We have not had a Pie Day! in a while, and we also neglected to even post to this blog during Hanukkah while we were on vacation in Alabama.
Anyway this Lemon Meringue Pie was made the old-fashioned way and took over an hour of back breaking hard work so try it out! Then guilt your holiday guests into giving you great presents because of your awesome pie skillz.
EQUIPMENT YOU WILL NEED:
Stand mixer with whisk attachment
9-inch pie pan
Measuring cups & spoons
Pie weights (or raw beans or rice)
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. Crisco
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. ice water
Preheat the oven to 425.
We use Crisco baking bars for the pie shortening. The baking bars should be kept in the freezer. Rose Levy Birnbaum, the author of the "Pie and Pastry Bible" thinks that if you use Crisco in pie crust you are lame and stupid and fat, and you should probably be taken out and shot or at least imprisoned in Pie Jail. But you can have my Crisco when you scoop it out of my cold, greasy fingers. You can use butter if you prefer.
Anyway. Combine the flour and salt in the food processor bowl. Cut the frozen Crisco into dice-size pieces, add to the flour mixture and pulse until you get pea-size lumps of Crisco & flour. Add the ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulse after each Tbsp, until you get a ball of dough.
Roll out the dough and place in the bottom of a 9-inch deep dish pie pan. Cover the dough with parchment and fill the parchment with pie weights. If you don't have pie weights, you can use raw beans or rice to hold down the pie crust so that it doesn't puff up.
Bake the pie crust for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and pie weights, and bake for another 15 minutes or until the crust is golden.
Remove from oven and cool.
Or you can skip this whole step and use a frozen pie crust.
8 eggs, separated (save 4 egg whites for the meringue. Use the other 4 egg whites in something else, or throw out)
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 1/4 c. water
1/2 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. margarine or butter
Mix the egg yolks with a fork. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a 2-qt saucepan. Add the water and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking all the time. When mixture boils, continue to whisk for another 5 minutes until mixture becomes translucent and thick. Keep whisking! Don't stop! You may want to switch hands. It's hard. Don't stop! When the 5 minutes are up, keep whisking! Drop a tablespoon or two of this goo into the bowl of egg yolks and whisk that too! Then pour the gooed-up egg yolks into the pot and whisk for another minute or two until everything is all combined and consistent. Pour this into a mixing bowl and add the lemon juice and zest and salt and butter or margarine and whisk that up good!
When you feel that your arms are about to fall off, pour and scrape this all into the pie crust. Cover with a plastic wrap.
1/2 c. sugar (preferably ultrafine)
2 Tbsp. water
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
Preheat the oven to 350.
In a 1-qt. saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Cook over medium heat until the sugar melts and becomes bubbly. Turn heat to lowest setting while you whip up the egg whites.
In a stand mixer, whip the egg whites at high speed until they are foamy. Add the Cream of Tartar and continue to whip at high speed until the egg whites peak. Turn off the mixer.
Remember that sugar syrup? Use the thermometer to check the temperature, heat until 236 F.
OK now work fast. Remove the sugar syrup from the heat. Turn the mixer on high. Pour that sugar syrup in a slow drizzle into the egg whites. You may need a spatula to get out what is stuck to the bottom and sides of the pan. Keep the mixer on high until all the sugar syrup has been added.
Or you can just add 1/2 c. of ultrafine sugar to the egg whites and not mess around with the sugar syrup which is really a pain.
Remove the plastic wrap from the pie filling. Spread the fluffy meringue over the filling, starting at the outside crust. Use a spatula to make nice peaks. When the pie has been covered, put into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes until the meringue starts to turn golden.
Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.
CUTTING THE PIE.
Do NOT just stick a knife into the pie, you will rip the meringue and mess it all up.
Dip the pie-cutting knife into warm water, or lightly grease with some oil or margarine. Then you can cut the pie.
Do you need instructions on how to eat it too? Save some for the guests.