The Crooked Ladle
BILLOWY LEMON MERINGUE PIE - Deliciously Refreshing
Devine Lemon Meringue Pie - Tastefully Adorned with Meringue Cloud
Melt in Your Mouth Lemon Meringue Pie Encased in Flaky Crust
If you are a lemon lover, do yourself a favor and treat yourself by partaking in this dreamy lemon meringue pie. This recipe has the perfect blend of filling that is smooth in texture and flavor, rather than being too tart. I’ve paired it with my favorite crust which rolls out well, is easy to handle and one that does not go uneaten on any individual serving dish.
Enough about that. So, I want to share with you something that happened while making this particular meringue pie, lest you think that all goes perfectly for recipe bloggers. The final product actually did come out quite beautiful; however, as I was taking photos for this blog, quite unexpectedly while looking through the camera lens, I suddenly see my photo light smashed smack in the middle of my pie! Somehow (my mishap for sure) portable countertop light teetered in slow motion into my pie before I could make a dash in time to stop it. Here I am, one month later, doing a retake because one can only eat so much pie.
Tip: When making pie crust, if you don’t normally wear an apron, don’t wear black. I’ve learned this through personal experiences discovering puffs of white all over my clothes afterwards.
Serves: 6 to 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
· 9” pie plate
· 2 Qt pot
· Large mixing bowl
· Medium mixing bowl
. Small bowl
· Rolling pin
· Pastry blender or fork
· Rasp zester or
grater with tiny teeth
. Small strainer
· Measuring cups
· Measuring spoons
· Baking beads or dry beans or brown rice (for blind baking step)
. Electric mixer
Crust: I am offering my crust recipe below, but feel free to purchase either a pre-made pastry crust or pre-made pastry pie dough. You may not have the time nor the inclination to make a hand-made pastry pie crust.
Ingredients for Crust:
· 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
· 6 tablespoon butter, softened somewhat (not room temperature but not cold hard)
· ¼ cup shortening, cold
· 3 tablespoon white granulated sugar
· 2-4 tablespoons cold water (use as needed if your flour is too dry).
I used 4 tablespoons this time.
· Pinch of salt
Instructions for Crust:
1. Add the flour and salt to the large mixing bowl.
2. Add the cold shortening and butter and use a pastry blender or fork to cut these ingredients into the flour until the mixture resembles pea crumbs.
3. Add a tablespoon of water at a time until the dough begins to gather together with a spoon at first and then with your hands.
4. With your hands, gently mix and mold the dough into a ball and then press with your hands into a thick disk - see image above.
5. Cover the disk of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes or so.
6. Lay out wax paper or parchment paper on the counter and cut it long enough to fit over your intended crust size when it is rolled out. Lightly flour both sides of the pie dough disc and set it on the wax/parchment paper.
[The image to the right shows how I pull out the pie weight beads all at once].
7. Use your rolling pin to gently press the pie dough out into a large circle. Always start at the center of the crust, and work outwards. You want your dough to be somewhat thin, and about ½ inch larger than the diameter of your pie dish.
8. Before you transfer the dough to the pie pan, I recommend spraying the pan with butter flavored spray. To transfer the rolled out pie dough to the pie pan first fold the dough in half - and if you want to, fold in half again. Then, gently pick it up and place it into the pie pan and then unfold as shown in the images above. Smooth the bottom dough out with your hands and then smooth out the sides. If needed, trim the dough edges leaving some extra on the outside of the pie pan so you can fold it under about ¼ of an inch. Crimp the edges by pinching between your fingers. Press fork tongs into the bottom of the pie dough several times.
Blind Baking the Crust:
Blind baking is when you need to bake the crust without any filling in it, such as that is required in a meringue pie. To keep the bottom of the crust from bubbling up, it is best to place a sheet of either wax paper or tin foil cut to the size of the crust and lay it over the crust. Then, place enough of either baking beads, uncooked beans, or rice in the bottom of the pie to cover the bottom.
9. Bake the blind crust for 15 minutes in a pre-heated 425-degree oven. Remove the wax paper/tin foil and baking beads (see image above on how I do that) and bake for 2-3 more minutes to ensure the bottom crust is cooked through.
Ingredients for Filling/Pudding:
· 4 extra-large egg yolks or 5 large egg yolks, beaten (at room temperature)
· 6 extra-large egg whites or 7 large egg whites (at room temperature)
· 1 ¼ cup white granulated sugar (or caster sugar which is a fine grain)
· ½ cup lemon juice - Typically this is two large lemons, if small...3-4 lemons)
Be certain to strain out any seeds or lemon flesh
· 2 tablespoons butter
· ½ cup water
· 1/3 cup cornstarch
· 1 tablespoon zest of lemon - avoid the lemon pith (white of the lemon)
· ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions for Filling/Pudding:
1. Add to a 2-quart pot the sugar, cornstarch and salt and whisk to combine.
2. Stir in the water, lemon juice and zest and whisk well.
3. Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil all the while stirring constantly. When the mixture comes to a boil, add the butter, continuing to stir as the butter melts. Turn the stove heat to medium-low.
4. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk. Then begin the tempering process (Tempering is a method of combining two ingredients that are at different temperatures. It’s used to prevent curdling). Gradually whisk one tablespoon at a time into the sugar mixture to the egg yolks and whisk. Repeat this one more time. Next, add the remaining egg mixture from the bowl into the pot of hot sugar mixture. Increase the heat to medium-high and while stirring all the while, bring to a boil until thickened which takes about five minutes. Pour the thickened mixture into the baked pie shell. Set aside and allow to cool somewhat.
· 6 large egg whites
· ¼ cup sugar (or caster sugar which is a fine grain)
· ¼ teaspoon cream of tarter
· ½ teaspoon vanilla
1. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer. When they get white and frothy, add all of the other ingredients and continue beating until very white and the whites form peaks.
2. Pour the egg white mixture on top of the pie with the lemon filling and smooth over ensuring the whites are brought up to the pie edges.
3. Bake in a 350-degree preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned.
4. Cool the pie for at least one hour. Refrigerate for at least three hours before serving.
Note: After the meringue bakes and rests in the refrigerator, meringue toppings always shrink quite a bit from when first removed from the oven.
Leftovers: Though the pie can be left out for a couple hours, leftovers should be refrigerated.
Freezing: I do not recommend freezing this pie as the meringue will shrink and deteriorate.
Serving: While you can make the crust ahead of time, which is the most time-consuming part of making this pie anyway, it’s best to serve this pie on the day it is completed.
Topping: If you’re not a fan of meringue, skip it and top with whipping cream instead and still enjoy the melt in your mouth lemon pudding.
The Crooked Ladle
Savor the taste