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The Misadventures of Mrs. B: Lemon Meringue Pie

Cook. Writer. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Klutz.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lemon Meringue Pie

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

I'm such a sucker for citrus.

I drown my pasta in lemon juice.  I adore lime-soaked chicken that's been thrown on the grill.  And citrusy desserts? Forget about it.

On Friday night, aka Date Night, we stopped at a diner for dessert before going home.  There were about a million desserts to choose from, as is the case with any diner worth its salt.  If you ask me, anyway.

Immediately I gravitated towards the lemon meringue pie.  I think it's memories of the pie I used to see at my "childhood diner" that spurs this.  The meringue was as high as an elephant's eye.  And I have never found a pie that comes close.  But I'll keep searching...

Anyway, while I ate my pie, Rob suggested that I try a lemon meringue of my own.  I eagerly rose to the challenge!

So here's how it went down, folks...

Let's start with our filling.  Because that's the bestest part!


Lemons.  Of course.  Mine were a bit on the smallish side so I used 4 and juiced the living daylights out of them.  I probably could have used 5, honestly.

In a saucepan I whisked together 1 1/4 cups of sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and a pinch of salt.



To that I added my lemon juice and 1 1/2 cups of water, and onto the heat it went in the hopes that it would come to a boil.


Meanwhile...mmm...


2 tablespoons of butter magically hopped into a bowl and awaited their addition to the boiling sauce, where they would then melt in and add more deliciousness.


Butter = magic.  As you well know.

Now, while I was waiting for the sauce to come to a boil, and while the butter was jumping into a bowl, I was separating egg yolks and whites.



Egg yolks are pretty.  Even the broken one.

I mixed the yolks a little bit, then poured approximately half a cup of the boiling sauce into the yolks while whisking like a crazy person.

I'm sure you know this but just in case you don't: It's important to keep the egg yolks moving so they don't get scrambled from the heat of the sauce.  In fact, that's why the hot sauce gets poured into the eggs in the first place, rather than the yolks being poured into the saucepan.  This is called "tempering" the eggs, and it prevents scramblage.  Scrambled eggs in your custard = kinda gross.

Once the yolks and sauce are adequately whisked, the mixture is then added back to the saucepan.  Again, whiskwhiskwhisk.  Whisk so much you can't even take a picture of it.

Boil the mixture until it gets nice and thick and pretty much keep stirring it the entire time.  Yeah, yeah, it's work.  But burned or spilled-over lemon custard? Gross.



Once this was nice and thick I set the pan aside and allowed the custard to cool.

Step 2: The crust.

I used a Pillsbury roll-out crust for this.  I just love those things.  And besides, I have yet to attempt my own crust.


Clearly I need to work on my fluting.  I think my pie pan's a little deep, because I didn't have enough crust to flute well.

I pricked it all over and put it in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Voila! Lovely and golden.



Step 3: The meringue.

Egg whites went into the bowl of the stand mixer and whipped them just a bit until they started to get foamy.

To this I added 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar...


...and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.


And 6 tablespoons of sugar.  They were too shy to be photographed.

Then I whipped it on up!


Eventually the yolks got all nice and thick and I knew it was time to put my pie together!

Lemon custard, meet pie crust.



Meringue, meet lemon custard.

Y'all are about to become good, good friends.

10 minutes later at 350 degrees...



It's so pretty!


And here's a slice:



Next time I make this, I might even go 1.5 times on the lemon part - it just didn't seem like there was as much as there should have been.  Or maybe I'm just a filthy glutton.

Either way, it was super tasty and like sunshine on a plate!

Enjoy!

Sharing with:

sweet Thursday




Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Spring Blog Hop!


All The Small Things - Tuesdays at the Table

Blessed with Grace





What's Cooking Wednesday - Tales From The Fairy Blogmother




Labels:

29 Comments:

Blogger ~Issy said...

sigh...i love Lemon Meringue Pie. Yours looks yummy...so yummy i may have to attempt to make one myself.

