Thursday, April 2, 2015
Lemon Meringue Pie
For me, it's the difference between dinner and dessert.
When I make dinner, it had better be fast and easy and taste good. It doesn't have to look perfect. It doesn't have to be photographed (usually) and posted on Instagram. It just has to give me energy to get through the rest of the night and into the morning.
Dessert's not really practical. You don't technically need dessert - not like you need dinner. But dessert is what you look forward to. So maybe you do need it after all.
Making your own lemon meringue pie is exactly the type of exercise in indulgence, patience and meticulousness needed to lift your spirits. Waiting for the pie crust to cool, stirring the lemon custard until it's thick and glossy, watching the meringues brown through the oven window - it's what makes it special.
Next time you're looking for a special dessert for a special occasion or a special person or a totally un-special weeknight, I think this might just be the thing you're looking for.
LEMON MERINGUE PIE
1 pre-baked pie crust
For the Lemon Custard:
6 egg yolks
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. water
1/4 c. whole milk
1 Tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. butter
For the Meringue:
6 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch and salt over medium heat. Add in water and milk. Continue whisking until the mixture boils. Continue whisking until thickened. Remove from heat.
3. Temper the egg yolks with the hot mixture (stir 1 c. of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, then mix the egg yolks into the saucepan with the hot milk, stirring constantly). Set over low heat.
4. Whisk in lemon zest and lemon juice and simmer until the custard is the thickness of pudding. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Pour lemon custard into prepared pie crust.
5. Prepare the Meringue: Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt on medium speed until frothy. Slowly, add in granulated sugar and beat until soft peaks form.
6. Slowly, add in the powdered sugar and beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
7. Spread meringue over the top of the lemon custard. Bake at 375˚ for 8-10 minutes or until the meringue peaks are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving.