Monday, December 27, 2010

Lemon Meringue Pie

           I baked a meringue pie for the first time! My husband who loves all things meringue and lemon naturally picked this as his birthday cake. I'm not a big pie maker but as time goes on I hope to change that. The one thing that worried me was the pie crust. They don't sell Crisco here(I should say that they do sell it here but it comes in small cans and costs a fortune. I've never been a fan of crisco and prefer to come up with alternatives..wich I have successfully done so far:) and there is a substitute that some people have used but it grosses me out to much to think about using it. I also know that you can infact use all butter to make a pie crust but I am not a crust maker at all. So to solve all of that I used a graham cracker crust!! it worked perfect and we didn't miss the pie crust at all.

The meringue was my least favorite. I did not like the addition of vanilla and will leave it out next time. The lemon filling is out of this world! I tasted the lemon curd while it was cooling down and was a little disappointed in how mellow the flavor was..However, when it cooled down in the fridge for 3 hours I actually puckered up with the first bite. It was perfectly lemony-tart without going overboard. I can see myself using the filling when making Pavlova's or various smaller tarts.
      I hope everyone had a wonderful christmas! As much as I have enjoyed the snow I am ready for it to go away now. I heard we are expected to get more so I had better get used to it :)

Lemon Meringue Pie..Source: Taste of Home
1-1/4 cups Sugar
1/4 cup Cornstarch
3 TBL Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1-1/2 cups Water
3 Egg Yolks,Lightly Beaten
2 TBL Butter
1-1/2 tsp. Grated Lemon Peel..I left out
1/3 cup Lemon Juice..Freshly squeezed is best

1/2 cup Sugar,divided
1 TBL Cornstarch
1/2 cup Cold Water
4 Egg Whites
3/4 tsp. Vanilla

1- 9 inch baked pie crust or graham cracker crust

Place egg whites in a clean mixing bowl and allow to sit for 30mins at room temp. Place egg yolks in a small bowl.

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch,flour and salt. Gradually stir in flour with a whisk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat, cook and stir for 2 mins longer.

Remove from heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks stirring very fast to avoid making scrambled eggs. Return all of the yolk filling back into the hot mixture and whisk quickly to combine. While stirring constantly bring mixture to a gentle boil, cook and stir 2 mins longer.** you will notice the faster you whisk the creamier the mixture gets and starts to thicken more** Remove from heat and gently stir in butter and lemon peel. Stir in lemon juice just until combined. Pour into crust.

Meringue: In a saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in cold water. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is clear. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

Beat egg whites and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat in clear cornstarch mixture on high until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Spread evenly over hot filling, sealing edges to crust.

Bake in pre heated 350 or 180 celcius oven for 25mins or until meringue is golden brown. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour and refrigerate for atleast 3 hours before serving.

** As a side not you can start the first part of the meringue mixture at the begining and allow it to cool while you make everything else. I plan to do that next time**