Sunday, March 13, 2016

Lemon meringue pie

A classic lemon meringue pie that you'll want to make over and over again! The pie contains a perfect balance between tartness and sweetness. And the thick and fluffy meringue is something you can just eat with a spoon!

Confession: I have never had a lemon meringue pie prior to baking this. Why not? I don't have a good answer for that, other than the fact that I'm usually drawn to other flavored pies (anything chocolate, usually). Anyway, that's all in the past now. I finally made up for lost time by baking this time. Plus, it's Pi (Pie) Day tomorrow!

I had some leftover pie crust in the freezer so I pulled that out to thaw. I made the curd fairly quickly and then whipped up the meringue in no time. In fact, this pie was much easier than expected. Now I'm kicking myself for waiting this long to try a lemon meringue pie.

Since I have nothing to compare this to, I'll just give you my thoughts on how the pie turned out. After I cut into the pie, you'll see that the filling got a little runny. I did some research online and it turns out that the culprit is the cornstarch. Once cornstarch is too hot, it starts to lose its ability to thicken and keep things together. So, when you're making the lemon filling, do not allow the curd to come to a full rolling boil - just enough so that the lemon mixture is thick and barely simmering.

Other than the slightly runny filling, this lemon meringue pie was the perfect dessert for an unusually warm winter day. We were experiencing 60 degree weather, and this citrusy pie was the best way to cap off a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. The filling was slightly tart yet sweet, and the cloud-like meringue was a fun way to top off the golden yellow pie. I got huge compliments after we taste-tested the pie. "Mommy, this is REALLY good!" I smiled a smile so big after I heard that from Addie.

If you could use a smile today, bake this pie. Just watch out for the cornstarch and don't overheat it like I did. Happy Pi(e) Day!

Lemon meringue pie
  • 1 (9-inch) pie crust, fully baked (I used this one)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium sized saucepan, whisk together the 1 cup of sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Add in the water and lemon juice and turn on the stove to medium heat. Allow the mixture to boil and continue to stir so nothing sticks to the bottom of the saucepan. Once the mixture boils, add in the butter and contue to mix until the butter is fully incorporated.

Place the egg yolks in a measuring cup. Add about 1/2 a cup of the sugar mixture into the measuring cup to temper the eggs. Mix well. Then pour this into the saucepan and mix again. Whisk constantly until everything comes to a boil and starts to thicken.  Turn off the stove and remove the pan from the heat.

Transfer the lemon filling into your pre-baked pie crust. Smooth the top with a spatula and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until foamy. Slowly add the granulated sugar and continue to beat until you achieve stiff peaks.

Spread the egg white meringue on top of the lemon filling. Bake in your preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the tops begin to brown.

Allow the pie to cool slightly before serving. Leftover pie should be stored in the refrigerator and will keep for several days.

Yield: One 9" pie; about 8-12 servings

Source: Crust from here; pie recipe from Allrecipes.com

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