These are my take on Lemon Meringue Pie. Dig out some gorgeous glasses and create some wonderful individual desserts.

Madeira Cake Base
175g butter
175g sugar (1 cup)
grated rind of a lemon
3 eggs
175g flour (1¼ cups)
1 tsp baking powder

Cream the butter and sugar and lemon rind together until fluffy. Beat the eggs until thick and add to the butter alternately with the dry ingredients. Pour into a greased loaf tin and bake at 180°C for 35 minutes.
When cool turn out of the tin and cut into 1cm thick pieces. Using your glass cut rounds out of the slices and place these on the bottom of each glass.
Spoon in your curd and then pipe the meringue on top. Just before serving use a blow torch to brown the meringue.

Lemon Curd

4 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
60g butter, chopped
2 tsp lemon zest
100ml lemon juice

Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar before adding the remaining ingredients. Microwave for 45 seconds and then whisk for the same amount of time. Repeat this 2 more times until the curd is bubbling and thick.

Italian Meringue

4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
200mls water
pinch cream of tartar

Put the sugar in a small pot along with the water and bring to a simmer, when the sugar has dissolved increase the heat. Using a candy thermometer measure the temperature, when it reaches 115°C start to whisk the egg whites.
Whisk the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until the whites form soft peaks. By this stage the sugar syrup should have reached 130°C (or hard ball stage). While you continue to beat the egg whites slowly drizzle in the sugar syrup and continue to beat for a further 20 minutes until the egg white have cooled.

For meringues fresh is not always best. Older eggs are better than very fresh, in fact frozen egg whites always work a treat. Also make sure the eggs are at room temperature and the bowl you use is immaculately clean and dry.

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