Two days ago was “one-of-those” days. I wanted to make lemon meringue pie and I wanted to try a new recipe for Scarlet Bakes cookie mix. Both attempts ended up in the trash. What a waste! The Cookies had the totally wrong flour/butter ratio and ran all over the place before becoming way too crispy. The lemon pie crust came out good. But the lemon part just cluttered up and was impossible to save.
It gets me every time that happens. I know it happens to the best of us but cookie baking is my profession! How did I get it sooo wrong!! After that I just called it a day because when it is that bad in my kitchen, the day is doomed. Frustration all over the place! Cleaned out all laundry baskets in the house and took out my frustration at the gym. Luckily my friend Amanda came for dinner and we just had one of those good nights. Glass of wine, simple food, kids playing, standing in the kitchen and just talking. The Fab Frenchman would probably call it yapping. But then he wasn’t there so….
Yesterday I went back and finished le lemon pie. I did however change the recipe a little and it went so much better! I hadn’t made this pie for the longest time simply because the Fab Frenchman really does not enjoy anything lemony. So I was pretty confident when I put it in the fridge last night that I would find it whole this morning to shoot some pictures of it. However.Fab Frenchman changed his mind (who knew after all these years!) and thought it was pretty darn good. And that’s saying something! (Thankfully I shot some quick pictures before I put it in the fridge because this morning I had only a slice in front of the camera)
Lemon Lime Meringue Pie
For the crust I copied Angela Nilsen’s Ultimate’s crust because it is easy and there is almost no sugar in it. Since the lemon part is already sugary enough, let alone the meringue, I think we can do without..
175 g (1 1/3 cup) plain flour,
100g (0.4 cup) cold butter cut in small pieces,
1 tbsp. Icing sugar,
1 egg yolk.
Put the flour, butter, icing sugar, egg yolk (save the white for the meringue) and 1 tbsp cold water in a bowl. Mix with a batter until it stars to bind. Then, get in your hands to gently kneed it to a homogenous ball. Flatten it out with a pin on a floured surface and then put it in a lined baking tin. The edged need to be at least 3 cm high. Trim and neaten the edges. Prick the base with a fork, line with foil, shiny side down, and put it in the fridge for 1.5 hour (or overnight).
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350 F). Bake the bottom ‘blind’ (filled with dry beans) for 15 minutes, remove the foil and finish baking 8 – 12 minutes or until the pastry is pale golden and cooked. Set aside. Turn up the oven heat to 200 °C (300 F). For this part I use only bottom heat.
For the filling
30 g (1/4 cup) of flour,
30 g (1/3 cup) Maizena (corn flour),
250 gr (1 ¼ cup) fine (preferably brown) sugar,
1.8 dl (3/4 cup) lemon/lime juice (Or, spice things up and mix with grapefruit),
50 gr (0.2 cup) unsalted butter in small pieces,
6 egg yolks,
3.1 dl (1/2 cup) water.
For the Meringue
6 egg whites,
200 gr (1 cup) fine sugar,
Put the flour, Maizena, Sugar, lemon juice in a pan. Slowly, while stirring add the water and stir until the mixture is smooth. Heat on low until the mixture starts to thicken. Take it off the stove and add the butter and the egg yolks. Stir vigorously (!) until all has been absorbed. Put back on the stove for another 2 to 5 minutes or until it is nice and thick. Put aside and prepare the merengue.
Whip the egg whites into a nice soft white mountain. When you can turn around the bowl and it does not fall out, you are good. Now slow down the batters and add gradually the sugar until the whites are shiny and luscious (I am in love with the taste of this….it is a challenge to get this on the pie and not ALL in my mouth!)
Give the lemon mixture a little stir and pour it into the piecrust. Put the merengue on top. Always start on the outside and work towards the middle. In my experience this helps the pie to settle. Finish by making nice decorative swirls and peaks in your merengue.
Put it in the oven for 15 minutes or until the merengue is golden.
Take it out of the oven and let it cool down. Then put it in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Do not try to take a peek at the lemon; if you are too early it will ooze out!
Enjoy and don’t let anybody near this pie until its ready to be eaten! It has its own will and will punish you if you are impatient!