Monday, January 28, 2008

Pie in the Sky

It's Daring Baker time again! I was pretty excited when I saw the challenge this month. It's something that I've never made the "real" thing; I also thought, "Too bad Daddy doesn't live near me anymore...he love this dessert." What is it...this challenge this month was lemon meringue pie! The form I have always had is the the form made with sweetened condensed milk. Still good, but I guess more of the semi-homemade form. At the beginning of the month I had hoped to make this for a get together with friends. Weeeelllllll, both of my options for that fizzled out and I was left wondering who I would make this pie for. Cue chimes! My parents came to town this weekend for a wedding and I got to make the pie for, Daddy ended up getting to try it. Making the pie took longer than I thought, only because I didn't read the instructions before I started. The most time consuming part was the crust because it requires two sets of chilling and two sets of baking. Other than that, this was actually easier than I thought. The crust for the pie is more of a shortbread, which I love even though it has so much butter! I decided to use my food processor that I got for Christmas to make the crust...LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the food processor! The dough was kind of hard to roll with the rolling pin; so, once I got it to a decent thickness, I just placed it in the pie plate and pressed it out. I don't know if that is why, but after the second baking, the center of the crust had puffed up quite a bit. It didn't really have any detrimental effect on the pie but kind of had me worried at first. On to the custard. SO much easier than I thought. To me, the hardest part was juicing the lemons as I don't have a juicer yet. I was concerned that the lemon wouldn't be strong enough. HA! This had such a strong, wonderful lemon taste. And the meringue...I love meringue. It turned out perfectly. I wish I hadn't cooked it quite as long as I did, but it still tasted fine and was nice and tall. Time to serve it up!!! What did my reviewers think? Mama really liked the crust, while Daddy says he prefers his Mama's (a traditional, thinner pie crust). I think that the thinner crust would be really leaky and probably wouldn't hold up to the moisture of this filling. Daddy just loved the pie as a whole. He thought the lemon flavor was really strong but was not disappointed in that. The texture of the custard was perfect. Daddy even went back for seconds! He said to give this pie glowing reviews! I enjoyed the pie, too. Lemon is one of those completely refreshing flavors that I just love. Honestly, this is probably the first recipe that I've made as a Daring Baker that I would say I'd like to make again. Thanks for choosing this recipe, Jen!!! WONDERFUL! If you want to see other DBs and their pies, check out the blogroll here. Lemon Meringue Pie (from "Wanda's Pie in the Sky" by Wanda Beaver)
Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie

For the Crust:
3/4 cup (180 mL) cold butter, cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm)
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

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.

For the Filling:
2 cups (475 mL) water
1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 mL) cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten (save the whites for meringue)
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
3/4 cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice (this was about 5 lemons for me)
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

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.

For the Meringue:
5 egg whites, room temperature (mine were cold and worked fine), use the white from the yolks used in the custard
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

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.


Beth G. @SweetLifeKitchen said...

Looks delicious- you did a great job!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome job on this month's challenge!

Anonymous said...

Oh doesn't that look delicious!

KJ said...

What a great job. It's wonderful to see people really enjoying a dish. You have a lovely family.

Peabody said...

Looks great....glad to hear everyone liked it.

myriam said...

good job! dont hate me for being such an anti-chemist... ;-) you know i had a life when i was at college (at least that's what i wanted to believe). such a thing as chemistry was something i just had to ignore (would have beeen too much effort for me...i am so BAD at it!)

Deborah said...

Your pie looks great!!

Emily said...

Your dad went back for seconds? I like him.

This is about the 12th Lemon Meringue Pie post I've read, so I'm getting really hungry.

Yours looks great- I love how fluffy the meringue looks.

Meryl said...

Ha! I love your "taster" pictures!

Anonymous said...

Looks like everyone enjoyed it! Wonderful job!

DK said...

Luks wonderful :) luvd the pics

Annie said...

