I thought this time it’s an easy Daring Bakers challenge, but no there were some obstacles, too.
First the crust – as we are only 2 I wanted to do 4 small pies.
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
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
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.
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.
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By the way, the small crust I just filled with the leftover cream and served it without Meringue.