Lime and coconut meringue pie
The traditional lemon meringue pie is given a tropical twist with lime and coconut.
For this recipe you will need a 20cm/8in loose-bottomed flan tin, a sugar thermometer, a freestanding mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and a large piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.
For the pastry
- 100g/3½oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 1 medium free-range egg yolk
- 50g/1¾oz icing sugar
- 1 tsp coconut flavouring
- 165g/5⅔oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
For the filling
- 5 large free-range eggs
- 2 large free-range egg yolks (reserve the whites for the topping)
- 150g/5½oz caster sugar
- 5 limes, juice and zest only
- 1 unwaxed lemon, juice and zest only
- 150ml/5fl oz double cream
- green colouring (optional)
For the topping
For the pastry, beat the butter in a mixing bowl, add the egg yolk and sift in the icing sugar. Mix well until combined then stir in the coconut flavouring. Sift in the flour and work together using a wooden spoon until you have a firm dough. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Grease the flan tin with butter. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface. Gently lift the pastry into the tin and press it into the edges. Don’t worry if it falls apart; you can patch it up in the tin. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
Line the pastry case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and baking beans. Bake for a further 5 minutes. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool in the tin. Trim the edge of the pastry.
Reduce the oven temperature to 140C/120C Fan/Gas 1.
For the filling, in a large bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lime and lemon juice and zest. Using an electric hand whisk, beat for 2–3 minutes, until smooth and the sugar is fully incorporated. Add the cream and beat for another minute, until combined. Add a little green colouring, if using. Pour the filling into a saucepan and warm very gently (do not overheat or the eggs will scramble) stirring all the time, for 10–15 minutes, until thickened.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pastry case and bake for 10 minutes. Check if the filling is set (you want it to be just set). If not, keep checking every 5 minutes until there is a slight wobble in the middle. Remove from oven while you prepare the meringue.
Increase the oven temperature to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
For the topping, put the egg whites and sugar in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Gently whisk until the temperature of the egg mixture reaches 70C on a sugar thermometer. Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat until cool, thick and glossy.
Spoon half the mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Gently fold the desiccated coconut into the remainder (do not over mix as the meringue will collapse). Pile the coconut meringue into the pastry case and gently smooth the surface. Pipe swirls with the remaining meringue to decorate the top.
Bake the pie for 15 minutes, or until the meringue is crisp on the outside and is just starting to brown. Five minutes before the end of cooking, scatter some coconut flakes on top. Remove from oven and chill until ready to serve.