I think that's the prettiest lemon meringue pie I've ever seen. It's actually one of my all time favorites!

Susan @ SGCC said...

Your pie came out beautifully! How nice that you got to have your parents over to try it.

Dolores said...

It's wonderful that this one got a seal of approval from *both* of your parents. Congratulations, and great job!

Anonymous said...

Your pie is so pretty--and it cut into slices so nicely! I wasn't so lucky!

Princess of the kitchen said...

MMM. LOoks really yum. Well done!

Big Boys Oven said...

A LMP proven to be exclusively good! Such a great tasters you had there, mind I taste some! lol!

April said...

Looks great! And with the reviews, tastes great too!

Unknown said...

I agree with your assumptions about using a different crust - I saved some of my mini tartlets and they were fine even a day later - not at all soggy!

Glad your Dad got his favorite dessert!

Brilynn said...

Well done, glad your Dad got to have his pie!

Shayne said...

your pie is pretty and you did sucha great job cutting it. i must confess mine looked good until I cut it, I murder pies when I take a knife to them...poor things

Lisa K said...

Beautiful pics!

Miss Ifi said...

Your pie looks great!! and it looks like it was enjoyed, which is one of the joys of baking.. making yummy things to make people happy! Congratulations on your challenge ^_^

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

WOW! That looks fantastic Claire! I must admit, I've always been intimidated to make a meringue. My mom made good ones and my mother-in-law too, but I don't think I can make one :)

Do tell what kind of food processor you got. I want to get one, but won't until I decide between Kitchenaid and Cuisinart.

Glad your parents got to come visit :)

Elle said...

That is a gorgeous pie! Golden meringue, nice stable filling that served up beautifully, and it obviously tasted just fine. So nice that you could share it with your parents.

June said...

You did a great job and your pie looks beautiful. I, too, have the silly tendency to not fully read recipes before I actually start making them. I'm glad you didn't really have any troubles like some of us!

breadchick said...

So glad you got to share this with your Dad! Great job on the challenge!!

Lunch Buckets said...

Happy people, eating pie. Lovely!

gail@more than a song said...

Your mama is a cutie!

Andrea said...

That's wonderful that you could share the pie with your parents. It looks great!

Jen Yu said...

That looks terrific and I love the pics of everyone taking a bite! So cute :)

Anonymous said...

That pie looks perfect! Well done.

aisha said...

What a gorgeous pie! I love cooking for my parents!

Joy said...

It's so nice to find someone else who enjoys the Little house books -I love all the descriptions of food. I'm glad your parents got to enjoy your lovely pie.

creampuff said...

Oh, I'm so happy your dad got to try it! Great job!

Jenny said...

Wow your pie looks great! And so nice that you got to make it for your father after thinking of him!
Btw, an alternative to a juicer is a reemer, which is inexpensive (I bought mine for $2.95, solid maple) and works fine, unless you need to juice 25 lemons!

Unknown said...

I'm so glad you got to share that with your dad. Your pie looks wonderful and congrats on a challenge well done. :-) I found the crust to be the best part also.

Anonymous said...

I love the photos of your parents enjoying that pie! It looks beautiful, such a rich colour in the filling.

test it comm said...

Your lemon meringue pie looks like it turned out really well!

Unknown said...

Beth, Shawnda, Kristen - Thanks!

KJ - It was fun for them to be here so that I COULD share with them.

Peabody - Daddy was really happy with it.

Myriam - problem! I was like that when it came to history...thankfully, my high school course counted for college credit, so I didn't have to take any history.

Deborah - Thanks!

Emiline - Thanks! Usually, I would have given him that look of "you don't need another piece," but I just smiled and let him enjoy! :-)

Meryl, culinography, DK - Thanks! THey really enjoyed it.

Annie - Thanks! What a compliment!

SGCC, Dolores - Thanks...I enjoyed sharing it with them.

Sher - Thanks...sorry yours didn't come out so well.

