Crunchy Topped Coffee Meringue Pie

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Ingredients:

1&1/2 cup plain flour

1 tbsp. icing sugar

6 tbsp. butter for the pastry

1 egg yolk for the pastry

finely grated rind of 1/2 orange

1 tbsp. orange juice

2 tbsp. ground coffee

1&1/2 cups milk

4 tbsp. corn flour for the filling

1/2 cup castor sugar for the filling

4 egg yolks for the filling

1 tbsp. butter for the filling

4 egg whites

3/4 cup castor sugar for the meringue

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1/4 cup skinned hazelnuts

1 tbsp. demerara sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6, sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, orange rind and juice and mix to firm dough (if the dough didn’t come together when mixing add a little water a tbsp. at a time) wrap in clear film and chill for 20 minutes. Roll out the dough and use a 9" loose based fluted flan tin. Cover with clear film and chill for 30 minutes.

2. Prick the pastry all over, line with parchment paper and baking beans and bake for 15 minutes, remove the paper and beans and bring back to oven bake for another 5 minutes at 160C /325F/Gas3.

3. To make the filling. Put the coffee in a bowl, heat 1 cup of the milk until nearly boiling and pour the coffee. Leave to infuse for 4 minutes then strain. Blend the corn flour and sugar with the remaining milk in a pan and whisk in the coffee -flavored milk.

4. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring until thickened. Remove from heat.

5. Beat the egg yolks, stir in a little of the hot coffee mixture into the egg yolks, then add the remaining coffee mixture with butter. Cook filling over low heat for 3-4 minutes, until very thick. Pour into pastry case.

6. To make meringue, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff. Whisk in the castor sugar a spoonful at a time.

7. Spoon meringue over the filling and spread right to the edge of the pastry, swirling into peaks. Sprinkle with hazelnut and demerara sugar, bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Serve warm, or cool on wire rack.

Bon Appetit!

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