Recipe: lemon meringue pie
Feeling puckery lately? If you’ve been cruising the food blogs, then most likely you’ve run across one or two or four hundred Daring Bakers brandishing their lovely Lemon Meringue Pies.
that’s right kids, we knead to bake
Jen of The Canadian Baker hosted the challenge this month and it was down to the wire for me this time. I started my treatment on Thursday and thought I’d recover with enough time to do the challenge yesterday but… things don’t always go as planned when your body gets pumped full of poison! However, I didn’t want to abandon my fellow DBers, so I managed to make a handful of tartelettes. Forgive me for the lack of detail I usually devote to my DB challenges. She’ll be right next time.
mixing the dough
stirring lemony goodness into the curd
You can see I opted for tartelettes instead of the whole pie. I just love individual servings. When baking the tartelette crusts, I placed a second mold on top of each crust to hold its shape. I baked mine for 25 minutes and then removed the tops and baked the crusts uncovered for another 3 minutes to help it brown out. This worked very well, but makes a few dozen since they are so small. Once the shells were cooled, I spooned in lemon curd and topped with meringue.
a little topper over the curd
neat it up
Rather than bother with the oven again, I used my trusty propane torch to finish the tops… because I like any reason to use my propane torch *sheepish grin*. My treatment has jacked up my sense of taste, so I had to ask my official taste tester for the verdict. Jeremy gave it a big thumbs up! Thanks to Jen for the challenge and be sure to check out the rest of the fine DBer creations.
Lemon Meringue Pie
Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie
3/4 cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces
2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
1/3 cup (80 mL) ice water
2 cups (475 mL) water
1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 mL) cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
3/4 cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
5 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180 mL) granulated sugar
For the Crust: Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes. Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of 1/8 inch (.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about 1/2 inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.
For the Filling: Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated. Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.
For the Meringue: Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.