My sister is not so much a sweet tooth as she is a savory gal, however she loves a good Lemon Meringue Pie. I have got to admit I like a good lemon meringue myself, however it’s not always the easiest to find. We have tried every bakery we know in our neck of the world and come to the conclusion that there really is such a fine balance between too sour or too sweet and the technique of getting the meringue not to weep as well as the right pie crust pairing is all part of the challenge.
A fellow blogger and follower, Jennifer Findlay of Coffee&Couch blog inspired me… so I have been doing some research on getting that balance just right, and to my surprise it’s actually not rocket science at all. It just boils down to the correct consistency and blend of lemons and limes, blind baking a homemade shortcrust pie pastry and ensuring the sugar ratio in your egg whites are correct. Okay… I am sure a few of you are yelling some special baking terms at me now, but it was a combination that worked for me.
The filling is very important, as it is essentially the star of the pie. My sentiments are that it’s called “Lemon Meringue” not Sweet Meringue with a hint of Lemon. So I changed up the recipe slightly and used half lemon half lime juice… just to give it that slightly tangier taste. The other key is to continue stirring whilst the mixture is on a low heat – I found using a whisk worked better than a wooden spoon as it does thicken quickly and the last thing you want or need are lumps.
For my crust I prefer using a baked shortcrust, as I know some use the crushed biscuits and butter – but that to me is more of a cheese cake type base. So you need to blind bake the crust, especially if you are not going to put your whipped egg white topped pie into the oven to bake. Besides you won’t leave the pie in the oven long enough for the crust to bake once the Meringue is added anyway and a soggy crust is not at all yum. The filling is also finished if prepared on the stove top, so no need to worry about that.
For the egg whites, make sure you beat them to a peak in a bowl that is completely grease free, or your peaks won’t form. I also added some cream of tarter, do this whilst beating your egg whites, the same with the sugar. Once you are happy with how the peaks form in the mixing bowl it’s ready to be spooned on top of the filling in the baked pie crust.
As you can see I used a blow torch to brown my meringue peaks… you can however place the pie in the oven, but I find this to be a nicer and more consistent finish.
So in 3 easy steps you have your Lemon Meringue Pie…. or after my changes your Lemon and Lime Meringue Pie. I will post my recipe, once I decipher it between my scrawls in my note book, but you should also check out “a busy mom’s” blog (http://abusymom.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/a-slice-of-my-life-lemon-meringue-pie/) and the “all-desserts” (http://all-desserts.blogspot.com/2011/04/little-lemon-meringue-pies-recipe.html) blog for their Lemon Meringue recipes.
I have to say a huge thanks to Jen for the inspiration, you can check out her “tipsy lemon meringue pie” at this link (http://coffeeandcouch.com/tag/lemon-meringue-pie/), I didn’t have all the ingredients for her crust, but I will definitely give it a try some time.
Personally for my first attempt I think I did an awesome job… and getting that same reassurance from my family who enjoyed it with me makes me beyond a happy baker. We enjoyed this with a large Cappuccino and a fat chat.
I guess my 2 cents worth of wisdom is never to think a recipe is to difficult or to challenging until you’ve tried it… and I am speaking as much to you as I am to myself; as I so need to get my fear aside and try my hand at macaroons. But until I do tell me what new and exciting bakes you have made – from the rescued flops to the perfect bite.
- Lemon Meringue Pie (veronicascornucopia.com)
- Lemon Curd (cac636.wordpress.com)
- Lemon meringue pie (or rather tarte au citron meringuée) (azertyorqwerty.wordpress.com)
- Lemon Meringue Coconut Macaroon Tarts (korenainthekitchen.com)
- Luscious lemon meringue cake and zesty lemon curd (amylovesthis.wordpress.com)