Lemon, meringue, ice tea


Marcus Wareing's intricate dessert is sure to impress, with splendid elements – set lemon curd, tea leaf meringues, filo pastry crisps and a cooling tea granita – evoking the spirit of afternoon tea.

First published in 2015




Lemon curd

Filo pastry crisps

Tea meringues

  • 3g of loose tea, English breakfast
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 lime, zested
  • 100g of egg white

Tea sorbet

  • 21g of loose tea, English breakfast
  • 750g of water
  • 10g of lime zest
  • 175g of caster sugar
  • 2.5g of Super neutrose
  • 35g of trimoline

Lemon confit

  • 8 lemons
  • 250ml of sugar syrup
  • 125ml of water

To serve

  • crème fraîche
  • 20g of caster sugar
  • lemon thyme, chopped (optional)


  • Piping bag 1-2cm nozzle
  • Blender
  • Squeezy bottle
  • Blowtorch
  • 20cm x 30cm baking tray
  • 8cm metal rings
  • Fine chinois
  • Sugar thermometer


To prepare the lemon curd, add the lemon juice, zest and sugar to a pan and bring to the boil. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs and yolks. Slowly, pour half of the hot lemon juice onto the eggs, whisking continuously to combine
Transfer back to the saucepan and cook over a low heat, whisking until the mix begins to thicken like a custard. As soon as the curd starts to thicken and coats the back of a spoon, remove from the heat to stop it curdling. Pour into a blender and blitz to form a smooth thick liquid
Bloom the gelatine in cold water and while the blender is running, start adding cubes of the cold butter, followed by the softened gelatine and a pinch of salt
  • 375g of butter, cold and diced
  • 3 gelatine leaves, softened
  • 1 pinch of salt
Once all of the butter is incorporated and the mixture is smooth, pass through a sieve into a jug. Line the base of 8cm in diameter ring moulds with cling film and place on a tray. Pour in the lemon curd to the rim of each mould and place in the freezer to set
Once set, remove from the freezer and cut 3 holes out of each curd disc. Set aside the excess pieces of cut out curd for later. Store in the freezer until ready to use
Preheat the oven to 165°C/gas mark 3
For the filo pastry crisps, use an 8cm pastry cutter to cut the pastry into circles. On half of the filo pastry rounds, cut out 3 small holes in the same manner as you did the curd
Lay each sheet on a baking paper-lined baking tray, brush lightly with butter and cover in icing sugar. Top with another sheet of baking paper and a tray to sandwich the pastry sheets down
  • butter, melted
  • icing sugar, for dusting
Bake the sheets for 10-15 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oven, lightly dust again with the icing sugar and leave to cool
Reduce the temperature of the oven to 60°C
For the tea meringues, add the sugar to a pan with a dash of water and heat to 115°C. In a separate bowl, start to whisk the egg whites with the tea and lime zest
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 3g of loose tea, English breakfast
  • 1/2 lime, zested
  • 100g of egg white
Once the sugar has reached 121°C, begin to pour the sugar mix onto the egg whites, constantly whisking until the mixture has cooled
Transfer the meringue to a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle and pipe dots and squiggles onto parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes until the meringues are crisp on the outside but chewy on the inside. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve
For the tea sorbet, add the water to a pan with the lime zest and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the tea and allow to infuse for 2 minutes. Pass through a chinois and set aside
  • 700g of water
  • 14g of loose tea, English breakfast
  • 10g of lime zest
Mix the sugar with the Super neutrose. Weight out 500g of the tea-infused liquid mix and add to the neutrose and sugar mix. Heat to 70°C and lightly whisk. Increase the temperature to bring the mix to the boil, then remove from the heat
  • 22g of lime zest
  • 2.5g of Super neutrose
  • 175g of caster sugar
Pass through a chinois onto the remaining liquid and whisk in the trimoline. Leave to cool in a bowl set over ice, then churn in an ice cream maker and store in the freezer until ready to serve
  • 35g of trimoline
For the lemon confit, peel the lemons, keeping the peel in large, intact pieces. Cut any white pith away from the inside of the skin. Cut the skin into small squares, each equal in size, and blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds. Refresh under cold water
Repeat the blanching process once and set aside. Bring the water and the sugar syrup to the boil, add the peel and simmer for 1 hour, or until tender. Set aside to cool
  • 250ml of sugar syrup
  • 125ml of water
To serve, arrange the baked filo pastry circles onto plates. Remove the lemon curd rounds and carefully place each portion on top of the filo pastry bases
Transfer the crème fraîche to a squeezy bottle and dot it around each plate
  • crème fraîche
Sprinkle the lemon curd cut-out circles with sugar and use a blowtorch to caramelise. Set aside until ready to serve
  • 20g of caster sugar
Place a few of the meringues on top of the lemon curd. Add a small sprinkling of the lemon peel and lemon thyme, then add a scoop of sorbet and the caramelised curd rounds. Finally, place the second piece of filo pastry (with the holes cut out) on top of the curd circles and serve immediately
First published in 2015

Marcus Wareing defines his inimitable cooking style as 'not British cuisine, not French cuisine – it’s Marcus cuisine.'

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