See how amateur baker David Parker got on when he attempted to recreate this dish, with step-by-step photography in his cookbook review column, Cook the Books.
This is basically a deconstructed lemon meringue pie and although I am not a fan of the concept of deconstruction – what’s wrong with a nice normal lemon meringue pie? – it does allow me to introduce other elements and flavours to the dish that can be eaten together in harmony.
Lemon meringue, passionfruit, blueberries, white chocolate and lavender
For the white chocolate sorbet
Place the gelatine leaf in a bowl of cold water to soften. Place the milk and sugar into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the white chocolate and stir the mixture with a spatula until the chocolate has been fully incorporated. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine, add to the chocolate mixture and stir to dissolve. Pass the sorbet mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and allow to cool. Once cool, place the sorbet mixture into a Pacojet container and freeze overnight. Alternatively place the sorbet mixture into an ice-cream machine and churn until frozen. Process the white chocolate sorbet through the Pacojet machine 1 hour before serving and return to the freezer to set.
1 leaf gelatine
500ml / 17.5fl oz milk
40g / 1.5oz sugar
220g / 8oz white chocolate buttons
For the white chocolate powder
Melt the white chocolate. Place the maltodextrin in a food processor and with the motor running slowly add the melted chocolate until you have a fine powder resembling icing sugar. Store the white chocolate powder in an airtight container until required.
35g / 1.5oz white chocolate
75g / 2.5oz maltodextrin
For the lemon curd
Place the gelatine in a bowl of cold water to soften. Place the lemon juice, sugar and egg yolks into a bowl, place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk continuously until the lemon curd has thickened. Add the butter piece by piece until fully emulsified. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine, add to the lemon curd and whisk until completely dissolved. Pour the curd into a clean bowl and refrigerate. Once the lemon curd has cooled completely, gently fold in the semi-whipped cream and place the curd into a piping bag. Refrigerate until required.
1 leaf gelatine
100ml / 3.5fl oz fresh lemon juice
120g / 4.5oz sugar
3 egg yolks
150g / 5.5oz cold unsalted butter, diced
150ml / 5fl oz cream, semi-whipped
For the pastry crumb
Preheat the oven to 170°C / 340°F. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and using your fingers rub the mixture together until you have a rough crumb. Spread the pastry crumb mixture on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven for about 20–30 minutes or until slightly browned. Allow the pastry crumb to cool then place into a food processor and quickly process into a fine crumb. Store the pastry crumb in an airtight container until required.
120g / 4.5oz cold unsalted butter, diced
60g / 2oz sugar
130g / 4.5oz flour
15g / 0.5oz rice flour
For the passionfruit gel
Place all the ingredients into a medium-sized saucepan and gently heat to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture to the boil and continuously whisk for about 1 minute or until the mixture has slightly thickened. Remove from the heat, pour the gel into a clean container and refrigerate. Once the passionfruit mixture has cooled completely and has slightly set, pour the gel into a liquidiser and blend at high speed for 20 seconds to emulsify. Pour the passionfruit gel into a squeezy bottle and refrigerate until required.
200ml / 7fl oz passionfruit juice, seeds removed
125g / 4.5oz sugar
125ml / 4.5fl oz water
2 tsp powdered agar
For the meringue
Preheat the oven to 80°C / 175°F. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to cook the syrup. When the syrup reaches 115°C / 240°F on a thermometer, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, grate lemon zest over the egg whites using a microplane and start whisking the egg whites until they reach soft peaks. Keep heating the sugar syrup and once it reaches 120°C / 250°F remove from the heat and slowly pour into the whisking egg whites and continue to beat on a medium speed until the meringue has cooled and is thick and glossy. Take a quarter of the meringue and spread it thinly on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and place in the oven to dry for about 2 hours. Transfer the remaining meringue to a piping bag and refrigerate until required. Once the meringue sheet has dried completely, remove from the oven, break into large shards and store in an airtight container.
200g / 7oz sugar
200ml / 7fl oz water
4 egg whites
1 small lemon
For the garnish
Pipe three mounds of lemon meringue on a plate and lightly brown using a blowtorch, being careful not to burn them. Pipe three mounds of lemon curd in between the meringue and top with a spoonful of the pastry crumb. Squeeze a few drops of passionfruit gel randomly around the plate and lightly sprinkle the meringues with a little white chocolate powder. Scatter the plate with fresh blueberries, freeze-dried blueberries and lavender tips. Place a scoop of white chocolate sorbet in the centre of the plate and place two meringue shards up against the sorbet.