Monday, January 28, 2008

Lemon Meringue Pie: When life gives you lemons, dare to squeeze 'em & bake a pie

Lemon Meringué Mini-pie glazed in caramel syrup

Despite that 2007 started and ended a very promising year for me 2008 on the otherhand didn't start that well in my family; dad's been hospitalized while grand-mom (in-laws side) still in the hospital. Sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock and still be the same innocent child I was, more carefree and worry about nothing. For If I could count by liters all the tears I shed over all my frustrations, sadness and fears since I started being aware of the realities of life, It could probably fill up a dozen of olympic size pools. But nonetheless, challenges are part and parcel of life. And the manner we deal with it and what we do next that really counts.

When Lemon comes our way, they don't come once, not twice but dozen

Speaking of challenges, Daring Baker's January challenge hosted by Canadian Baker was all about baking lemon meringue pie. My story with this pie started way back in Japan. We had a kilo of lemon sleeping in the fridge and I thought of using them by baking a pie. I thought I invented something, but to my dismay when hubby told me it's his favorite and this pie really existed. Ha haha, what a great pretention on my side. Anyways, I am never a good baker because I hate following recipes (that's why DB challenges are always a big "challenge" for me), since I normally do it with feeling.

I have noticed that there were quite some complain regarding the result of the recipe provided for this challenge; claiming the lemon custard is too runny or too sweet, and many other more. Since I don't want to do the challenge twice (meaning if I will ruin my first attempt) I opted to solve the issue of the runny custard by baking mini-pies or tartlettes. This way we will never be bothered since the pies will be served invidividually. I would admit I normally have a different recipe when I do my lemon-meringue pie but the given recipe is also worth a try.

Sitting and pondering.........
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.
Dare for a bite?

63 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your pies look great! I love their unique shape! Well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

sunita said...

Dhanggit, your pies look amazing..love the patterns on the meringue :-)

maybahay said...

absolutely divine, dhanggit.
i'm happy to hear that your dad seems to be on the mend. wishing that the rest of 2008 is not as full of worries.
who's the cutie in your profile? you looked like one cheeky girl.

Babeth said...

congratulation for your pie my " daring friend" !!

Ann said...

Your meringue is amazing-looking! Great job and so glad to hear that things are getting better.

zorra said...

Your meringue looks beautiful different! Love it.

Suzana said...

Lovely pies, and what nicely shaped meringue!

Michelle said...

I am glad to hear your father is doing better.

Your meringue looks great and I really love the pattern...it is so different and awesome!

Aparna said...

Thank you. Really appreciate the welcome and comment. Can do with all the encouragement available.
Your little pies look wonderful and unusual.

Susan said...

I'm sorry about your dad and grand-mom. The pie-balls are quite wonderful.

Manggy said...

HUG!
I hope you are coping well. That virtua-hug was for a tiny boost of strength in case you needed it :)

In any case, that pattern on top? F*****g inspired (pardon my Francais)... It's so romantic-- one of the best meringue patterns I've seen.

Miss Scarlett said...

Your meringue pattern is incredible. WELL DONE!

Jenny said...

very nice pictures of your pie!! This was just my second challenge. Great meringue!
pickypalate

Jerry said...

Hope all is well! Pie looks gorgeous!

oggi said...

You are a magician in the kitchen Dhanggit! I want to take a bite of that magnificent lemon pie, and this is from someone who is not even a fan of lemon pie!:D

Tracy said...

How beautiful your pies and photos turned out!

Cakespy said...

YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM x 30 nice job!!

Megan said...

Love the pictures and caramel sauce. Great job.

glamah16 said...

A work of art. I'm so happy your father is 'Out of the woods'.

Tarah said...

They look wonderful! Good job :]

Big Boys Oven said...

this is so beautiful.....it love it! xxx

Half Baked said...

Beautiful! looks great!

Happy cook said...

Wow I have been going to lot of blogs today but this is the best pie i have seen till now.

Emiline said...

Wow, I'm getting really hungry for lemon meringue pie, since this is about the 10th post I've read.

Yours looks BEAUTIFUL! Your pictures are just perfect. Way to go, DARING BAKER!

Madeleine said...

I love the way you browned your LMP!!

Great job! :)

Meryl said...

The caramel made these sooo pretty! What a great idea!

culinography said...

Oh my... those are beautiful!

Lesley said...

I agree that your meringue looks divine!

Rosie said...

A stunning lemon meringue pie!! My favourite dessert of all times :D

Rosie x

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

That's a glorious looking pie! Well done! :D

Brilynn said...

