Monday, January 28, 2008

Lemon Meringue Pie

So this month's Daring Baker's Challenge was to make a lemon meringue pie. When I first saw this, I'll be quite honest to admitting that this seemed like an easy challenge. Boy was I wrong! First of all it required you to make a pie crust from scratch....something I have successfully failed at on numerous occasions. It also took like half my day to make, which is partly my fault. My cousin's 4 year old daughter and 6 year old son insisted on being my sous chefs, so everything went a lot slower. But I loved baking with them and seeing how much fun they were having, so I didn't regret it at all! They were so happy when they got to take a whole pie home (we made two) and show people how beautiful their "lemonade pie" looked.


For the crust:
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup ice water
For the filling:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 5 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the meringue:
  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 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. 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.


Deborah said...

It looks wonderful, and how fun to have little helpers!

Augustina said...

I bet the little ones had fun baking this with you. Great job!

Big Boys Oven said...

this is great job, it is so fruitful, we love it!

Megan said...

lemonade pie! I can imagine how happy those kids were with thier pie!

Claire said...

Your pie looks great! What fun to have little helpers.

Tim and Kristine said...

Mouth watering yet again! You are so nice to let the little ones help you. I hope you have been feeling better. I am in the process of trying to get a dinner together with Melissa and Julie. As soon as I get some dates I'll let you know!

Tracy said...

Wow! Your pie looks great. I give you lots of credit to take on such a challenge with young bakers.

Shellie said...

I'm trying to figure out who the kids who baked with you are? But I have no clue.

Lisa Kendrick said...

Ann and Mike came over for dinner. So Kinsley and Gabe helped me bake. Technically she's not my cousin, but I don't know our title is with each other now.

SweetDesigns said...

Great job!! its always great to have helping hands ;)

Jenny said...

Ah, the pie really looks beautiful - solid lemon filling, perfectly browned meringue. It is a success!

Gabi said...

How fun to bake with the kids -even if it does slow things down!
Your pie is beuatiful and sunny!

Angel said...

Your pie looks fabulous!! Its great that you are passing along the daring baker spirit to the younger generation. Huzzah!!

Lis said...

Awwww I love hearing when our DB'ers get to bake with kids.. so cute!

Your pie turned out beautifully, Lisa! Way to go!


Dolores said...

Lemonade pie! How wonderful to be baking (and creating such wonderful memories) with the little ones. Great job!

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