Lemon Meringue Pie

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Hey guys!

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty low key, which we kinda needed around these parts! I think I was asleep by 10 pm both nights.

But! I had my Sunday planned out!

Some time ago, a friend of mine told me that she was going to have serious surgery. She's not a cake person, but a citrus and pie person. I told her I was gonna make a lemon meringue pie for her from scratch, for a pick me up, after she was through it all.....something I had never done before (eek)!

Growing up, lemon meringue pie was a treat, as my father is allergic to eggs.  Whenever we had pie, it was usually one we could all eat. When we did, of course we always used a Newfoundland favourite..Sheriff lemon pie filling.  Not this time.

Lemon meringue pie has been on my baking bucket list for a while.  The lemon curd always appeared to be challenging to make, whenever I watched someone on tv make it. Usually the enviable baker: Anna Olsen.



Lemon meringue pie has a lot of eggs in it. Eggs can be very tricky. Cuz if you aren't careful...you may have a lemon scrambled egg pie. Yea...doesn't have the same ring to it.  

So recipe for the crust?  You know the drill: Click on these words to head to the pie crust by Smitten Kitchen!  Anna uses a different crust recipe which you can find on her website. Traditionally, lemon meringue has a short bread style crust. But.. I just love Deb Perlman's so much!


I used half the recipe to create a blueberry galette and half for the base of this pie.

So you have to "blind bake" this crust for the recipe.  I have to admit. Blind baking is a bit of a pain in the butt.

Basically, you place the crust in the pie plate. Follow these tips to prevent crust shrinkage: www.thekitchn.com



Then you cover the crust with parchment paper and use pie weights, beans or something in heavy multiples to keep the crust from fluffing up and preventing loss of shape of the crust.  I use dollar store marbles!!



Bake the crust for 20 mins at a preheated oven of 400 degrees. Then remove the parchment paper and weights and return to the oven for 10 more minutes.



Take out of the oven and brush on egg white to "seal" the pie crust.  This will help the moisture of the curd from penetrating and keep the crust, crisp. Let the crust cool to room temperature before starting the next part of the recipe.

The next part of the recipe is straight from Anna Olsen:

The lemon filling:

- Juice of approx. 2 lemons to create 1/2 cup of lemon juice
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup of cornstarch
- 1 cup of cold water
- 2 tbsp of cold unsalted butter




In a medium pot, whisk together sugar, cornstarch and water. On medium heat, whisk constantly, until mixture turns glossy and thick.  You basically will be like...when is this gonna thicken up?  And then all of a sudden....It's THICK!



Remove the pot from the heat momentarily, and take a cup of the glossy mixture and add it to a bowl with the egg yolks in it, while whisking constantly. This is called "tempering" the eggs. You don't want to add the yolks directly to the hot pot because you will end up with scrambled egg yolks. Ick.

The easiest way to separate eggs. Pour the whites one at a time in a larger bowl.


Once tempered, add the egg yolk mixture back to the pot and return to the heat. Whisk until it comes to simmer and add the lemon juice.  Whisk for one more minute until it comes back to simmer and remove from the stove.  Add the cold butter. Whisk until melted.

This part of recipe, Anna doesn't do.  I learned this trick from Laura Calder of "French Food at Home". Anytime you make a curd or custard, you want to strain it through a fine sieve. This removes any bits of egg that may have cooked, resulting in a super smooth texture. Laura indicates that this is paramount in any French recipe...So I did! (One doesn't argue with a French chef!)



Pour the lemon curd into the cooled pie shell and cover the hot curd directly with plastic wrap.  This prevents a film from occurring on top of the curd.


        

Immediately prepare the meringue:

- 4 egg whites at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar
- 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp of icing sugar

Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar with a mixer until foamy. While mixing on low, slowly add the sugars. Then return to high whipping until meringue has soft/medium peaks.



Remove the plastic wrap from the crust/curd and spread on the meringue. Create pretty peaks with a spatula or knife.



Bake in a 325 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until meringue is browned.



Cool until room temp and chill in the fridge for 4 hours.

Snarf.

But I haven't snarfed yet. I have to wait until tomorrow! To snarf with my friend (who is doing great :) )

If it tastes as good as it looks, I think it will be a successful recipe. Now, I must lick the lemon curd off the plastic wrap, before I clean up.

Have a great week!

K.





2 comments :

  1. Looks like you nailed it! The Anna Olsen lemon curd has an intimidating number of quick steps but is so good!

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    Replies
    1. Girl, you were the trail blazer before me! I was terrified but it turned out extremely yummy!

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