Daring Bakers: Lemon Meringue PieJanuary 28, 2008 at 12:55 am | Posted in Daring Bakers, Pie | 43 Comments
This was just not my month. To start it off, I’m not a huge fan of LMP, but that certainly wasn’t going to stop me from giving it a try. Then I had initially planned on making it last weekend, but between people coming over and the Pats game it I ended up with a whole hour of free time all weekend. Now this weekend, I’m sick. Sick or not, it was getting done.
So this afternoon I got the crust started, while it was in the fridge cooling I realized I had no clue where my pie plate was, this was the start of things going wrong. So I made a few free form tartletts and a few in my mini tart pans. I didn’t have dried beans to put in the tart pans, but I read that rice would work. It did, but the little grains of rice stuck to the crust a teeny bit. While I was in the process of pulling them out so I could take the rice out for the last few minutes to let the centers brown up a little more things went wrong. No, I’m not talking about the rice spilled all over the stove, it’s worse. G had put my KA in front of the stove so I couldn’t open the oven door all the way. In an effort to not burn my hand I ended up leaning my boob against the oven door. Needless to say I now have a nice blister on the side of my boob to that will leave me thinking about LMP for weeks. Wonderful!
Then it was on to the filling, I actually had no problems there, but the meringue was another story. I didn’t actually have problems with the meringue, it was more getting the eggs into the bowl of my KA. Lets see first I missed the bowl and only dumped half of the egg whites in. Then I tried adding two more to make up for the lost egg whites but somehow managed to drop an egg yolk in the whole thing, it broke and I needed to start over. Ugh.
Then onto cooking the completed pies. Surprise surprise, that didn’t go well either. Normally, my nose is my timer when it comes to baking. When I can smell it, it’s time to check it. That posed two problems with this recipe, 1. it didn’t really smell 2. I’m sick and I have a stuffy nose so I couldn’t smell even if I wanted to. In the end they were in the oven too long and were a wee bit more brown on top than I would have liked, but they were done.
Other than the meringue looking a little more brown than it should everything seemed like it turned out ok. I tasted it, it tasted like LMP, which as perviously stated, I’m not a huge fan of aka I’m a bad judge of how it tastes. G on the other hand likes LMP, and said he really liked it. The final problem, G won’t eat all of them in one sitting and with my dripping, sniffling nose there is no way I’m giving them away (G gets to eat them because he’s been sick too). So, I stuck the rest in the freezer and I’m hoping they taste ok when G defrosts them later on.
If I hadn’t had all the problems I had, I probably would have really enjoyed baking LMPs, I’ve never made a filling like the LMP one and I may just have to try it again with lime because I’m a lime addict and that part was really fun. I love when crazy chemical things I don’t understand happen on the stove 🙂
Thanks to Jen, The Canadian Baker, for choosing this months recipe!
Recipe after the break
Lemon Meringue Pie
Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie
For the Crust:
¾ cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces
2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt
⅓ cup (80 mL) ice water
For the Filling:
2 cups (475 mL) water
1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
½ cup (120 mL) cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
¼ cup (60 mL) butter
¾ cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
For the Meringue:
5 egg whites, room temperature
½ tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
¾ 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 ⅛ 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 ½ 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.
Daring Bakers Extra Challenge
Free-Style Lemon Tartlets
Prepare the recipe as above but complete the following steps:
To roll out tartlet dough, slice the dough into 6 pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll each circle of dough into a 5 inch disk. Stack the disks, separated by pieces of plastic wrap, on a plate, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To bake the dough, position rack in oven to the centre of oven and preheat to 350ºF (180ºC). Place the disks of dough, evenly spaced, on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely.
To finish tartlets, first place oven rack in the upper third of the oven and increase heat to 425ºF.
Divide the lemon filling equally among the disks, mounding it in the centre and leaving a 1-inch border all the way around.
Spoon the meringue decoratively over each tartlet, right to the edges, in dramatic swirling peaks. Return tartlets to oven and bake for about 5 minutes, until the meringue is golden brown.
You can make one pie or tartlets (in a tin or free-form)
You can compliment your pie with a sauce. For example, you can serve it with raspberry or white chocolate sauce.
You can use a piping bag to apply the meringue if you like.
Decoration is up to you – lemon zest or fruit are totally acceptable.
Pie recipe courtesy of Wanda’s Pie in the Sky by Wanda Beaver, 2002
Tartlet recipe courtesy of Ripe for Dessert by David Lebovitz, 2003