Daring Bakers January 2008 Challenge - Something Tangy
The number 10 in my opinion is quite memorable and a number to celebrate. So, I'm celebrating my 10th Daring Bakers challenge this month. And what an awesome challenge it was. The lovely Jen of The Canadian Baker was our hostess and her challenge was to make a simply irresistible lemon meringue pie. After the challenge last month my family and I left to celebrate New Year's with a few friends in Switzerland. We had a ball, and for our New Year's party we made two lemon pies! So, you can imagine my smile when I returned to find I'd be making another one so soon. Every lemon pie is different. The crust, the intensity of the lemon flavor and the topping are all versatile and depending on how you like it, this pie can be varied slightly. To increase the difficulty level a notch, Jen wanted us to top the pie with meringue. Meringue is not always my best friend and I try to avoid it whenever and where ever I can. I don't know why, I have never really had a falling out with the meringue, but simply the fact that things could go very wrong with it, intimidates me. Normally when I make the lemon pie, I sprinkle the top with brown sugar and then brulée it under the oven grill. The result is a fantastic caramel crisp top, which cracks beautifully to allow you to discover the softness of the lemon curd. But I am a Daring baker and I had to get over my intimidation of the meringue. As we did last time, Hilda and I had planned to do this one together again. It was all set, however, Hilda unfortunately caught herself a nasty cold, which put her out for a few days. So, I rolled up my sleeves and decided to tackle this by myself. On the whole, I found the pie easy to make. The details were very clear and I experienced no catastrophe while making it. Not even during the making of the meringue. Phew! This months challenge requirements were simple. Jen wanted us to keep the flavor - lemon. Allowed Modifications: I made one larger pie and a few smaller tartelettes. I was not too happy with the crust. The one I normally make is a bit different and more flaky. This was more on the chewy side and it seemed to absorb the moisture from the curd very quickly. The crusts on my previous pies were not like that. The curd itself was great. Lemony, tangy and refreshing, I'll be keeping this recipe for sure. As for the meringue, well it did nothing for me really. Besides look nice, I kind of found it was simply in the way of the better stuff below. Although it did turn out wonderful, fluffy and airy I could not resist picking it off the pie to put it aside so that I could get to the more delicious curd. So, come celebrate my 10th challenge with a wonderful lemon meringue pie. Lemon Meringue Pie Ingredients For the Crust: For the Filling: For the Meringue Method To Make the Crust: 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 (0.3 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 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: To Make the Meringue: Verdict I used chopped pistachio nuts to decorate the pie. I loved the contrast of the yellow lemon curd again the green/purple colors of the nuts. Although the crust was not much of a bringer, we loved the way the lemon curd tasted. Soeren liked the fluffy meringue on the pie too. He said they almost tasted like marshmallows. Tom and I were in the opinion that the meringue is a bit of an overkill for the pie. Would I make this again? What did I learn from this challenge? Jen thanks for this one. It was a nice easy paced challenge and one I enjoyed making. If you are looking for more refreshing lemon curd and sticky meringue, I suggest you visit the Daring Bakers Blogroll and browse through the 450+ lemon meringue pies across the blogesphere. I would really like to recommend you to visit one particular fellow Daring Baker. It's her first challenge and she was a bit nervous making this. Shilpa, thanks for the sneak peak and your lemon meringue pie looks awesome. Well done on your first challenge. Check out my previous challenges: All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First
(from Wanda's Pie in the Sky by Wanda Beaver)
Printable version of recipe here
175 g cold butter; cut into 1.2 cm pieces
250 g all-purpose flour
50 g granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
80 ml ice water
475 ml water
200 g granulated sugar
60 g cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
58 g butter
180 ml fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
150 g granulated sugar
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 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.
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.
Preheat the oven to 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. You can also use a piping bag to pipe the meringue onto the curd. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.
We love our lemon pie. I will most probably use the lemon curd recipe here again, however I prefer the crust recipe I normally use, so I will be combining both the next time I make a lemon pie. As for the meringue - I came and I conquered - but it will be not a regular on my lemon pies.
That a crust can get so soggy so fast!!! The crusts for the tartelettes were ok and did not go from being crust to being mush as fast as the larger pie did. That was a bit disappointing. I learned that there are huge differences when making crusts - even if at first glance the recipes might look similar.
April 2007: Chocolate Crepe Cake
May 2007: Gâteau Saint-Honoré
June 2007: Real Honest Jewish Purists Bagels
July 2007: Strawberry Mirror Cake
August 2007: Chocolate Caramel Tart
September 2007: Sticky Cinnamon Buns
October 2007: Bostini Cream Pie
November 2007: Tender Potato Focaccia and Bread Rolls
December 2007: Bûche de Noël/Yule Log
This months challenge requirements were simple. Jen wanted us to keep the flavor - lemon.
So, come celebrate my 10th challenge with a wonderful lemon meringue pie.
Lemon Meringue Pie