100gunsalted butter(cold, diced, plus extra for greasing)
Italian Meringue Topping
120gegg whites(roughly 4 medium eggs)
Sift the plain flour, icing sugar, and add the diced, cold unsalted butter, egg yolk, and 1tbsp of cold water into a food processor.
Blitz quickly on the pulse setting until the mixture starts to bind, it shouldn't take too long at all!
Grease & flour a tart/pie/flan tin (I use a loose bottomed one).
Roll the pastry mix out onto a lightly floured surface to the thickness of 1-2 £1 coin(s).
Press the pastry into your tin and trim/neaten the edges. Fill any gaps with excess pastry so it's completely covered! Refrigerate for 1/2 an hour!
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan.
Cover the pastry with baking parchment and fill with baking beans/rice and bake the pastry 'blind' for 15 minutes.
Remove the parchment and beans/rice, and bake for an extra 5 minutes or until the pastry is cooked through and turning golden! Then leave to cool in the tin.
Put the lemon juice, zest, utter, and sugar into a large bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water (not boiling water!!) and stir the mixture occasionally till the butter has melted!
Beat the egg and egg yolks together in a separate bowl so they're combined well, and then pour into the lemon mix.
Whisk all of the ingredients together so that they are combined well and whisk continually in the heatproof bowl for 10-14 minutes. It will be able to coat the back of a spoon when done.
Leave to go cold in the fridge whilst you make the meringue!
Italian Meringue Topping
Pour the granulated sugar and the water into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
When the mixture starts to boil, monitor the temperature until it reaches 120ºC (Firm Ball Stage) with a sugar thermometer!
When the mixture is heating up and boiling, if any sugar splashes up the side of the pan, brush the sides with a pastry brush and cold water to get rid of it. (this will stop the mixture crystallising and messing up!)
Whilst the sugar syrup is getting towards the temperature, whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks in a spotlessly clean bowl - I seriously recommend using an electric stand mixer as it'll make it easier as if you're doing it by hand you will need two people and a steady hand!
When the sugar syrup has reached the temperature and the egg whites are at stiff peaks start to pour the sugar syrup onto the egg whites at the edge of the bowl whilst still whisking - make sure you do this slowly so it’s a constant trickle of sugar syrup and the egg whites stay smooth!
Continue to whisk throughout whilst the sugar syrup is pouring in, and after its all whisked in continue to whisk the mixture fast and on a high speed for 5-7 minutes until the mixture is smooth, and has cooled down.
Dollop onto the lemon filling/pastry, and blowtorch lightly, or flash under a hot grill to brown the edges of the meringue!