I was so excited when I heard this month’s challenge was Lemon Meringue Pie (LMP). LMP is one of my favorite pies, hands down. I hurried out the day after I found out about the challenge to find a cute tartlette pan. Since I’m on Weight Watchers and trying to cut down on desserts I thought if I could make tartlettes then I could freeze them and eat them slowly over time instead of having to eat them all at once. I found the perfect tartpan on my search. It was in my favorite shape also – a heart. This is also the same pan I used to for my Turtle Cheesecakes.
Since these wonderful LMP’s are also heart shaped, I would also like to enter them in Zorra’s “A Heart for you Valentine” contest. Click the link for more information and to view all the current entries. There are some really good ones.
The beloved LMP’s!
Let me start this part by saying, I had no problems at all with this recipe; however, many of the other Daring Bakers did have minor/major problems with the lemon curd not setting and having very weepy meringue. If you choose to use this recipe, I highly suggest you visit the other Daring Bakers blogs to find a couple of people who had some problems and see how they fixed the problems in case you come across some problems also.
This LMP recipe was so yummy. It is not the LMP that I am used too. My family’s LMP makes you crinkle up your face with every bite. It is oh so delicious, but very tangy to say the least. This LMP has a much more subtle lemon taste. John, the person who told me the entire time while baking the LMP’s that he does not like LMP and won’t eat any, has eaten his fair share of them. The crust recipe is so yummy too. Again, not what I’m used to as far as pie crust goes. This was more like a shortbread taste to me. So delicious. John has even asked me to make cookies with the dough… maybe I’ll try that soon.
Edited to Add: Many people keep asking me about my meringue. I’m not a huge meringue fan, so I didn’t try my hardest at making it. I know, shame on me. I think I under-whipped it, so it completely deflated in the oven. You can kinda see a miniscule layer in the photo. lol
I didn’t have any real problems of difficulties with this recipe and once again I forgot to take pictures during the process, so this will be short. For the recipe, click on more and the end of this post.
Lemon Meringue Pie
(from “Wanda’s Pie in the Sky” by Wanda Beaver)
Daring Bakers Challenge #15: January 2008
Host: Jen (Canadian Baker)
Posting Date: Monday January 28, 2008 (Note: The challenge recipe needs to remain a secret until the post date. We all post on the same day. You may post as soon as it is January 28th where you are.)
1. Pie flavor must be lemon
1. You may make either the pie or the Lemon Meringue Free Form Tartlets (recipe follows Lemon Meringue Pie)
2. You can compliment your pie with a sauce. For example, you can serve it with raspberry or white chocolate sauce.
3. You can use a piping bag to apply the meringue if you like
4. Decoration is up to you – lemon zest or fruit are totally acceptable.
5. High altitude modifications are allowed as long as you stay “true” to the recipe.
6. Conversion for certain dietary restrictions like gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan etc. is allowed.
7. Recipe ingredient exception allowed only if allergy or an ingredient not available or cost prohibitive in your region.
Lemon Meringue Pie
Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie
For the Crust:
3/4 cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces
2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
1/3 cup (80 mL) ice water
For the Filling:
2 cups (475 mL) water
1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 mL) cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
3/4 cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
For the Meringue:
5 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180 mL) granulated sugar
To Make 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 1/8 inch (.3 cm). 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 1/2 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.
To Make 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.
To Make 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.
Daring Bakers Extra Challenge: Free-Style Lemon Tartlets
(from “Ripe for Dessert” by David Lebovitz)
Prepare the recipe as above but complete the following steps:
To roll out tartlet dough, slice the dough into 6 pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll each circle of dough into a 5 inch disk. Stack the disks, separated by pieces of plastic wrap, on a plate, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To bake the dough, position rack in oven to the centre of oven and preheat to 350ºF (180ºC). Place the disks of dough, evenly spaced, on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely.
To finish tartlets, first place oven rack in the upper third of the oven and increase heat to 425ºF. Divide the lemon filling equally among the disks, mounding it in the centre and leaving a 1-inch border all the way around. Spoon the meringue decoratively over each tartlet, right to the edges, in dramatic swirling peaks.
Return tartlets to oven and bake for about 5 minutes, until the meringue is golden brown.