If you find Christmas pudding too heavy after a traditional roast, this clementine meringue pie is the perfect solution for the big day. Buttery shortcrust pastry is filled with a zingy citrus curd and then topped with pillows of soft meringue for the lightest of desserts.
175g plain flour, plus extra to dust
100g cold unsalted butter, diced
30g icing sugar
1 medium egg yolk
FOR THE CLEMENTINE FILLING
150g golden caster sugar
zest of 8 clementines, plus 250ml clementine juice
50ml lemon juice
4 medium egg yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue)
50g unsalted butter, diced
FOR THE MERINGUE TOPPING
4 medium egg whites
2 tsp cornflour
180g caster sugar
- For the pastry, put the flour in a food processor with the diced butter and blitz to a crumb-like texture. Add the icing sugar and pulse again, then add the egg yolk plus 1 tablespoon of cold water and blitz until the pastry comes together into a ball. Shape into a disc, wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6 and roll out the pastry on a floured surface. Line a deep 20cm diameter tart tin with the pastry, pressing in well and trimming the edges. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Line the tart case with crumpled baking paper, fill with baking beans and blind bake for 20 minutes. Remove the baking beans and paper and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes or until the pastry has completely dried out and is golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- For the filling, put the cornflour, caster sugar, clementine zest and juice and the lemon juice in a pan. Whisk to combine, then heat over a low heat until simmering. Simmer until the mixture has thickened, then cook it for 2-3 minutes more while whisking continuously. Add the egg yolks and butter and continue to whisk until thick, then remove from the heat. Set aside and cover loosely with clingfilm pressed onto the surface. Leave to cool to room temperature.
- To finish, preheat the oven to 150°C, fan 130°C, gas 2. Whisk the clementine filling again until smooth, then pile it into the tart case and level out with a spatula or the back of a spoon. For the topping, put the egg whites in a large clean bowl and whisk to stiff peaks. Add the cornflour and continue to whisk, before adding the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition.
- Pile the meringue on top of the pie filling, pulling to get exaggerated peaks, and making sure the clementine filling is sealed in by the meringue at the edges. You could pipe the meringue with a plain nozzle if you want more defined peaks. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 30 minutes – 1 hour. Release from the tart tin to serve.