Jan 28, 2008

Lemon Meringue Pie

My Daring Baker challenge #2. I'm so glad that Jen from Canadian baker picked this challenge, because I have NEVER made a pie before, and I probably wouldn't have made any pies unless I was challenged to do so. I don't know the first thing about making pies, and it always intimidated me. I guess this is the spirit of Daring Bakers, to do something you normally wouldn't do. I was really worried about making this pie though, since my fellow bakers had so many problems with it. It was definitely a mixture, some loved it, some didn't have much success with it.

I did some research on my own on Lemon Meringue pie. There was so much talk of weeping..I don't even know what that means?!!! I'm completely clueless with pies!! I even watched some videos on how to make lemon meringue pie. Our recipe asked you to wait until the lemon curd has cooled to room temperature before adding the meringue, while most recipes tell you to put the meringue on when the lemon curd is still hot. But in the spirit of Daring Bakers, I am currently anxiously waiting for my lemon curd to cool...to be continued...

My pie just finished baking. Now I know what it means when LMP weeps. It's funny, it really looks like it's weeping...=( I'm so bummed because the pie is delicious otherwise. The crust is nice and flaky, and lemon curd is absolutely delicious, and the meringue is great too. The only problem is the weeping. Oh well..I will have to make it again because I think this is a good recipe. Maybe the failure is due to my watching Lost while baking..heehee =P Can't wait for next month. Here's the recipe:

Lemon Meringue Pie
from "Wanda's Pie in the Sky" by Wanda Beaver
Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie

for the crust:
3/4 cup (175 g) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces
2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup (80 mL) ice water

1. Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

5. 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).

6. 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.

7. 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:
2 cups (475 mL) water
1 cup (200g ) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (60g) cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes.

2. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.

3. 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.

4. 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:
5 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC).

2. 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.

3. 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.

  • Cook's illustrated suggests that if you don't have pie weights, you can use pennies instead. I didn't have any pie weights and didn't want to purchase any, so I lined my pie with foil and put my pennies in. It works great!!


Passionate baker...& beyond said...

Hi & thanks for dropping by. We have something in common- first pie for both & weepy!! This was fun & you are my first visitor from Hawaii...love it! I love your write-up...& the pennies bit too. Take care & cheers, Deeba

Nikki said...

Great job on your first pie!

Deborah said...

Your first pie looks great! Wonderful job!!

Dolores said...

Congratulations... great job on your first pie. You conquered the crust, AND it tasted good! That is success!


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