1. For the pastry base, on a floured surface, roll-out the pastry to a thickness of a one pound coin. Gently place the pastry in a floured eight inch tart tin and mould it into the corners with your fingers; don’t tidy the edges yet because the pastry will shrink when it is baked (save a little of the pastry in case cracks or holes form during the blind baking).
2. Prick with a fork all over, to stop it from rising and place in a preheated oven at 180°C/gas mark 4 for eight minutes.
3. Remove from the oven, check for any holes or cracks and patch them with your spare pastry. Allow the tart to cool for five minutes, glaze it with a little beaten egg white (this will seal the base of the tart) and place back in the oven for a further two minutes. Remove from the oven, and trim the edges with a sharp knife.
4. For the lemon filling, separate four of the egg yolks from their whites. Put aside the whites to make the meringue. Place the yolks in a bowl, whisk, then add one tablespoon cornflour, the zest and juice of the lemons and one whole egg. Mix.
5. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the caster sugar. As soon as it has melted, add the egg mixture and stir continuously on a very low heat until it thickens; it should drop from your spoon, rather than pour from it. Take it off the heat immediately and continue stirring for another minute or so, to stop any hot-spots forming. Set aside.
6. For the meringue, whisk the four egg whites, until firm peaks form. Whilst continuing to mix, slowly add the icing sugar and finally the remaining one tablespoon cornflour.
7. Pour the lemon filling into the tart base and level it with a palate knife. Carefully, spoon the meringue mixture on the top (start around the sides and move towards the middle, otherwise it will sink).
Recipe, Mat Follas for the Happy Egg Co
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