Monday, January 28, 2008

Daring Bakers Lemon Meringue Pie and Tart

This month the Daring Bakers challenge was Lemon Meringue Pie. The recipe was provided by Jen, from Canadian Baker. After reading all the reviews on the Daring Bakers website, I was a little apprehensive- it seemed like a lot of people had trouble with this recipe. Much to my surprise, I made the pie and tarts without any trouble whatsoever, I found the recipe to be good and well writen. The only part that sort of stumped me a little was the fact that the lemon juice is added to the filling once you remove it from the heat. I have never made lemon meringue pie filling in that manner before. I don't really understand the reasoning behind it, but nevertheless it still set up very nicely. Most people who had trouble with the recipe the filling is where they ran into trouble, for some it did not set. I used the blowtorch to brown the tarts and the broiler to brown the pie, I liked the way the torch browns a little better.

The filling set up well, and had a nice mix of sweet and tartness to it, but the recipe I normally use has a little cream and more butter which gives it a little bit more of a silkier feeling. The pie shell worked just fine, as of this morning it still has some crunch to it and isn't soggy at all- which for this type of pie is a very good thing. The meringue I whipped by hand in a copper bowl, it turned out smooth and shiny. I wanted to drizzle a little raspberry sauce on the plate, but ran out of time. Maybe next time.

Lemon Meringue Pie
Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie ( I made a 9" pie and 2 tarts)

For the Crust:3/4 cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
1/3 cup (80 mL) ice water

For the Filling:
2 cups (475 mL) water
1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 mL) cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
3/4 cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

For the Meringue:
5 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

To Make 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 1/8 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 1/2 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.

To Make 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. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.

To Make 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. 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.


  1. My goodness Katia your pie and meringue look fantastic. A perfect edge on that crust! Yes, it is really impressive to have crisp in this crust the next day! I did really enjoy this one!

  2. I love the way your crust looks!!MMmmmm! so appetizing! Thanks for your nice comments!

  3. Talk about perfection!!! Your crust is perfect, mine is trying to hide in the shadows looking at yours. Kidding ;-) Seriously though, this looks gorgeous, Katia!

  4. oh! your tart look so beautiful amazing!

  5. Your little tart looks stunning and so professional. The blowtorch has given it a lovely even brown tint.

  6. beautiful little creatures... now that i see yours, i wish i had gone for small as well. i just didn't have the time. well done you!

  7. Very, very impressive. I agree with another commenter that after seeing yours, I wish I would have gone for small tarts, as well. I love the textured peaks on your meringue.

  8. lovely tarts! I think they look beautiful!

  9. Gorgeous gorgeous tarts. I love the look, you could sell these!

  10. the crust of your tartlets looks perfect.
    i would have also liked the filling to be smoother and richer, but overall it wasn't so bad.

  11. Your tarts are Beautiful!! I love the lemons in the background, such a wonderful Presentation!

  12. i love the tarts!!! what kind of vessel did you use?

  13. Thank you for all your nice comments. I had fun making this month's challenge.

    Joey, I used a ring mold for the tart.

  14. Looking great... good job.


  15. WOW! I knew by the title of your blog that yours would look fantastic!!

  16. I just found your blog (via DB) and love your photos! Congratulations on this month's challenge!

  17. Found your blog through DB. Your tarts are lovely and so is your blog. It's so aesthetic and you can sense that training in art and your training in cooking too. It was a lovely visit. Congratulations.

  18. Nice looking tarts :)Good job!

  19. Wow, your pie and tarts look beautiful!

  20. I love the tart... petite perfection! Great job with January's challenge.

  21. Wow! What a beautiful pie. The meringue looks so fluffy I just want to touch it. Luring like the clouds you see outside an airplane ...

  22. Your January challenge came out beautifully!

  23. Your tart looks gorgeous, great photos too!

  24. Wonderful! Your crust looks fantastic.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...