When life gives you lemons, switch on the oven and make lemon meringue cake
• 250g rich shortcrust pastry
• 3 eggs, separated
• 70g caster sugar
• 1 tablespoon water
• 70g butter
• 70g plain flour
• pinch salt
• 275ml milk, at room temperature
• 2 lemons
For the meringue:
• 2 egg whites
• 50g caster sugar
• 50g icing sugar
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2 Line the tart tin with the shortcrust pastry, cover with baking parchment and baking beans to keep the pastry flat while blind baking and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Set aside in the fridge.
3 Lower the oven temperature to 150°C.
4 Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and water until the mixture whitens. Melt the butter and pour it into the mixture.
5 Add the flour and salt, then beat for a few minutes more. Pour in the milk little by little, whisking constantly. Add the zest of one of the lemons and the juice of both.
6 Beat the egg whites until stiff and, using a whisk, gently incorporate them into the batter.
7 Take the pastry out of the fridge and pour the batter in. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes. When it comes out of the oven, the cake may be slightly wobbly. Leave it to cool before putting the meringue on top.
8 For the meringue, beat the egg whites until stiff , gradually adding the two types of sugar until stiff peaks form when you take out the whisk.
9 Spoon the meringue onto the top of the cake and brown with a kitchen blowtorch, or put the cake under the grill for 3–5 minutes.
Recipe extracted from Christelle Huet-Gomez, extracted from Magic Cakes. Photography by Valéry Guédes © Hardie Grant