Monday, May 10, 2010

I finally did it.

I'm back again with another recipe that I baked with my friends Ingrid of 3 B's and Michelle of One Ordinary Day. This recipe was chosen by Michelle and she chose Lemon Meringue Pie from none other than Emeril Lagasse! I like lemon pies but meringue really isn't my thing. Still I was looking forward to it because it's something I've tried and have never had much success with.

I tried a recipe last summer and the crust was perfect. The filling was perfect. The meringue was perfect. Do you see where I'm going here? It should have been a perfect pie but there were mistakes in the recipe that were not tested by the recipe author and in the end it was a weepy mess. It never set up and ended up down my disposal. I tried it again a few months down the line and skipped the meringue part because that's where I had problems the first time. It was delicious but it still wasn't lemon meringue pie. It was lemon cream pie. I may blog about that one sometime in the future.

So I was bound and determined to master this pie. I was on a mission from God. ha ha! Actually it was my personal mission because I wanted to make this pie for my father-in-law. It's his favorite pie and while I kept promising he never got it. He didn't mind, but I did. I was finally able to serve this for dessert a couple weeks ago after our tomato basil soup dinner. And we all loved it.

I did not make Emeril's pie crust but I've included the recipe below if you chose to make it. I cheated and used refrigerated pie crust because I didn't plan ahead and make it in advance. (Ingrid and Michelle, I hope you don't kick me out of this group of this little baking group for cheating on the crust- I love baking with you cheeseballs!) It worked fine, but it shrunk up a little bit. I urge you to make homemade if you can, but in a pinch a store bought crust will do.

This pie was pleasantly tart with great lemony flavor but it wasn't overpowering. The meringue was simple and it piped beautifully but since it's not my favorite part, I only used half the meringue. And I might have over browned my peaks but I was having way too much fun with the blow torch!

Lemon Meringue Pie from Emeril Lagasse

Printable Version


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water, or as needed
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons limoncello (optional- I omitted)
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Meringue Topping:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar

Crust: Sift the flour, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. With your fingers, work the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 3 tablespoons of the ice water and work with your fingers just until the dough comes together, adding more water as needed, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make a smooth dough, being careful not to overwork the dough.

Form the dough into a disk shape, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and on a lightly floured surface, roll out to a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan, pressing gently to fit, trim the edge to within 1/2-inch of the pan, turn under, and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line the pie shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights, dry beans, or rice. Bake until the crust is set, about 12 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and weights and bake until lightly colored, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before filling.

Filling: Combine the granulated sugar, cornstarch, milk, water, and pinch of the salt in a large, non-reactive saucepan, whisk to combine, and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally. As the mixture reaches a simmer and begins to thicken and turn clear, 4 to 5 minutes, whisk in the egg yolks, 2 at a time. Slowly add the lemon juice, whisking constantly, and add the zest and limoncello, if using. Add the butter, 1 piece at a time, and whisking constantly, return to a simmer. Remove from the heat and pour immediately into the prepared pie crust.

Meringue: Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and remaining pinch salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beating constantly, gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until glossy stiff peaks form, being careful not to over beat, as this will make the meringue difficult to spread.

Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Working 1 row at a time, pipe the meringue across the top of the hot lemon filling in a zigzag pattern, alternating direction with each row. Cover the pie filling completely, going out to the pastry edges, so the meringue does not draw up or weep during baking. (Alternatively, spread the meringue evenly over the pie filling using a rubber spatula, smoothing out to the pastry edges. Make decorative peaks in the meringue using a dull knife or the back of a spoon.)

To quickly cook the meringue, preheat the broiler with the rack in the highest position. Place the pie under the broiler and cook until the meringue is set and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning. (Alternatively, the meringue can be cooked in a preheated 325 degree F oven until set and golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes.)

Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

NOTE: You need to top the filling with meringue while it's still hot. Make sure to cover the entire pie, all the way to the crusts, with the meringue, to prevent shrinkage.

I refrigerated this pie for a couple hours to firm up the filling. It also kept well in the refrigerator for a couple days.

What will we make next month? You'll have to wait and see! For now, go and visit Michelle and Ingrid and see how their pies turned out.

Today's my little brothers 15th birthday- Happy Birthday Aaron. I love you!


Coleen's Recipes said...

You did a beautiful job!! I love the idea of baking "with" blogging friends, it sounds like a lot of fun.Happy birthday to your little brother.