I have a feeling that i'm going to be thinking a lot about your Lemon Meringue Pie....

March 29, 2010 at 9:19 PM

 
Blogger Debbie said...

I'm right up there with you on the citrus. Lime, lemon...whatever. Love it.

Mister Linky is up for this week's Crock Pot Wednesday. I thought we might get an early start before the holiday weekend. There's a giveaway going on as well. Come on over!

March 29, 2010 at 9:35 PM

 
Blogger Andrea at Opulent Cottage said...

YUM!!! My family would love this! And I love citrus too. Thank you for a great recipe!
Happy Easter, Andrea

March 29, 2010 at 9:49 PM

 
Blogger Martha said...

I love lemon meringue pie! My aunt made the best!

March 30, 2010 at 7:42 AM

 
Blogger Brian + Cheryl B. said...

Mornin Jen :-}
I am headed into the shower and then off to physical therapy, so I'll come back and post my own comments later. But my husband came in to tell me it was my turn for the bathroom as I was reading this and started reading over my shoulder ... he read the part about your fluting not being very good and said "maybe she(you) should try clarineting" ..... thought the moan might get your morning going good o;-p

March 30, 2010 at 7:49 AM

 
Blogger Crazy Daisy said...

I love Lemon Pie! YUMMO! Thanks for stopping by Tuesday Tastes. I think you forgot your party favor button! Head on over and grab one when you have a chance :)

March 30, 2010 at 10:19 AM

 
Blogger Pam Ponder said...

yummy thanks for sharing the great instructions...

March 30, 2010 at 10:23 AM

 
Blogger Kim@Simply Domestic said...

I can't wait to make this! I love lemon meringue pie! Found you from Tuesday Tastes.

March 30, 2010 at 10:25 AM

 
Blogger Sherry said...

Oh, my! I love me some lemon meringue pie! :D

March 30, 2010 at 11:17 AM

 
Anonymous Heather said...

Lemon Merangue pie is the best! I am seriously becoming addicted to your recipes :)

March 30, 2010 at 12:02 PM

 
Blogger Liz said...

Mmm! My family would love this for Easter! Thanks for joining in the fun at the Spring Hop Party!
~Liz@HoosierHomemade

March 30, 2010 at 12:13 PM

 
Blogger Brian + Cheryl B. said...

Hi Jen, I'm ba-a-c-k ... (thought I should warn you ;-p)

While unlike you, I am not a big citrus fan. I do however like an occasionaly glass of lemonaide. And I do love a good slice (or two...) of Lemon meringue pie.

Also, while I do enjoy a fluffy mile high meringue - too often I am disappointed due to the meringue being several inches high, but the filling not even being an inch thick. I like a bit of both in every bite!

But like you said, a 'really good' one is hard to find. For me, some are just too tangy. But that might be exactly the way you like them.

One year on Mother's Day at our church, they had some door prizes - donated by the men of the church. I was ever so lucky, I did win one, and it was a home made Lemon meringue pie from an old friend of the family. It was absolutely delicious!!!!

A couple of years ago, he lost his battle with cancer :-( But you have got me wanting some of his pie, so I think I shall check with his widow and see whether his was a wing it recipe, or a written down one.

I have my grandmothers absolutely delicious pie dough recipe if your looking for a home made variety.

A secret with the "fluteing" - On the out side of the crust, put your pointer finger and thumb from one hand just far enough apart, that the pointer finger on your other hand can just fit through them, when from the inside of the dough, it pushes some out. Then move the pointer finger and thumb so that the thumb is just touching the 'flute' you just made, and make another one. Repeat the process all of the way around the pie.

Hopefully that was understandable. If not - ASK!!!

