Daring Bakers – (Weepy) Lemon Meringue Pie

I thought this time it’s an easy Daring Bakers challenge, but no there were some obstacles, too.

Daring Bakers

First the crust – as we are only 2 I wanted to do 4 small pies.

Daring Bakers - (Weepy) Lemon Meringue Pie - Crust
Before baking they looked beautiful, don’t they?
Daring Bakers - (Weepy) Lemon Meringue Pie - Mini Crust
After baking they looked like that – shrinked! Difficult to fill with cream and top with meringue.

So I did the crust again in a 16 cm ring using my fool-proof shortcrust recipe. Sorry for saying that but my crust recipe tastes much better than the original one. The original is quite tasteless.

Second, as some other Daring Bakers, I ended up with a quite weepy pie. Already during cooling it was loosing water, once cooled and cut there was more water. As Lilian Chou in epicurious writes: It is the nature of meringue pies to „weep“ liquid after cooling. I’m asking me why not everybody had this problem. Anyway we enjoyed the Lemon Meringue Pie. Thank you Jen for the challenge!

I did just half of recipe, and as mentioned changed (because of the disaster) the crust recipe. For the filling I used lemons from my own tree. I used 2 eggs, that was too much for the filling but could have been 3 eggs for the meringue. Below you find my adapted recipe.

Lemon Meringue Pie
makes a 16 cm pie

Daring Bakers - (Weepy) Lemon Meringue Pie

For the Crust:
60 g cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces
125 g all-purpose flour
1 tb granulated sugar
1 pinch of salt
lemon zest
1/2 egg
1/2 tb cream

For the Filling:
190 g water
80 g granulated sugar
24 g cornstarch
2 egg yolks, beaten
20 g butter
72 g fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the Meringue:
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 pinch of salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
60 g granulated sugar

For the Crust: Sift the flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt into a bowl. Add the butter. With cool fingertips or with a spatula, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Daring Bakers - (Weepy) Lemon Meringue Pie - Crust

Mix egg and cream, add to the dough. Mix lightly into a dough. Press the dough between the palm of your hands to homogenize it. Do not overknead the dough or it will turn very sandy and fragile. Let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight. To use, roll lightly with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface or directly on baking paper.

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 ? inch (3 mm). 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 200C. 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 1/2 cup (120 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.

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 warm 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.

Daring Bakers - (Weepy) Lemon Meringue Pie

More entries and recipes in English.

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November 2007 Challenge – Tender Potatoe Bread
December 2007 Challenge – Yule Log

By the way, the small crust I just filled with the leftover cream and served it without Meringue.

49 Gedanken zu „Daring Bakers – (Weepy) Lemon Meringue Pie

  1. I’m very sorry to hear that, just like me, you found this pie quite disappointing… Anyway, yours looks good!



  2. you know – my piecrust was a mess, too! ha – someone else who broke the rules! your finished cake looks wonderful, good job *m

  3. i love your photos zorra!! they look absolutely delicious..this january challenge was really challenging for all of us..but i guess everybody have their own pieces of funny anecdote to share too :-)

  4. Zorra, your tart looks lovely! I never would have guessed that you had a problem. A trick that reduces the „weeping“ is to put the meringue on a HOT filling – I’ve had luck with that.

  5. Great job, Zorra! It seems many of us had some issues with this one. Yours looks lovely in spite of it all and I love your slideshow!

  6. I had the same thought about using my regular pie crust instead of the prescribed one. But since we are to follow it exactly I did. My family agreed that they liked mine better, but that the one for the recipe wasn’t bad. It handled very well for a sweet dough. I really appreciate seeing your recipe in grams. It’s smaller, right? When I made the pie I had lots of dough left and I made a small tart crust that is just waiting for lemon filling. Your pie looks very yummy.

  7. REPLY:
    I did the „original“ dough as mini crust, but as they shrinked quite a lot and I couldn’t really fill them with the cream, I decided to make my dough. Also when I was baking the original crust, there was a lot of fat in the pan.
    Yes it’s smaller just 16 cm instead of 28 cm.

  8. hey mine didnt have a gap between the meringue and filling, but it looked slippery, like it might slip off anytime… but still it looks good.. :)

  9. your shortcrust pastry recipe looks great, I will have to try it.

    I alway love to check your english posts maybe I am drawn to your blog because my daughter’s name is Zora.

  10. Oh yeah, my wept like crazy too, which made the meringue shrink, made the dog end up with sticky pieces of fur, and pissed me off.
    I´ve done lemon meringue pie before with either French meringue or Italian meringue and the weeping is almost non-existent, so I´d recommend those techniques instead for next time.

  11. Zorra, that’s true Daring Baker dedication. Great work! This challenge was a difficult one for most of us – mine was a bit of a mess too. That last photo looks absolutely delicious.

  12. Zorra, your shortcrust pastry looks better than mine!:) I always avoid the recipes for the base which are prepared without the egg yolks, because for me shortcrust pastry MUST have them, instead of water.
    But, as always, I had a great fun baking with you!

  13. So sorry it didn’t work out, I enjoy the design of your small pies, too bad they didn’t come out as pretty as you would’ve liked. Still the finished pies look delicious!

  14. i had the same problem with the weepy pie. nevermind, another experience down.
    your meringue and filling looked great nevertheless.

  15. Congrats! Great job. There are some secrets to getting a meringue not to weep – I published them in my write-up so come have a look. Various environmental factors contribute (humidity) but most importantly the temperature of the curd – these things most likely account for why some people had trouble and some not but there is a list of things you can do to up your odds.

  16. What a beautiful pie! My crusts puffed a bit as well. I am interested in trying your crust for another go around. Glad you were able to get this to work for you!

  17. Wow, great job on turning it around. Since I made mine last night, I didn’t notice the weeping until this morning…oh well! I love your last picture. The meringue looks delicious. Its my favorite part!

  18. Thanks for the welcome.
    Glad your pie came out nice. I am, personally, convinced that the weeping has to do with the type of lemons used. Otherwise, I don’t understand how some of us had perfect fillings while others had weepy ones.

  19. They look wonderful. t is a shame the pastry didn’t turn out as you had planned, but i am sure they tasted great and the end result looks fantastic.

  20. The uncooked tartlets looked sooo pretty, but you solved the problem and ended up with some awesome pie ……. mmm pie
    by the way.. the explanation about the weeping of the meringue was great.. now I understand what happened to my meringue, thanks!

  21. You did a wonderful job on your lemon meringue pie with the shortcrust recipe. I’m sorry your crust from the recipe shrank like it did.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go GO

  22. Zorra, your tarts are perfect. I love the braid work you did on the crust too. I thought the original crust was pretty bland myself but since the filling was so good, I ignored the crust!

  23. Zorra, I thought my crust was perfect after shaping – just not as perfect as yours with that braid work, that was wow! – then I thought it was a disaster half way through the baking with pools of butter in the bottom – then it was golden brown and just sugar cookie good after another 20 minutes in the oven.
    My meringue didn’t weep, my filling was divine.
    I sort of think this is a mystery pie and recipe. Somethings just aren’t to be understood in this universe.
    Yours looks lovely.

  24. To help with the weeping, you can add about a tablespoon or so of cornstarch to the sugar for the meringue, which helps absorb extra liquid that might develop, and also make sure the filling is HOT when you put the meringue on top. Although, lemon meringue pie tends to be one of those finicky pies in which weather/altitude can become a factor in how well the pie itself will come out.

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