There is something absolutely genius about meringue pies in general. First you have a delicious crisp pastry, followed by a tangy fruit and rounded off with a sweet and fluffy meringue. This recipe can be made as an individual small tart (very smart) or a big one for the whole family to share.

Pastry

125g plain flour

pinch of  salt

55g butter, cubed

2-3 tbsp cold water

Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the cubes of butter

Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs

Add the water and combine with a spatula

Wrap into a baking paper and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes

Roll out to a 1 pound coin thickness and cut to fit a tart case, chill for 20 minutes

Line the tart cases with baking parchment and fill with baking beans

Blind bake on 190C for 10 minutes

Feel the sides, they should have a sandy feel to them and remove the beans and parchment and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the whole pastry has a sandy feel and no grey colour

Leave to cool down

Gooseberry Jam

Pop 400g gooseberries, 300g caster sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and a tablespoon of molasses (optional) into a pan and gently stew for 30 minutes. Add sugar if the mixture is still too sour and pour into a bowl to cool down completely. Then pop into the cooled pastry case.

Meringue

4 egg whites

225g caster sugar

Preheat oven to 110C

Whisk the egg whites until stiff and dry

Add a table spoon of sugar for each egg white and whisk after each addition until stiff

Add half the remaining sugar and whisk in, localised whisking, will turn shiny and glossy

Add the rest of the sugar and gently fold in

Drop mixture onto the pie

Bake for 1 hour

For the golden brown colour, use a grill for a few minutes or a very hot oven.

 

Try panting your own gooseberries for next year- buy here from Ashridge Nurseries.


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