Friday, March 18, 2011

Lemon Meringue Pie

I made this lemon meringue for Todd's birthday.  Todd definitely falls in the birthday pie rather than birthday cake category.  Lemon meringue pies are actually kind of like egg pies because there's egg yolk in the filling and egg white in the top.

This pie is super easy to make, especially if you have an electric mixer so that you can do something else while the meringue whips up.  Just a note, meringue is touchy in terms of measurements, so portion accordingly.  Also, next time I think I will use a different fat for my pie crust, since canned Crisco creeps me out.

Lemon Meringue Pie
(recipe a mix of Todd's mom and Good Housekeeping)

·         2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
·         2 tsp. salt
·         2/3 cup shortening
·         6-9 tablespoons cold water

·         1 ½ cup sugar
·         3 T cornstarch
·         3 T flour
·         Dash salt (iodized, if you have it)
·         1 ½ cup hot water
·         3 slightly beaten egg yolks
·         2 T butter
·         ½ tsp. grated lemon peel
·         Juice of 1 lemon 
·         (2 T of softened reduced fat cream cheese)

·         3 egg whites
·         ½ tsp. vanilla
·         ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
·         6 T sugar

In medium bowl, mix flour & salt.  Cut in shortening with pastry blender until mix the size of small peas.  Sprinkle with water 1 T at a time.
Gather pastry into ball and shape into flattened round on floured surface.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until rough is firm & cold, yet pliable, about 45 minutes.  This will give you a nice and flaky crust!
Heat oven to 475.  With floured rolling pin, roll pastry two inches larges than an upside down 9-inch pie plate.  TIP: fold pastry into fourths; and place in pie plate (no broken pies in transport!).  Trim overhanging edge of pastry one inch from rim of pie plate.  Fold pastry under and press dough into pie plate.  Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork.  Bake 9-11 minutes, until light brown.
Reduce oven temp to 350.  In a saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, flour, & salt over medium-high heat.  Gradually stir in water stirring constantly over high heat until mixture comes to boil.  Cook & stir 2 minutes longer then remove from heat.
Stir small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks then return hot mixture.  Bring to boil then cook & stir 2 minutes.  Add butter and lemon peel.  Slowly add lemon juice. 
Lightly coat bottom of pie with cream cheese to make filling stick.
Make meringue: beat egg whites with vanilla & cream of tartar and let soft peaks form.  Just turn on your mixer and going do something for a bit – don’t be stingy with time here.  Gradually add sugar until soft & glossy peaks form.  Again don’t be stingy with time here.  Pour filling into pastry then top and seal with meringue.  Bake at 350 for 12 minutes, until meringue light brown.  Cool away from draft for 2 hours then put in fridge.

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