Sunday, May 10, 2015

Lemon Meringue Pie

Delicious and refreshing, but tart!

Crust:1 9" baked pie crust. (Brush the crust with lightly beaten egg white during the last five minuets of baking to seal it.)

1 cup plus one tablespoon granulated sugar
2/3 cup cold water
1/2 cup corn starch
3/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (almost two lemons)
4 large egg yolks
pinch kosher salt
1 1/4 cups boiling water

4 large fresh egg whites, room temperature
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar*
Cake crumbs, cake donut crumbs or bread crumbs (optional)

*omit if beating in a copper bowl.

In a medium heavy bottom sauce pan, combine all the ingredients for the filling with the exception of the boiling water.
Whisk until starch has dissolved and the mixture is thoroughly combined.
Whisk in the boiling water and then place the sauce pan over medium-high heat.
Bring the mixture to a boil stirring gently with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon.
Then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for up to one minute and no longer, continuing to stir gently. (I pull the mixture off the heat at 155°F, however if you do not have or wish to use a thermometer the "up to one minute" rule will keep you within the gelatinization temperature range for this starch.)
Immediately pour the filling into your prepared pie crust.
If doing a hot filling meringue* immediately top with your pre-prepared meringue and bake according to the instructions below. If opting for a cold filling*, allow the filling to cool completely and then transfer to the refrigerator.

Preheat your oven to 350°F and set a rack near the bottom of your oven.
Combine the cornstarch and water and then place over medium high heat stirring constantly until it has thickened into a gel (about two minutes) and set aside.
In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg whites and cream of tartar to dissolve.
Begin beating on medium-low speed until foamy and begin slowly sprinkling the sugar in while beating, giving the sugar time to dissolve (this is very important).
Continue to beat on medium speed until stiff glossy peaks form.
Then add the corn starch gel and beat to combine.
Sprinkle either your chilled or freshly poured piping hot pie with crumbs (if using) and then apply a large dollop of meringue.
Spread the meringue to the edges of the pie, taking care not to disturb the crumbs.
Seal the pie completely by pressing the meringue against the crust.
Add the remaining meringue and fluff (or smooth) with a spatula in such a way that pleases your own personal aesthetics.

Raegan Mirick's photo.
Raegan Mirick's photo.

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