to prevent condensation, which could make the crust soggy.
- Refrigerate: Transfer the cooled pie to a pie carrier or cover loosely with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. It’s important not to seal the pie too tightly as the meringue needs some air circulation to maintain its texture.
- Keep it Chilled: Store the pie in the refrigerator. The cold environment helps to keep the crust crisp and the filling firm. Refrigerated, the pie should last for up to 3 days.
- Freezing (Optional): For longer storage, you can freeze the pie for up to 1 month. Wrap it securely in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil to protect it from freezer burn. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating or serving.
How do I Reheat Hairy Bikers Lemon Meringue Pie Leftovers?
Reheating Lemon Meringue Pie can be tricky, especially because of the meringue topping.
Here’s how to best approach it:
- Oven Method (Recommended): Preheat your oven to 150°C (300°F). Place the pie on a baking sheet and warm it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. This method helps to keep the crust crisp and gently warms the filling without melting the meringue.
- Avoid the Microwave: It’s not recommended to reheat Lemon Meringue Pie in the microwave as it can turn the meringue chewy and the crust soggy. If you must use the microwave, do so sparingly and at a low power setting for a very short time, just enough to take the chill off.
- Serving After Reheating: Once gently warmed, let the pie sit for a few minutes before cutting into it. This allows the pie to reach a pleasant temperature, enhancing its flavors and textures for the best eating experience.
- 570 calories
- 28 g of fat
- 16 g of saturated fat
- 0.6 g of salt
- 77 g of carbohydrates
- 54 g of sugars
- 7 g of protein
Hairy Bikers Lemon Meringue Pie is a delicious dessert that will delight your taste buds and impress your guests. It’s easy to make, with simple ingredients and clear instructions. You can also customize it to your liking, by adjusting the sweetness and tartness of the lemon curd or using different types of pastry or meringue. It’s a perfect treat for any occasion, whether it’s a family dinner, a birthday party, or a holiday celebration.
Try it today and enjoy the amazing combination of sweet and sour, crunchy and creamy, light and decadent.