January 28, 2008

lemon meringue pie

it's time for another daring baker's challenge!first, a big thanks to jen over at canadian baker for a great challenge. and second, the challenge part for me was time management. i had planned on baking the pie in time to take to granny's for dinner on the 6th. you'd think someone my age would know exactly how long it takes to do something, even after reading the recipe 20times, but no. i was off by 20 minutes and so we were 20 minutes late leaving for granny's house. o well.

after reading that many bakers were having problems with "weeping" pies, i was a little worried, but everything game together quite nicely. i separated my eggs, cracking them into one bowl and then moving the clean whites into the bowl of my mixer one at a time. squeezed 4 lemons through the sieve. whipped up the egg whites to beautiful stiff, glossy peaks. my mixer whipped so much meringue it was like a mountain of snow ontop! and just to be different i smoothed out the meringue like a big snowball pie.

the pie travelled to new westminster on my lap, nice and warm, and after a beautiful dinner (food almost always tastes better when someone else makes it!) it was time to cut into the pie. my thoughts on the pie is pretty simple. i'd use half the dough so it's not as thick and browns quicker, and i'd use less lemon juice. i love the taste of fresh lemons, but it was just a little too tart.

i think because of my time missmanagement i wasn't able to wait quite long enough for the curd to fully set and that's why it's all lopsided. at least it wasn't weepy. everyone was quite impressed at the height of my meringue.

don't forget to check out the other daring bakers' pies!

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.


Angela said...

Wow, what an impressive mountain of meringue! You could ski down that :)

Congratulations on a great pie!

Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar

Mary said...

I love love love the look of your meringue! The pie looks really delicious!

Cherry said...

That's a real mountain of meringue! Haha hides the "inner beauty" (the lemon curd) really well. Great job!

Princess of the kitchen said...

Wow Looks fantastic. I especially like how your smoothed out meringue looks when cut. So think! Well done!

Big Boys Oven said...

I love the look of the cross section of the LMP, looks so delicious!

Lisha said...

Gorgeous snowball pie, if we can't have snow in Sydney, Australia, then we shall have snowball (lemon meringue) pie, thanks for the recipe!

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a lovely job on your pie. Cool meringue too!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

eatme_delicious said...

That high meringue is quite impressive! I love how you made the pie look like a big snowball. A toasty snowball mmm. It's nice to see another blogger from the lower mainland! :) I'm in Richmond.

creampuff said...

Glad you enjoyed the challenge!

breadchick said...

I'd say that meringue was high! Nice job on the challenge this month.

Deborah said...

That is a high meringue! Great job on this challenge!

Claire said...

That is quite a tall meringue! Looks great.

BrineS said...

Wow! Mile high meringue! Great!

Jen Yu said...

Oh my, that mountain of meringue is totally amazing! Your pie looks fantastic. Great job :)

deb said...

thanks everyone!