Lemon meringue pie

Watching the Comic Relief series of the Great British Bake-off last week, I was inspired to make my first ever lemon meringue pie. I researched on-line for recipes (all of which seemed to make huge pies to serve 8+) the turned to my trusty Be-ro Cookbook for a simple, lower-fat recipe (no butter in the lemon layer) that would fill a 7 inch flan dish. I have some sweet pastry in the freezer, left over from a larger batch I’d made, so this cut down the effort. If you have a ready-made flan case you can skip the first stage and simply make the filling and topping.

The picture is of my finished effort. The result was delicious!

Lemon Meringue Pie Serves 4

100 g (4 oz) Be-Ro Short Pastry
2 medium eggs, separated
225 g (8 oz) caster sugar
1 lemon, juice and grated rind
150 ml (¼ pint) boiling water
25 g (1 oz) cornflour

1 Heat oven to 190ºC, 375ºF, Gas Mark 5. Line an 18 cm (7 inch) flan tin with the pastry and bake blind.
2 Reduce heat of oven to 150ºC, 300ºF, Gas Mark 2. Place egg yolks with 100 g (4 oz) sugar, lemon juice, grated rind and boiling water in a saucepan and mix well.
3 Blend cornflour with a little cold water and add to the lemon mixture. Bring to the boil and pour into the baked flan case.
4 Whisk egg whites stiffly and gradually beat in remaining sugar. Spread over the flan and bake for about 25 minutes until crisp and pale golden brown.

Lemon Drizzle Cake: Request #01

Inspired by baking suggestions from friends and family, the great East London bake off begins.  One cake/bake/bread/biscuit a week, until Lidl is out of SR flour.

Not wanting to get too carried away, I’m playing it safe by starting with a cake I’ve baked before.  Requested by none other than my Mum, and Mother-In-Law, this cake had to be baked.

And here are the results:

In writing this I am adding yet another lemon drizzle recipe to an already plentiful supply out there.  I chose this one because…

  • It’s reportedly one of Nigella’s
  • It only uses 2 eggs (lots use 4)

And here’s some handy hints and tips:

  • Grate the lemon peel with the small grater rather than the zester bit
  • 2 lemons are better than 1 (and if you live in London you probably bought 5 in a bowl, so will need a way of using them up)
  • More or less ignore the icing measurements
Lemon Drizzle Cake

One down, lots more to go...


The cake
125g unsalted butter (or closest you’ve got to it in the fridge)
175g caster sugar
2 large eggs
Zest of 1 or 2 lemons (depending on how lemmony you like your lemon cake)
175g self raising flour
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons milk
A loaf tin buttered and/or lined

The syrup
Juice of 1 and a half lemons
100g icing sugar (I only had caster sugar, so used this instead)

The icing (this makes too much icing, I used less)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
150g icing sugar


The cake
Preheat your oven to 180 C/ gas mark 4.
Butter and line your loaf tin well.

Cream together butter and sugar and add eggs and lemon zest, beating them in well.
Gently fold in the flour and the salt, mixing thoroughly and then add the milk.
Spoon the batter into your prepared tin and bake for 45 mins or until cake tester comes out clean.

The syrup
Put the lemon juice and icing/caster sugar into a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves.
As soon as cake is out of oven, puncture all over with skewer and pour over the syrup.
Leave cake to cool completely before removing from the tin.

The icing
In a small bowl combine lemon juice and icing sugar until smooth and white. When the cake is totally cool (ok I’m never quite this patient) drizzle the icing over it.

The East London Bake Off Begins

Thank you for your requests, they have been many and varied.  Keep them coming, please!

# Lemon Drizzle Cake

# Coffee and Walnut Cake

# Aunt Arabella’s Lemon Iced Ginger Cake

# Macaroons

# Bara brith

# Millionaire’s Shortbread

# Beetroot Chocolate Cake

# Smores?!

# Choux Pastry

# Chocolate Eclairs

# Date and Walnut Loaf

# Roscon de Reyes

# Salted Chocolate Cookies

# Chocolate Muffins

# Cheesecake

# Pumpkin Cake

# Banana Bread

# Swedish Chocolate Dream Cake

Chocolate Brownies

These brownies are delicious, and easy to make.  Even better they closely resemble the packet brownies I would make as a kid with my Mum.  I’ve been waiting for a recipe to equal, or better that one – resulting in brownies that are gooey in the middle and somewhere between chewy and crunchy on the top.

Now, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, bless him, begins by melting 170g butter until ‘it turns golden brown and smells slightly sweet and nutty’. I on the other hand take the closest alternative from the fridge (Lidl’s finest margerine) and melt that instead.  The golden hues and nutty smell therefore evade me, however it all seems to work out ok in the end…

Melting butter

Melting 'butter'

That’s the tricky bit over.


Whilst the melted butter ‘cools’ in a sweaty kitchen, mix together flour, cocoa and a pinch salt of one bowl.  In another bowl whisk together the sugars, and eggs using the highest speed setting.  Invoke your inner Mary Berry as you lift the beaters to see a ribbon of batter falling onto the mixture.  Then beat in the butter and vanilla.

Bourneville Cocoa

Birmingham's finest

Flour, cocoa, salt

Bowl 1 - Flour, cocoa, salt

Whisking sugar and eggs

Underwater camera optional

More whisking

You could tie your hair up with these ribbons


Fold the cocoa, flour mixture into the bowl of ribbony goodness, being careful to avoid over zealous mixing… Pour the mixture into a baking tray prepared lovingly with greaseproof paper, and pop it into the oven, pre-heated to gas mark three (not much hotter than holding a match to it).

Bake until ‘done’ (the recipe says 20-25 mins, however less well behaved ovens will take longer – about 40 mins).  You’ll know they are ready when a toothpick comes of of the middle with just a few gooey crumbs on.  Ooo, go on, eat them.

Cooked brownies

That's one huge toothpick

Brownies ready to eat

The packet mix was quicker, but these are just as scoffable


170g butter
200g caster sugar
100g light muscovado sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g cocoa powder
50g plain flour
¼ tsp salt


Heat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. Lightly grease a 22cm x 22cm x 5cm brownie tin and line with two strips of baking parchment.

Place the butter/marg/closet alternative (mayo is pushing it) in a medium-size saucepan and melt it over a medium heat. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl beat together the sugars and eggs until very thick and glossy – when you lift up the beaters, a ribbon of batter should stay on the surface of the mixture for several seconds. Beat in the vanilla and the browned butter.

Sift together the cocoa, flour and salt into a separate bowl. Gently fold this into the batter, being careful not to overmix, and scrape into the prepared tin with a spatula.

Bake for about 20-25/35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the middle of the brownies with a few crumbs attached. Place the tin on a rack and let the brownies cool completely. Lift them out of the tin with the parchment and cut into 16 squares.

Put the kettle on.