When something is described as being one of the best things that the judges have tasted in three series of the Bake Off, how do you resist attempting to make it?
The answer to that of course is that you don’t.
You fully add it to the list (the ever, ever, increasing list) of things you want to make.
One day you bite the bullet and do it.
The recipe is available in the book (The Great British Bake Off: How to turn everyday bakes into showstoppers), or
online here. NB. it seems the Beeb have taken down pretty much all of the GBBO recipes, this no doubt comes as part of the awkward breakup with Love Productions, so I have updated the post below!
American Lime Pie Recipe by Ryan Chong
300g plain flour
60g icing sugar
1 tbsp ground ginger
pinch of salt
180g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
3 large free range egg yolks
About 2tbsp icy water
4 pieces stem ginger in syrup, drained and finely chopped
finely grated zest and juice of 6 limes
397g tin of condensed milk
4 large free range egg yolks
300mL double cream, well chilled
250g granulated sugar
5 tbsp water
4 large free range egg whites, at room temperature
2 limes, finely sliced
few small sprigs mint
To make the pastry, sift the flour, icing sugar, ginger and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the diced butter and rub in until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Mix the yolks with the icy water and stir in with a round-bladed knife to make a soft but not sticky dough: add more water if necessary. (NB. I made the pastry using my food processor, because I am lazy: just add all the dry ingredients – pulse, then add the butter and process until it gets to the fine crumb stage, then add the egg mixture until the dough just comes together) Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for about 20 minutes until firm.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a circle about 37cm across, and the thickness of a pound coin. Use to line the flan tin, then prick the base of the pastry case with a fork and chill for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.
Bake the pastry case ‘blind’ for 12-15 minutes; after removing the paper and beans, reduce the oven temperature to 180C/350F/gas 4 before baking for a further 8-10 minutes until the pastry is a light golden brown. Leave to cool, but do not unmould.
For the filling, scatter the chopped ginger overt he base of the pastry case. Set aside half of the lime zest for the decoration and put the rest into a mixing bowl with the juice, condensed milk and yolks. Whisk for a couple of minutes until the mixture thickens slightly. Whip the cream until it falls in a thick, ribbon-like trail from the whisk (the stage before soft peak), then fold into the lime mixture using a large metal spoon – the mixture will thicken considerably. Pour into the pastry case and chill for about 1 hour until firm.
Next, make the Italian meringue. Put the sugar and water into a medium pan and heat gently, stirring frequently, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn up the heat and boil steadily, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 120C/248F on a sugar thermometer. While the syrup is cooking, put the egg whites into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form when the beaters and lifted. As soon as the syrup reaches the correct temperature, pour in a steady stream onto the egg whites, beating at the highest possible speed, keep whisking until the mixture has cooled to room temperature (5-7 minutes).
Unmould the pie and set it on a serving platter. Spoon the meringue into a piping bag. Pipe the meringue in a thick rope of continuous loops around the edge of the pie, then use a kitchen blowtorch to lightly brown and highlight the meringue curves. Decorate with lime slices, the remaining lime zest, and sprigs of mint.
I didn’t have the tin specified, so I made it in my 24cm tin, and had some pastry left over, so I made these little ones too. (helpfully, later I also had leftover filling, so all was well!)
Making the little ones was also an ideal time to test out the suggestion from the Seasonal Patisserie class that Mum and I attended at the cake and bake show, which was that instead of using paper and baking beans, use cling film and rice instead.
In theory the rice will weight the pastry down more evenly. It did work, but I’m not sure that it really makes that much difference.
Also, if you’re going to use paper and baking beans, scrunch up the paper and then it will assume the shape of the pastry case much better.
For the little ones, I baked them with beans/rice for the slightly reduced 8 minutes, then removed them and baked further for another 8 minutes.
For zesting my limes, I used a microplane grater, and also, for the decorative pieces of zest, this little guy:
I also reserved a few slices of limes for decoration, then of course I used my super duper citrus press for juicing my limes. I think this made my mixture slightly runny in comparison to what it should be, but it all turned out just fine. So I filled up my cases, then chilled them (in this case overnight as I was tired at this point and couldn’t be bothered to do the rest!).
So, the next night……………. it was time for making the italian meringue… then piping it:
Then it was time to play with my blowtorch (Thanks Brother, I finally used it!):
Then a bit of decoration…..
So rather than ruin my beautiful one, we cut into a couple of the smaller ones to have a taste:
For the verdict… I shall ask Mr M as I burnt the top of my mouth yesterday. It hurts. I can’t eat properly.
He said, and I quote “Nicest pie ever”.
So there you go!
This is part of Lotties World of Cakes and Bakes Blog Challenge