1.28.2008

Challenge #3: Done and done!

The DBs strike again, this time it's a charm for me (get it, my third challenge?)

Hello?! Is this mic on?

Anyhoot, if I thought baking was fun before, this challenged sure did cement this belief into my mind, forever. This month's challenge was Lemon Meringue Pie. I've always loved this pie. It ranks right up there with apple, sweet potato, banana and SCRAWberry (from Marie Calendar's). So I was happy as heck to find out I'd finally learn how to make it.



First the crust:
(I truly prefer buying ready-made crust, but the DB Police would fine me big time, if I tried that crap!)



Next is the filling:
(It would truly help to purchase more than enough lemons, to squeeze for this recipe. I purchased 3 and was about to [fill-in the curse word here] bricks when it seemed like I didn't have enough.


Here's the meringue:
(don't you just love saying this word? Spelling it,... not so much!)


There was some discussion on our boards about the proper way to fill the crust to prevent "soggy-ness". I solved this problem, but trying to make everything all at the same time, which ended up me pouring the filling and the meringue (at the same time). No time to get soggy here!


All in all, it was great experience.



Look at the hills on this bad boy! :)


Even if I did start baking this challenge at 9:00am THIS MORNING <--- true insanity!

Recipe:
Lemon Meringue Pie
Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie

For the Crust:
¾ cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces
2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt
⅓ cup (80 mL) ice water

For the Filling:
2 cups (475 mL) water
1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
½ cup (120 mL) cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
¼ cup (60 mL) butter
¾ 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
½ tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
¾ cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

For 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 ⅛ 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 ½ 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.

For 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.

For 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.

41 comments:

Katia said...

Your pie looks wonderful! The photos are great too.

Ann said...

Gorgeous pie!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Very nice! Surprising that you did it this morning!!! Great job!

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Great shots. It looks so yummy!

KJ said...

You did a great job. There's nothing like a deadline to kick a butt into gear :-}

Michelle said...

It looks really great and yummy! Good Job!

Cakespy said...

Wow! Very nice work! I ate one of my tarts for breakfast but now that I see yours, I wish I had eaten your pie for breakfast.

Joey Biscotti said...

Yours makes my mouth water! And may I say, your site looks pretty delicious, also - Good job!

wan-nabe said...

mmmmmm. we do have a lemon tree out front...

Beth G. said...

Fantastic- you did a great job and it looks delicious!!

simply said...

Great pie and great pictures. I wish mine turned out as good.
Well done on your challenge

Aparna said...

Pretty good looking pie. I baked mine (the filling and meringue) at 10.00 pm! How's that for weird?

Baking Soda said...

Looking good, love the bad boys hills!

ioyces said...

fantastic step by step pictures!!! :D Good job!! The adrenaline of the deadline seem to work well for you!

Half Baked said...

Way too go getting your pie done at the last minute and it looks great!!

Tiffany said...

Yay for us third-timers!!! That curd looks so creamy and yummy, it makes me want to bake another stinkin pie!!!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Great peaks! Seems a lot of us left it to the last minute this month. I swear every month that I'll make the challenge way ahead of time, do I ever? Well done on getting it in the bag in time!

jen said...

Delicious! Love the meringue peaks :-) I did my last challenge under the wire and boy that was interesting!

KayKat said...

Done and done fabulously :)

Looks perfect!

aamena said...

oh i love saying ma-rang too! great looking pie there!

Annemarie said...

Pleased to hear it was all good for you with this one. I did love that curd, and seeing your pictures of it makes me want more...

Deborah said...

Your first lemon meringue pie looks like a complete success! Great job!

R said...

I will never, ever try to make a lemon meringue pie. It looks way too hard. Kudos to you homey, it looks great!

Canadian Baker said...

You did a great job! Thanks for participating. :)

Lis said...

Okay I've got two burning questions..

1- How the hell do you roll pie dough into a perfect circle like that? You are my hero!

2- Did you give the baby a lil taste and if so, did he make the funniest face ever when he tasted the lemon?? heeeeee!

Beautiful, Iisha! =)

xoxo

Dolores said...

Wow... with a crust that sensational, why by pre-made? (beyond the obvious convenience it offers). And you're right, the third challenge appears to be the charm for you... your pie is gorgeous. Congratulations!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Very cute post! Your pie looks great! (Pssst! I like to buy my crust too - when I can get away with it!)

The Baker & The Curry Maker said...

Fantastic! Well done, its gorgeous! It was oh so good, huh!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your pie looks gorgeous! Well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

Gabi said...

Nice looking pie-lovely meringue!
I love's your post- funny!
xoxo

Nanette said...

Great job! I have yet to venture into the world of pies.

And look at all your comments! Blog super star!

Janet said...

Nothing wrong with a pre-made crust, but it hardly looks like you need the help!

Jessica said...

Beautiful pictures! Nicely done!

Mary said...

That is a terrific looking pie!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Sometimes insanity pays off well. So glad three's charm for you and that you enjoyed the pie!! I did too.

Jenny said...

Looks great! And wow, I used 8 lemons I think.

Quellia said...

Now that does not look like a last minute pie, it looks great!

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a fabulous job on your lemon meringue pie. I'm delighted everything turned out perfectly for you. Happy Birthday to your little boy.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Mer said...

Well done! And good call on not buying the pre-bought crust. ;0)

Big Boys Oven said...

you did a great job, well done!

Claire said...

Wonderful job! And happy birthday to the little one! February is a great birthday month.