ITS SO STRANGE HOW AIMING TO BE YOUR BEST SELF CAN ALSO MAKE YOU YOUR OWN ENEMY? This is something I really struggle with. I am a self-confessed Nerd. I always have my head burrowed in either a book or a learning course… aiming to expand my knowledge in one area or another. If it interests me, it owns my every waking second. Conversely, if it’s not of interest, it appears and dissipates I my brain as quickly as a fart cloud.
But in aiming to be the best I can be, I suffer with comparison. If I achieve the next level, I see the level after that and berate myself for not being there or not being good enough.
It’s a double edged sword… on one hand it’s my driving force, on the other it’s the reason for my all-consuming imposter syndrome.
So, I am learning to give myself mini fist pumps along the way. A small Pat on the back In place of ‘why aren’t you good enough’ knowing that if I’ve come this far, I can go further.
So, my current journey is photography. Every time I feel as though I’m making progress, someone new pops up that wows me into despair. So, I’m taking it step by step and using it all as a learning curve.
Reach for the moon and even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars…
Be kind to yourself but never stop dreaming
150g Plain Flour
110g Unsalted Butter, fridge cold & cubed into 1cm cubes
50-60g Ice Cold Lemonade
Blueberry Lemonade Filling
10ml Lemon Juice
50g Caster Sugar
10g Unsalted Butter
1tsp Vanilla Extract
150g Caster Sugar
90g Unsalted Butter
230g Lemon Juice, fresh squeezed
130g Egg Yolk
150g Egg White
200g Caster Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract
½ tsp Cream of Tartar
½ tsp Salt
1. For this you will need a 7” Pie dish but you could get away with an 8” if needed
2. Begin with the dough the day before you want the pie. Try to have all your bowls in the fridge 30 minutes before you want to make the pie.
3. Add the flour and salt to a large bowl and whisk together. Add the butter cubes and quickly rub in using only your fingertips until flattened and coated in flour. They should be about the size of peas.
4. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and pour in 50g Lemonade. Quickly mix in to hydrate the flour, trying not to knead as this will result in tough pastry. Add a little more lemonade if needed to form a dough that is not too dry but also not sticky. It should hold itself together.
5. Form into a disc, wrap in cling film and pop into the fridge for 4-6 hours.
6. Roll out the dough and line your pie dish. Trim the overhang and pop back into the fridge whilst you make the blueberry layer.
7. Add 200g Blueberries, half the sugar and lemon juice to a small pan and cook over a low heat for 5-8 minutes or until the berries release their juice and begin to break down. Vigorously stir with a spoon before adding the remaining sugar mixed into the cornflour.
8. Bring this to a boil and bubble for 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla and remaining blueberries and transfer to an airtight container. Cool and then chill in the fridge.
9. Preheat oven 200C. Using baking paper and dried beans, blind bake the pie dough for 15 minutes before removing the paper and beans and cooking 5 minutes more. You are not completely cooking the dough here, just drying it out and setting the sides. Allow to cool.
10. Once cool, heat the oven back to 200C and spoon the chilled blueberry filling into the dough. Bake for 20 minutes until thickened and the dough is dark golden brown. Cool and leave overnight in an airtight box.
11. The next day, make the lemon filling. Have all the ingredients to hand. Melt the butter in a small pan and add the remaining ingredients. Stirring constantly over a medium heat, cook 8-10 minutes or until really thick and bubbling.
12. Push through a sieve into a jug and spoon onto the blueberry layer. Chill for at least 4 hours or until stone cold throughout.
13. Finally make the meringue (yay! You’re on the homeward straight….)
14. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the egg whites, sugar, vanilla, cream of tartar and salt until homogenous.
15. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved the mixture feels hot to your finger, if using a thermometer, it should read between 71-73C.
16. Dry the base of the bowl and pop in the stand mixer. Whisk just under high speed for 5 minutes or until you have stiff, glossy peaks and the mixture has cooled.
17. Pile the meringue onto the lemon layer and use a blowtorch to brown if desired. Serve in huge slices to reward your effort!