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Lemon Meringue Pie

Yay!!! I am a member of Daring Baker’s group now, those who don’t know about Daring baker’s challenge, please read this.

For last many months, I have been drooling over Meeta’s gorgeous entries for this challenge month after month. I still don’t know how she manages to make them look so beautiful. I was just enjoying her pictures for so long and then one day, they came up with bread challenge. Then I baked the stuffed buns at home. Thats when I thought I had to seriously consider joining this group, not because I am a daring baker yet, but I would love to become a daring baker. Since I have baked many cakes so far and have kind of basic idea, I thought its the most suitable time.

So I mailed Lis and Ivonne asking if I could join. I was very surprised at their prompt reply, they asked me to join from January. So finally here I am with my first challenge. There will be a challenge every month & on the date specified, I am supposed to post about that challenge. I am hoping that I can keep up with this (did I say I am very bad at planning?).

This month’s challenge was Lemon Meringue Pie. Jen from Canadian baker challenged us to bake this beautiful pie. The first time I saw it, I thought it was a very simple challenge compared to what DBs have been baking so far.

When I told Meeta I joined DB, she offered to help me if I needed anything. She also said she had baked the pie. This was some 2 weeks ago. Since the post date was 28th, I was taking it cool. But after I came to know she had already baked it, some warning bells started ringing in my head. Considering I mess up everything when I am in hurry, I decided to bake it immediately. I wanted to keep some room for correction.

So I started with LMP on a weekday again (when will I ever learn not to try anything on weekdays? ufff..). I successfully made the crust and then I realized I didn’t have cornstarch. Why I didn’t think about that before?, because I thought corn flour could be a substitute for cornstarch. The corn flour I had was yellowish in color and when I googled, I came to know cornstarch is white in color. I didn’t want to take a chance. So I ran to grocery store to buy it. That took some time, so I started feeling the pressure, it was already late and I was not sure if I could take any breaks in between.

According to me, the most difficult part of this LMP was making the meringue. I have a hand blender. So it took a very long time to beat the meringue to correct consistency. The blender started getting hot and I was a bit worried that it might blow up on me. Finally I gave up after some time. So when I started decorating, the meringue was not holding it’s shape. Anyway, I continued as it is.

I feel the pie came out fine. It was holding its shape properly. I have to still work on the crust. I could not give a nice shape to it due to lack of time. I think I rolled it a bit too thick. I should take care of it next time. So when I refrigerated the remaining pie(Jen had mentioned that we have to finish the pie within 6 hours, but the quantity was too huge for us, so I had to refrigerate it), the crust became very hard. The pie was a bit too lemony for our taste even though I reduced the amount of lemon juice in filling. I think next time I will still reduce the amount.

The funniest thing was, since I have never used cream of tartar, I didn’t know how it looked like. So I started searching for it in baking isle of supermarket. After spending about 15mins, I asked for some help. The lady told me it is a white colored powder and available with other spices. (Yeah, I could have saved that time if I had used google, stupid me).

Pardon me for my not-so-good pictures. I was so tired at the end, I could not take any good ones. I didn’t check the pictures for few days and till then the pie was over. So I decided to post whatever I had. I will try my best to do a better job next time. Since 28th is a extremely busy day at office, I am posting this on 27th mid night. Its already past 11:30 here and I saw many posts of LMP on other blogs, I decided to post mine too.

These are the exact details given by Jen and I followed every single step she mentioned. Thanks Jen.

For the Crust:
¾ cup (180 mL) cold butter cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces
2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt
? cup (80 mL) ice water

For the Filling:
2 cups (475 mL) water
1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
½ cup (120 mL) cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
¼ cup (60 mL) butter
¾ cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice (I used just 1/2 cup lemon juice)
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

For the Meringue:
5 egg whites, room temperature
½ tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
¾ cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

For the Crust:
Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of ? inch (.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about ½ inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.

For the Filling:
Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.

Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. (At this stage the filling had become quite thick). Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.

For the Meringue:
Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks(This takes a real long time, so do not loose patience). Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.

Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie

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{ 45 comments… add one }

  • gowri January 27, 2008, 11:29 pm

    Hey Shilpa,
    Looks A+ and Yum.

  • Mythreyee January 28, 2008, 12:04 am

    THAT LOOKS SUPERB !

  • Aparna January 28, 2008, 12:30 am

    My first time here. Just completed my first DB challenge, too. Your pie looks real nice. Liked the design on your meringue. Your picture looks good. Don’t worry, I took mine late at night when I had finished making it, 11.30 pm to be exact!!!

  • Dolores January 28, 2008, 1:24 am

    Congratulations, and welcome. Sounds to me like you overcame several potential obstacles for a sensational LMP. Mine’s going to be a bit late this month… January’s just been overwhelming.

  • Meeta January 28, 2008, 1:28 am

    YAAAY! Shilpa, Great work. I am so glad you are a part of the DBs now. You did an exceptional job on your first challenge – well done!

  • sunita January 28, 2008, 5:30 am

    Shilpa, the pie looks great…congrats on your first challenge and welcome to the group…I got mine done just the day before ;-)

  • Nupur January 28, 2008, 6:22 am

    Those peaks of meringue look adorable! Congratulations, Ms. Daring Baker! :) Can’t wait to see your creations every month.

  • Jyothsna January 28, 2008, 7:34 am

    Wow, it looks pretty neat. Congrats on a successful challenge!

