Topsy-turvy lemon meringue pie

This recipe is a cross between a lemon meringue pie and a pavlova; a scrumptious festive season treat.

Ingredients – Meringue:

1 Tsp butter
1 Tsp flour
2 Tsp white vinegar
1/2 Tsp pure vanilla extract
8 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar

Lemon Curd:

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
8 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream

METHOD – serves 8-10

  1. Preheat the oven to 135 deg C. Line a rectangular baking pan, and grease it thoroughly. Sprinkle the pan evenly with the flour.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, vanilla extract, and egg whites, and beat with an electric mixer until foamy. Slowly add the sugar, while continuing to beat the mixture until stiff peaks form.
  3. Spoon the meringue on to the baking sheet, and delicately shape it into an even “crust” layer, bringing it up the sides of the baking sheet as well. Bake for 2 1/2 hours; turn off the oven and leave it in there for another 30 minutes. The dissipating heat will finish cooking the meringue. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  4. In a large bowl, whip together 1 cup of the sugar, the lemon zest and juice, and egg yolks. Pour into a pot over medium heat and stir constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap onto the surface of the curd; this will ensure it does not form a skin. Set aside to cool.
  5. In another large bowl, whip the heavy cream with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until stiff. Fold the cooled curd into the whipped cream. Layer the lemon mixture evenly over the cooled meringue. Cut into pieces and serve.
• If you’re in a rush, buy a pre-made meringue casing or pavlova,
  hollow out a cavity and add lemon curd, then top with whipped   cream, slivered almonds, and/or fresh fruit.
• Shape your meringue into a shallow pie shell, or a deep round
  cavity, depending on how you want the finished product to look.
  A deeper shell will need more lemon curd.
• Use small meringue casings and create individual desserts.

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