Your meringue is gorgeous! I love the swirls!

Gloria said...

Dear Dhanggit, really so nice your Lemon Pie, I don't have idea the Daring Bakers were making lemon pies!!! Dear I know you are so busy with your baby but if have time look my spinachs roll that I made (nothing to do with lemon pie)xxxxxxx Gloria

breadchick said...

Wow! What a great shape and decoration on your meringue! Nice job on your challenge this month.

jadepearl said...

Your meringue pie looks to beautiful to eat! Thanks for visiting my humble blog! :)

Sweet and Savory Eats said...

I hope the rest of 2008 is better for you and your family. Wonderful job on the meringue; simply stunning.

linda said...

Your tartlettes look like works of art! Very pretty!
Hope the rest of 2008 will be happier for you and your family.

Cakelaw said...

Hi Dhanggit, Love the beautiful pattern on the top of your meringue.

Barbara said...

Fabulous. THey look so proffesionel.

ChichaJo said...

Your mini-pies look amazing! Like little art deco masterpieces! :) Love how they came out!

My filling was runny and your solution of making them tartlettes is a great one!

Foodie Froggy said...

This is the classiest meringue pie I have seen so far !

noemi said...

oh my. I have never baked lemon meringue pie. I have bookmarked this now just so I can bake it for Valentine's Day. Oh and speaking of Valentine's day, I hope I can get to read that love struck blog entry some day :)

Sylvia said...

OMG your pie looks absolutely gorgeous,and what a creative way to put over the meringue. Nice job, Dhanggit

Maryann said...

Good job on the challenge :)

Tanya said...

Caramel syrup! Brilliant!
I ate mine with huckleberry jam :)

Candace said...

Gorgeous! I love the swirls on top!

Anonymous said...

i love this and also your out of the classic pizza toppings...fil living 20kms from arles, some 70 kms from aix...want to meet half-way?...'off on mondays...PROST

Merav said...

Those are very cool looking pies!

Shalimar said...

think i will get a kick in the ass soon from daring bakers... our boat taken out of water.. so the crew moved to a hotel and I took 10 days off (am in Greece now)

anyway...tart citron is one of my fave dessert i just go gaga on this i have a post on this on my blog...though i dont put meringue on mine i love it with creme fraiche


hope yr dad better and I wished am in france now I will hop into a train and hug you at least and SHARE SOME DESSERTS......
bon courage

K & S said...

looks great! I love the meringue on top! I hope your father and grandma will get stronger and better each day. Hugs!

Andrea said...

Your pies look wonderful! Such a decorative swirl in the meringue.

Lunch Buckets said...

You totally owned this challenge. Awesome work my friend!

tigerfish said...

Errrr...I'll just squeeze and drink the juice.....SOUR!
But I am not up to it - baking, I meant.
Or I cam take a bite off your perfect pie ? :P

Tartelette said...

I love the "tiger" look of the meringue! Your pies turned out perfect! All the best to your dad and your family.

Lane said...

I do believe yours are the most beautiful out of all the gorgeous pies I've looked at this month.
Congratulations!
Jane of VeganBits.com

Melanie said...

Exotic and beautiful - that's what I thought when seeing your pie!! Thanks for commenting on my blog - I felt honored since you are such an amazing cook! Lots of well-wishes for your family...

Deborah said...

Your little pies look absolutely perfect!!

Jen Yu said...

I just love the swirl effect of your tarts! They are beautiful!

Quellia said...

How did you make such lovely swirls in your meringue?
How did you like the final result?

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Ooh, I love how you swirled the top so pretty.

Claire said...

Oh my...that looks just divine!!! Hope you liked the taste in the end. Sorry to hear about your family in the hospital...hope they recover quickly.

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

Hi Dhanggit, Firstly thanks for dropping by my blog & for your nice comments. I do hope your dad is much better now. I go by your mantra too...when I'm happy I cook, & when I'm sad I cook! Your pie looks perfect to the 't'!!Loved your blog & reading your posts! Can't turn the clock back but can happily tick along with it! Take care xoxoxo

Bake your cake and eat it too said...

Very pretty tart indeed. So sorry to hear about your family. We all have our pool of tears and it's something I have to work on too. It's hard not to stress and get fustrated with some of the obstacles that come our way along the road of life but we grow from it and become better people. It just makes you realise how precious people are and the blessings that also come our way.

creampuff said...

That meringue is seriously beautiful!