Lemon Meringue Pie just" hurries up" Spring for me!!!

I spied a package hiding in my freezer with just enough pastry for a single crust pie on the same day I found I had lemons that needed to be used. Mother of invention!!! There is nothing more fitting for a February day when the temperature is to hit 70 degrees or at least play with 70 degrees, than a lemon meringue pie.

I had enough forethought to set the pastry from the freezer into the refrigerator last night so all there was for me to do was to roll it, dock it, spread dry beans in and and bake. And so it went.
It baked at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes and I took the foil and beans out and returned it to the oven for about 6-7 minutes until nicely browned.

Meanwhile I made the lemon filling for a 9" crust like this:
1 3/4 C. sugar
1/3 C. plus 1 T. cornstarch
4 egg yolks beaten slightly
1 1/4 C. water
3 T. soft butter
2 T. lemon zest
3/4 C. fresh squeezed lemon juice

Stir together in a heavy bottomed (keeps it from scorching as easily) medium saucepan the sugar and cornstarch. Blend the egg yolks and water and pour into the sugar mixture stirring to incorporate. Cook over medium high heat stirring constantly. After it comes to a boil continue to cook and stir for 1 full minute more. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, zest, and lemon juice until the mixture becomes smooth and shinny. Immediately pour into the baked pie shell.
Quickly make the meringue as follows:
4 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/4 t. cream of tarter (optional I usually don't use)
6 T. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla (optional)

Beat the egg whites, salt, and cream of tarter until foamy. Beat in the sugar about a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is smooth, glossy, and maintains stiff peaks. Then stop. If you over beat you will get a sort of clumpy meringue you don't want.

Immediately heap the meringue onto the hot pie filling and spread carefully sealing the meringue against the edge of the crust to seal it. Bake at 400 degrees F for 7-10 minutes until golden brown and set aside away from draft to cool.

What's left after dinner.....YUMMO!!
Note: I have shared two of my pie crust recipes, one is posted "Pastry for Three Crusts" on 10/29/10 and another is under "Lemon Pie for 1 or 2 or more" on 9/15/10 so I didn't repeat them.

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