  • shayne January 28, 2008, 7:51 am

    Welcome the the blogroll!

    I like how you piped the meringue onto the pie, it looks great.

  • Katia January 28, 2008, 8:19 am

    Congartulations on your first challenge! The Pie looks wonderful.

  • Maya January 28, 2008, 10:22 am

    Congratulations on being a DB Shilpa !! The pie looks very nice ..I like the edges u have done around the pie..

  • Susan January 28, 2008, 10:22 am

    Those meringue dollops are very sweet! Welcome to the Daring Bakers.

  • Michelle January 28, 2008, 12:05 pm

    Look how pretty your filling set up! Congrats and welcome to the DB’ers!

  • Namratha January 28, 2008, 12:21 pm

    A fabulous job Shilpa, I’m joing DB next month, so am waiting for the challenge mail to pop up in my inbox anytime now :) Will see you around!

  • Baking Soda January 28, 2008, 12:54 pm

    Welcome to the group Shilpa and congratulations on a job well done!

  • mandira January 28, 2008, 1:00 pm

    wow, that looks gorgeous! yummy :)

  • Padmaja January 28, 2008, 2:01 pm

    hey hey Congrats on your very first daring baker’s challenge and I am pretty sure, you mus be chuffed at your result!! It looks perfect and divine

  • Siri January 28, 2008, 2:13 pm

    The LMP looks amazingly yummy Shilpa..:) and Congratulations on becoming a DB. I am not one yet.. but will become a DB when I think I am good at baking..:D

    That was a very nice and lovely read dear.

    ~ Siri

  • Iisha January 28, 2008, 2:15 pm

    Great job. Looks great!
    Iisha

  • Gabi January 28, 2008, 2:53 pm

    Welcome to the DBs! Nice job on your first challenge!
    xoxo

  • Mansi January 28, 2008, 2:58 pm

    Ncie one Shilpa!! welcome to the DB world:)

  • Deborah January 28, 2008, 4:27 pm

    Great job on your first challenge and welcome to the Daring Bakers!

  • Deeba January 28, 2008, 7:14 pm

    Hi Shilpa,
    Well done…nice looking pie & the curd set too!!! Bravo!!

  • musy January 28, 2008, 8:05 pm

    Shilpa, congratulations on your first daring bakers challenge! The pie looks really yummy! No, those pictures are really great-they are totally making me crave that slice of pie Shilpa! Looking forward to more delish baked surprises from you in this series.

  • Sig January 28, 2008, 8:42 pm

    Congrats on getting the first DB challenge perfect Shilpa, that pie looks great!

  • Elle January 28, 2008, 10:45 pm

    Great first challenge…your pie looks awesome! Glad you are a Daring Baker!!

  • Big Boys Oven January 29, 2008, 12:55 am

    Oh your LMP look so cute, especialy the way you bind those meringue!

  • Miss Ifi January 29, 2008, 1:17 am

    Nice PIE!!! Congratulations on your challenge

  • rachel January 29, 2008, 3:27 am

    Hey I like the way your meringue has turned out! Great first challenge

  • Shella January 29, 2008, 3:59 am

    This is really commendable………someday maybe I too will……but when will that day be……….I dont know still…….

    I am getting poetic at seeing your lovely bake……Gorgeous

  • Nirmala January 29, 2008, 5:28 am

    Excellent try Shilpa! I appreciate u’re hard work and spirit. Its a beautiful pie afterall :)

  • Kaykat January 29, 2008, 12:14 pm

    Yum! Congratulations on your first attempt – it looks perfect, that lemon curd is drool-worthy!

  • vimmi January 29, 2008, 1:07 pm

    Hi Shilpa,

    Congrat on being a part of the Daring baker’s challenge. Wish u all the best. The lemon Pie looks delicious.

  • Ivonne January 29, 2008, 8:12 pm

    What an adorable pie!

  • Barbara January 29, 2008, 9:13 pm

    Great job on your first challenge! You pie looks great!

  • Lisa January 29, 2008, 11:49 pm

    Congratulations on your first Daring Baker success :)

  • Sheltie Girl January 30, 2008, 8:48 am

    You did a wonderful job on your pie. I love your meringue design too.

    Welcome to the DBers!

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  • breadchick January 30, 2008, 9:23 am

    You know, I sometime forget that when we do recipes for Daring Bakers that in some parts of the world what we think is a common ingredient isn’t so common elsewhere. Glad you found the cream of tartar. Great job on this month’s challenge.

  • Archana January 30, 2008, 4:11 pm

    Wow.. so nice.. yummy !!

  • Claire January 30, 2008, 9:35 pm

    Great job on your first challenge! Welcome. Glad you enjoyed the pie.

  • Jen Yu January 31, 2008, 11:02 am

    Very lovely pie! A total success :) Great job on your challenge.

  • vineela January 31, 2008, 12:48 pm

    shilpa love your pie.thanks for sharing

  • african vanielje February 2, 2008, 2:24 pm

    Welcome to the DBers and well done, your LMP looks delicious

  • Sarah February 2, 2008, 4:14 pm

    Welcome to DBers! I left my pie right to the last minute and found it running everywhere – when will I learn! Your pie looks great and beautifully set….

  • pelicano February 2, 2008, 10:00 pm

    Wow Shilpa! Looks better than my mother’s…. nice work!

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