Laura said...

What a beautiful pie! I love the piped on meringue technique it really adds a beauty to it. Happy Birthday to the little bro! Give him a noogie for me.

oneordinaryday said...

Your pie is beautiful, Monica, even if you did cheat on the crust. ; ) I can forgive that transgression, but not using all that perfect meringue? I don't think I can get over that one.
{teehee} I love ya anyway.

I actually baked my meringue instead of torching/broiling it. Maybe I'll give that a try next time.

And a big happy day to your little brother!!

♥peachkins♥ said...

A slice of that pie clearly has my name on it..hee

blowing peachkisses
The Peach Kitchen
peach and things

Keeley said...

Lemon meringue is my mom's favorite. I made the banana cake with chocolate icing that you did a few weeks (months?) back for my mom yesterday. The cake turned out well, but the icing was a complete disaster. We still ate it!

Happy birthday to your little brother!

OvenDelights said...

This recipe is perfect for the summer! And don't worry when I make this I'll cheat too, and go with like a premade shortbread or graham crust. Its too hot in the summer to turn those ovens on!

steph said...

I love how you piped on the meringue - it is a beautiful pie!

Sara said...

Love love love this pie! It's so gorgeous with the piped meringue!

Julie said...

Beautiful pie! I've come to love lemon a lot in the past year, and this sounds scrumptious!

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

It looks yummy! I've made meringue pies often and never had a problem. I use the Betty Crocker recipe and cover the entire pie (no cute piping). I also tend to use refrigerated pie crust, my own just isn't enough better to go to the trouble. I took a real shortcut yesterday. I didn't feel like cooking, but I did feel like pie. So...I bought a frozen Marie Callendar's berry pie with raspberries and blackberries. It was actually very good.

Maranda said...

Wow! It looks beautiful and delicious! Happy birthday to your little bro!

Raina said...

Your pie is beautiful! My all time favorite pie is lemon meringue. I have always been afraid to try it. Maybe, I will give it a shot now.

Donna-FFW said...

It looks goirgeous Monica.. I have never tackled this project.. I should try though, my hubby loves meringue pies. And a blow torch I could get into that.

Katie said...

Your pie looks wonderful! I totally agree that the best part is the lemony filling, love how deep it looks.

Happy birthday to your brother

Memória said...

You know your pie and photos look absolutely stunning. I like how you piped the meringue. I would have to use whipped cream instead. Great job!

Happy birthday to Aaron!!!! He's so cute!

cookies and cups said...

The meringue is gorgeous! Beautiful and yummy :)

Maria said...

I just made a lime pie, will have to try your lemon one next!

vanillasugar said...

seriously darling, that is one gorgeous looking pie. perfect ratio of everything.

From the Kitchen said...

You sure have done it! And it looks delicious! I'm still amazed at the photos you take with your Nikkon. You must have read the manual!! = ) Wonderful shots!


A Feast for the Eyes said...

Meringue is my thing, so I'll eat your share. I'm game to try your perfect pie crust. I never thought of piping the top. I should, because it's a beautiful presentation. The top is perfectly browned, to me.

Joy said...

Monica, your pie is absolutely gorgeous! I really admire your perseverance- and after all your hard work, you were rewarded with the PERFECT lemon meringue pie :) Even though I have one patiently waiting in my basement, blowtorches scare me silly- it's the one thing that's keeping me from getting one of these pies on the table. I've never used mine before (I bought a real one from the hardware store, not one of those little kitchen gadget versions), but it's intimidating! I hope once I conquer my fear, I'll have as much fun with it as you!

I actually stopped by because I had a quick question for you relating to Cake Slice Bakers. I just saw your post on the site that said you made May's recipe and successfully cut it in half. This may sound silly, but how did you divide 5 egg whites? I always get hung up on halving something with an odd number of eggs... I'd really like to avoid having 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes or a full 8" cake, so if you could help me with some tips, I'd really appreciate it! (I hope you don't mind my asking!) Feel free to leave a comment on my blog whenever you get a chance.

I hope you're doing well and I can't wait to come back and see your results on the 20th! Have a great rest of your week.


Ingrid said...

Nice looking pie...this is my first time here! I'll be back often! :)LOL

My fave photo is the one with all the tangy zest in the microplane.

Kerstin said...

What a pretty pie and lemon is so perfect for summer!

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