Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lemon Meringue Pie to View- Not so much to Eat

A few weeks ago I wanted to try something new- something sweet, something summery, something challenging. With a bunch of lemons in the house, I thought lemon meringue pie would be the perfect solution. The custard AND the meringue would be a new experience for me, and I had a graham cracker crust just waiting for a purpose in the fridge. Oh, but it was not to be such a perfect endeavor boys and girls...

I pulled out good ol' Betty Crocker- she seemed to have the right idea on how to make a classic pie. The best part of lemon meringue pie is how efficient it is with ingredients- 3 egg yolks for the custard, and 3 egg whites for the meringue- love it! I started off with the custard- it seemed perfect!

Then I started on the egg whites and sugar and tartar. In go the ingredients and the Kitchen Aid was on full whip... for 10 minutes... with no results. What the heck is going on here? {grumble grumble} After checking back with Betty, I read in the tips that "Make certain no yolk gets into the whites, as even a speck of yolk or grease will prevent whites from beating properly." Hm. So, the shell and yolk I accidentally dropped in there is screwing things up? Dammit. Unfortunately I needed to crack 3 more eggs, but the good news is this time it worked!

I assemble the pie. I bake the pie. I remove the pie. Oh, she is a beauty to behold- perfectly browned meringue, lovely lemon scent, and well toasted crust. So I chill the silly thing for a few hours in the fridge. I cut into it. Hm. Again. The meringue- gorgeous. The custard? Oozing EVERYWHERE! No setting up to be found. I figure it needs to chill longer.

Well, let me tell you, there was no setting to really be had. Although the custard got a little firmer over the next few days, unfortunately a great deal of liquid seeped out from somewhere and made the crust quite soggy. The flavor really was fantastic- but the texture was a disaster. I think I'd reduce the water and chill it way longer next time.

Hope you enjoy the visuals, if nothing else!


Hm.Not so lovely.

Lemon Meringue Pie
From Betty Crocker's New Cookbook (no modifications made)

  • Prepared Graham Cracker Crust
  • Meringue (see below)
  • 3 Large Egg Yolks
  • 1 1/2 C. Sugar
  • 1/3 C. plus 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 C. Water
  • 3 Tbsp. Stick Butter
  • 2 tsp. Grated Lemon Peel
  • 1/2 C. Lemon Juice
  • Yellow Food Coloring

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the yolks.
  3. In a small saucepan, mix together the sugar and cornstarch. Stir in the water slowly and cook over medium heat. Keep stirring until it thickens and boils. Allow to boil for a minute or so.
  4. Immediately stir in at least half of the hot mixture into the eggs and then plop it all into saucepan again. Boil for a minute and then remove from the heat.
  5. Stir in the rest of the ingredients (not the crust and meringue of course!) and mix it up.
  6. Pour lemon filling in the crust. Then gently spoon the meringue on top, pushing it all the way to the edge of the crust. (Betty says this prevents shrinking or weeping- maybe this is where I went wrong!?)
  7. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes until the meringue is light brown.
  8. Cool, cover, and then refrigerate and cross your fingers that yours works better than mine!

  • 3 Large Egg Whites (NO YOLKS AT ALL!)
  • 1/4 tsp. Cream of Tartar
  • 6 Tbsp. White Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

  1. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer on high until it is foamy.
  2. Slowly add in the sugar in small amounts, beating heavily, until it is all added. Keep beating on high until it is "stiff and glossy." This means you need to keep going and keep going until you get a big, fluffy mess of whiteness!
  3. Beat in the vanilla and you're done!

1 comment:

Jen said...

We did LMP for Daring Bakers in January. I think if you put the meringue onto the curd while the curd is still hot, it will prevent the pie from weeping. I know about half of the DB-ers had weeping pies.