You Gonna Eat All That?

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Daring Baker Challenge - Lemon Meringue Pie

Ta-Da! The unveling of the January Daring Baker's Challenge. Lemon Meringue Pie. Jen from The Canadian Baker came up with this month's challenge and I was happy to have such a sunny, cheerful dish during these cold, cold days of January.

And when I thought about it, I realized that I've never made a Lemon Meringue Pie before. Althgouth I've eaten my fair share.

I made the pie last weekend and nearly had a pie curst malfunction. Thankfully I had extra crust as I was planning to make tartlets as well. The mishap took place when I put foil on the crust before baking it. I didn't have any dried beans to put on the foil (this helps keep the crust from getting puffy and keeps it flat when you bake it) so I put a small saucepan on top of the foil. I guess it was too heavy because the crust stuck to the foil when I took it out of the oven. There was no salvaging it.

So, grumbling under my breath, I scrapped the remaining crust from the pie pan and started over. This time I didn't use anything, instead I poked holes all over the crust and checked it halfway through, pushing down any bubbles that formed. And it worked.

The lemon filling was a breeze to make and it came together just like the recipe said it would. As for taste, it was bright, sunny and delicious. Sophie was pestering me for a sample but I told her it would be too tart for her little doggie tastebuds. She didn't care so I gave her a lick. Those little jowls of hers curled up like I've never seen before, ha!

Using my kitchen aid mixer for the meringue was so easy! I chilled the beater and the bowl beforehand which I've been told helps and it did. Those egg whites just whipped right up in no time flat.

So now that I had all the parts ready it was time to assemble the pie. Th filling was still slightly warm which was a handy piece of advice I picked up from fellow daring bakers. It would help the meringue stick to the pie filling. Once it was smoothed out, I piled on the meringue. Then I used a small offset spatula to make these little fish hook like curls all over the top.

I then popped the pie into the oven to let the meringue get nice and golden brown.

Later on the that night we had some for dessert. I was surprised when I saw how much liquid was in side when we sliced it. My best guess is that it came from the meringue. But as you can see from this slice, it sorta fell apart at the center. Mind you, it still didn't stop us from diving into it.
And as for the taste? Let's just say we were hooked.Lemon Meringue Pie - Makes one 10-inch pie

For the Crust:
¾ cup cold butter; cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
cup ice water

For the Filling:
2 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
¼ cup butter
¾ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Meringue:
5 egg whites, room temperature
½ tsp cream of tartar
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup 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.

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27 Comments:

Blogger Deborah said...

I learned in a cookbook (I can't remember which one it is right now) to spray some non-stick spray on the foil before weighting your pie crust. I have been doing this for some time and it really helps so that the foil doesn't stick. Your pie is absolutely gorgeous! I love the fish hooks!

11:45 AM  
Blogger Dianne's Dishes said...

I love the twirls and swirls in your meringue! It looks fabulous! :)

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Foodie Froggy said...

Your pie looks gorgeous, especially the meringue ! Oui, oui !

12:46 PM  
Blogger Lis said...

Such a nice, pie, Barbara! I love the peaks on the meringue!

I'm so glad your neck allowed you some play time in the kitchen. Hope you continue to feel better, sweetie!

xoxo

1:17 PM  
Blogger Big Boys Oven said...

Looks so incredible yummy!

1:40 PM  
Blogger ramona said...

I adore lemon meringue pie. I'll let you know how mine turns out because this one is on my short list!
Ramona

1:45 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Your meringue looks so pretty with the high peaks! Nicely done.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Maryann said...

Your meringue came out very nice :)

8:42 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

your pie does look delicious!

9:51 PM  
Blogger The Baker & The Curry Maker said...

It tasted great huh! I loved it. Well done.

11:11 PM  
Blogger Gabi said...

Nice job- I love your meringue with the fishhook swirls. I wish you had a picture of Sophie's pucker- they pulls such amazing faces sometimes.
xoxo

1:51 PM  
Blogger Miss Ifi said...

That is a great looking pie! the little hooks just look sooo much fun, and besides your mishap with the crust it looks like things went all right, I am glad you enjoyed the sunny dessert on the wintery months.. congratulations on a challenge well done!

2:44 PM  
Blogger DC Food Blog said...

We had the same problem of the liquid when we made our pie. That sounds like a good Splendid table question.

2:55 PM  
Blogger kellypea said...

Bright & sunny is a great way to describe the flavor. I love the curd and can just picture your dog tasting it! Nice job on the challenge...

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Candace said...

Nice meringue! The browning was so even!

7:12 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

That's interesting - I was always told that for the best meringue, everything had to be at absolute room temperature, and that everything needed to be chilled for whipped cream. Well, obviously, yours turned out! Great job!

9:17 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Barbara,
Will you email me? I can't find your address to send you a message. :) melecotte(AT)gmail.com

10:03 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Ok -blogger te my first comment!

I can't remember what I typed - but your pies look great!

10:05 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks for all the great comments everyone! I'm looking forward to the February challenge.

10:11 PM  
Blogger bigfish_chin said...

Hi, came over from Big Boys Oven...
You are on the Daring Baker Challenge... congratulations!
your Lemon Meringue Pie looks great!

12:36 AM  
Blogger Sweet and Savory Eats said...

The fact that you tried again and persevered is really what the group is all about. Good for you for sticking with it. It looks great!

12:47 AM  
Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

This pie is something of a mystery. Some people had perfect no problems. I had a issue with pools of butter and slipping sides in my crust.
Your fish hooks are perfect on the meringue! Beautiful pie. So glad you enjoyed the taste Barbara!!

5:59 PM  
Blogger bigfish_chin said...

:) Thanks for dropping by my blog!
Glad to know that u and hubby are visiting Malaysia soon.
Which part of Malaysia are you guys planning to go?
I can give u some tips for food :)

10:27 PM  
Blogger Darla D said...

Wow, that is amazing. I will definitely try the recipe and let you know how it goes. Your pictures made me sooo hungry! :-)

3:41 PM  
Blogger Mer said...

Loving the fish-hooks. :0)

8:13 PM  
Blogger amanda. said...

Yum! Looks delicious! I'm glad you thought ahead and had extra crust ready.

7:36 PM  
Blogger Dolores said...

Great job with January's challenge. The fact that you fell for the final product makes it that much better! :)

12:23 AM  

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