I do have a mild yet serious complaint about this particular posting .... I don't like to be a complainer, but ... well .... Jen ...
You showed a picture of the whole, uncut pie. Fine. But then you followed that with these words, "And here's a slice:" and then an ever so yummy picture of a slice of the pie. Then a bit later you wrote, "Enjoy!" I wanted to. Honest!!! My mouth was watering for it and everything. But Jen, I could not seem to get that picture to down load the piece you cut for me onto my computer desk. Like I said, I hate to complain .... but I clicked and clicked on the picture, then on those words ... but nothing happened :-(
(chuckle, chuckle .... )

March 30, 2010 at 2:21 PM

 
Blogger Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

That looks amazing!!! I love lemony desserts. :) Thanks for the visit today!

March 30, 2010 at 2:36 PM

 
Blogger Connie Weiss said...

I adore Lemon Meringue! I've never made my own before...maybe it's time I did.

Stopping over from the Tuesday Taste Party!

March 30, 2010 at 2:58 PM

 
Blogger Sherry said...

Yummy! I love lemon meringue but I also know it's better if I don't even try to make one... I can only imagine the things I could tear up! :)

March 30, 2010 at 3:51 PM

 
Blogger Anne-Marie said...

Mmmm. It looks perfect and delicious. Lemon Meringue is my FAVORITE pie. My grandma used to make it for me all the time. You've inspired me to take a stab at it!

March 30, 2010 at 4:41 PM

 
Blogger Jen @ Little Bit This n That said...

I LOVE citrus (mostly just lemon), but I'm not a huge fan of meringue. How about lemon cream pie, would that be sacreligious?

March 30, 2010 at 5:01 PM

 
Blogger Smart Money Mom said...

We love lemon meringue pie! I have never attempted to make it myself...but you make it seem possible for even me to try!

March 30, 2010 at 8:03 PM

 
Anonymous Faith said...

I completely agree, butter = magic! Your pie came out absolutely perfect!

March 30, 2010 at 10:02 PM

 
Blogger Sugar Bananas said...

No better time than Spring to make a lemon meringue pie! This looks perfect. Thanks for posting :)

March 30, 2010 at 10:10 PM

 
Blogger Kristen said...

Hi Jen! Thanks for stopping by my tiny little recipe blog! :) I will call you one amazing chef for turning out a lemon meringue like that! I wouldn't even dare to attempt it!

March 30, 2010 at 11:35 PM

 
Anonymous redkathy said...

Oh my gosh I love reading your posts... sugar too shy to be photographed, too funny. You know, I haven't eaten Lemon Meringue pie since the 80's! The pie looks fabulous. I haven't made it to pies yet. Still working on perfecting cakes and sweet breads.

March 31, 2010 at 1:05 AM

 
Blogger Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads said...

Yum! I love lemon meringue pie, but haven't had any since we went gluten free. I may have to attempt this recipe with a few minor adjustments. We live in an area where there is tons of citrus, so it would be perfect!

March 31, 2010 at 3:37 AM

 
Blogger Tracey said...

That turned out beatifully! The pictures are great as well. Love your meringue - I sometimes struggle with getting mine just right!

March 31, 2010 at 10:55 AM

 
Blogger Kate @ The Gaines Gang said...

My grandma used to make the very best lemon meringue pie ever! And I so miss it.

This would be perfect after one of my ribeye steaks.

April 1, 2010 at 2:05 PM

 
Anonymous Lynn said...

I love lemon and this looks really good.

April 1, 2010 at 9:47 PM

 
Anonymous Teresa @ Red Velvet Confections said...

That's a nice looking pie. I really like citrus desserts as well. Looks like yours turned out well.

April 2, 2010 at 8:37 PM

 
Blogger Jerri said...

I love lemon meringue! Thanks for sharing your recipe for Sweet Thursday!

April 7, 2010 at 7:38 PM

 
Blogger Crazy Daisy said...

Hey Mrs. B! Congratulations! You have won the Tuesday Tastes People's Choice Award! Head on over to claim your prize button, see your feature post, and view the gallery were you are the first listed! Congratulations!

Happy Day,
Jasey

April 8, 2010 at 9:21 AM

 

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