Princess - Thanks!

BBO, April - tasters/reviewers enjoyed it greatly!

Jenny - I think the crust would actually make a good churro TYPE snack.

Brilynn - Thanks. I'm glad he got to taste it, too.

Shayne - dad was taking pictures and I had to do it SO slowly.

LIsa - Thanks.

Miss Iffy- SHaring it with other people is one of my favorite things about baking.

Stacy - My mom used to have a lot of trouble with meringue but I SO love making them. I have a kitchen aide processor and have really enjoyed it.

Elle - Thanks! I was really pleased ith the pie as a whole and glad to share it with family.

June - I was so glad that it all turned out well.

Breadchick, Lunchbuckets - Thanks!

Gail - Aww...I'll have to tell her you said that!

Andrea - I was glad I was able to share it with them.

Jen - I wasn't sure they'd want their pictures up, but I decided to put them up anyway.

Karen, Aisha - Thanks!

Joy - I guess I never paid attention to that when I was little! I'm glad they got to try it, too.

Creampuff - I am too! It was fun for them to be here.

Quellia - Yeah, my mom has one for me, I just haven't gotten it from her yet!

Cake - He really enjoyed it. It's funny to me the great variation in what the crusts turned out looking like.

Ash - Thanks! I was really happy with it.

Kevin - Thanks! Meringue is one of my favorites.

Phoenix Ascending said...

Beautiful pie! It looks like your reviewers loved it.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely lovely, Claire :) I envy your food processer. I still mix by hand .

Carla said...

Great looking pie!

Half Baked said...

Beautiful pie! It looks like everyone really enjoyed it:)

Megan said...

Clair, your pie is beautiful too. I'm with you, this recipe I could make again. I'm glad your daddy got to help eat the pie. You asked about my pie plates. Those were my mom's many moons ago. If I had to guess thier age, I'd say 30-40 years old. They are Pyrex, but a quick scan of the internet turned up nothing. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

whaow !!!!!! what a success :)
tasters seem to appreciate ;)
Well done, it looks perfect !

Jane said...

I've only made lemon meringue pie once, & it's been years ago.
I used the recipe from an old (like 1950's)Betty Crocker cook book. It was really good. Seeing yours makes me want to make it again. :)
And yours is the prettiest lemon meringue pie I've ever seen!
Good job!

Cakelaw said...

Yummo - the pie looks great - and your parents look happy!

Unknown said...

Kim - Thanks!

Maryann - I just decided to try...oh, how nice!

Carla, Half-baked - Thanks! I think they enjoyed it!

Megan - Thanks for checking! I looked,too and the only ones I found were aluminum...just don't trust that.

Marion - Thanks!

Jane - Wow...what a compliment. I was excited. Even tried a sweetened condesned one today and could DEFINITELY tell a difference. The real one is much better!

Cakelaw - Thanks! Hmmm...I wonder if they were happy b/c of the pie or b/c they got to see me! :-)

Tiffany @ Lattes And Life said...

Oh beautiful!!!! Great job!!

ioyces said...

hi Claire!! Ur pie looks perfect!!! Great job!!! :D

eatme_delicious said...

Yum your pie looks awesome! And I love the photos of your parents enjoying it. :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your LMP looks wonderful and tempting! It's great to see that your family enjoyed it! Very well done!



Aoife said...

I also wish I had rolled out my crust instead of pressing it in -- ah well, live and learn. Looks great, and I'm glad your dad got to enjoy it!

Mer said...

Your pie sure turned out great. Good job!

kate said...

thanks for stopping by my blog--your pie looks WONDERFUL!

: )

Pixie said...

Your meringue looks wonderful. I really want to make this again as I only had a tiny bit of it. Love the pics of those reviewing your cake! :)

Sparky said...

Ohhh good pie! It does seem to be every Daddy's favourite, although mine could have done with a straw for the custard bit....