I have been making my pie for years with a biscuit base and I can‘t stand shop bought ones as they are always too soft on the meringue and I like mine crunchy and chewy - its the best!!
For the biscuit base, place the biscuits in a food processor and whizz to crumbs. Add the softened butter and whizz again until combined. If you don’t have a food processor, then place the biscuits into a large plastic food bag and hit with a rolling pin or mallet until you have fairly fine crumbs. Place the crumbs into a bowl. Melt the butter and add to the crumbs and mix well.
Place the crumb mixture into the cake tin or dish and press down with the back of a spoon until it covers the base evenly and goes slightly up the sides of the tin. Place the tin onto a baking sheet and place into a preheated oven at 200°c, gas mark 6, for 6 minutes until lightly browned. Leave to one side whilst you make the filling.
For the filling:
Pour the water into a pan and bring to the boil. Place the finely grated zest and the juice of the lemons into a bowl and add the cornflour and stir to blend. Pour in the boiling water and mix well, then return the mixture back to the pan and heat until the mixture thickens. Mix the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl and then add to the cornflour mixture and stir on the heat allowing it to bubble a few times. Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool a little, taste it to see if it is tarty enough for you, if not add more lemon juice if not sweet enough add more sugar, before pouring evenly over the biscuit base.
To make the meringue:
Beat the egg whites until forming stiff peaks and then add the second sugar amount - 200g - one spoonful at a time beating well after each addition. You should have a thick glossy mixture when finished. Spoon this over the top of the filling making little peaks, which will brown nicely and become crunchy, or pipe individual peaks with a piping bag.
I recommend preheating the oven to 150°c, gas mark two and cooking at this temperature for 45 minutes then turning the oven off and leaving it until cold as the meringue will become chewy inside
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