Monday, November 15, 2010

Pie Month - Meringue-a-Tang

My Pie Month goal has so far featured Apples and Pumpkins. Next up is Lemon Meringue!

I actually attempted this pie when I recently hosted Book Club, but I unwisely decided to start the pie about 30 minutes before people were set to arrive and, oh yeah, I was going to make the dough from scratch! I managed to make the filling but when the doorbell rang I left it for a second and it proceeded to burn. Real nice.

This time around, I cheated a bit by using a pre-made dough we had in the freezer. I swear I will hand make the next pie from top to bottom!

I found a good lookin' and easy recipe on allrecipes.com and got started.

Lemon Meringue Pie
1 cup white sugar
2 Tbs flour
3 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 lemons, juiced and zested
2 Tbs butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 9 inch pie crust, baked

Preheat oven to 350. In saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir frequently until it comes to a boil. Stir in butter until it melts. Place egg yolks in a bowl and mix in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg mixture back into saucepan. Bring to boil, constantly stirring. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.
The filling just barely fit in the pie shell, I always hate to waste filling so I took this right to the top.
Next up was the Meringue challenge. So simple, yet so time consuming. 4 egg whites and 6 Tbs of sugar + a patient Lydia with her KitchenAid Electric Hand Mixer = stiff peaks ready to spread over the top of the pie!
10 minutes in the oven was all it took for the topping to carmelize and harden to a lovely shade. My baking mind always has the next Gingerbread House Challenge on the brain so of course I instantly started thinking of ways to incorporate meringue into this year's plans.
Of course, I could only assume without cutting into it that the lemon filling was done enough. Apologies for a less than appetizing final shot. I couldn't get the piece itself to photograph well so I settled for the other type of view: a vacant hole where pie used to be.

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