Lemon Meringue Bars
A lovely biscuit base, zesty lemon filling, topped with a silky Italian meringue
- 150g unsalted butter (softened)
- 50g icing sugar
- 225g plain flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- pinch of salt
- 75g plain flour
- 250g caster sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 200ml lemon juice (about the juice of 6 lemons)
- 5 large eggs, beaten
- 150g caster sugar
- 85ml water
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- Pre-heat the oven to 170C (fan).
- Cream together the butter and icing sugar.
- Add the vanilla extract and salt, flour and cornflour and mix until it forms a dough and can be squeezed together in your hands.
- In a greased and lined baking tray (approx 20x30 cm) press the dough into the tin to the edges, and use the back of a spoon to smooth it out flat.
- Bake for 18 minutes until lightly golden.
- Meanwhile zest the lemon, and squeeze the lemon juice (it's a bit of a workout!)
- In a bowl, mix the sugar and flour, then add the zest and lemon juice.
- Beat the eggs and add to the mixture, then pour it all over the biscuit base.
- Reduce the oven to 150C (fan) and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the middle has just set, it should have a slight wobble still.
- Leave to cool fully in the tin, then remove and cut into slices.
- For the meringue, heat the water and sugar to 115C.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar to a soft peak.
- Once the sugar syrup is at temperature, carefully pour it down the side of the bowl, into the egg whites, whilst whisking (it is much easier if you have a standing mixer, but if you are using a hand held mixer, it might be useful to ask someone to help!)
- Keep whisking until the meringue is thick and silky, in stiff peaks.
- Transfer to a piping bag, and pipe onto the lemon slices (I used a star nozzle).
- Use a blow torch to lightly scorch the meringue, (not necessary, but very effective!)