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