Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lemon Meringue Pie

My sister is staying with us for a little while and surprised us with this delicious pie for dessert one night!

(please ignore the fact that in the picture about the meringue was in the process of sliding off the filling...)

1 prepared pie crust

Lemon Filling:
1 1/4C sugar
1/3 C cornstarch
1 1/2 C water
4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten (save egg whites for meringue)
1/2 C lemon juice
1 TBSP grated lemon zest
2 TBSP butter 

Meringue Topping:
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 C sugar 

Crust preparation:
Roll the prepared pie crust into an 11" circle on a lightly floured surface.
Place in the pie pan with about 1" of dough over hanging around the rim.
Fold and crimp the edges of the dough to make a thicker, "prettier" rim of crust.
Prick the crust multiple times all over with a fork and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400.
Spread a sheet of aluminum foil inside the pie crust and be sure to cover the rim of the crust.
Fill the fill about halfway with rice or dried beans and bake for 15-20 until the crust has set. 
Reduce the oven heat to 350 (while the pie crust is still in the oven) and remove the foil.
Bake the pie crust for about 8 more minutes until it is golden brown and then remove it from the oven.

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and water.
Stir until the cornstarch is dissolved and then cook on low heat until the mixture thickens - keep stirring the entire time!
Whisk in the egg yolks and continue stirring while the mixture thickens and eventually begins to bubble.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter.

Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla until a fluffy mound is formed.
Beat on medium speed while adding the sugar gradually.
When all the sugar is added, increase the speed to medium high and continue beating the mixture until it is stiff and glossy but not dry.

Put it all together:
Preheat the oven to 350.
Pour the filling into the pie crust.
Gently spread the meringue all the way to the edges over the filling - you can give it the "peaked" look by swirling it with a spoon back.
Put in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until the meringue peaks start to brown.
Cool before serving to let the filling set.
We prefer the pie chilled in the refrigerator prior to serving!

*My sister found the filling and meringue recipe in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.

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