Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lemon Meringue Pie


Lemon Meringue Pie
Ingredients

FOR THE FILLING
1 1/4 c Sugar
1/4 c Cornstarch
1/4 ts Salt
1 c Water
1/2 c Fresh lemon juice
3 lg Egg yolks
2 tb Unsalted butter
Grated zest of 1 lemon
THE PIE SHELL
1 ¼ cup flour
¼  teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
3 to 4 tablespoons water

I use my food processor to mix the dough up until it looks like small peas.  The roll into a ball and on a lightly floured surface roll out the dough, forming a 12 inch circle.  Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and unroll the crust into the pie plate.  Ease pastry into the pie plate, being careful not to stretch the pastry. Trim to a ½ inch beyond the edge.  Fold under extra pastry and flute it or pinch it to form a scalloped edge.  Prick the bottom and sides and bake in an oven preheated at 450 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or till golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.

FOR THE MERINGUE TOPPING
6 lg Egg whites; at room
1/2 ts Cream of tartar
1/2 c Plus 2 tablespoons sugar

Preparation
For the filling, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a nonreactive saucepan. Gradually add the water and lemon juice, stirring to make a smooth mixture. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, still stirring, as it turns thick and clear, then remove from the heat. Pour half the hot- mixture into the yolks, stirring constantly, then pour the mixture back into the pan, stirring to keep the eggs from scrambling. Cook over low heat, stirring, a few minutes more. Stir in the butter and lemon zest. Pour the lemon mixture into the baked pie shell and smooth with a spatula. Preheat the oven to 350F. To make the meringue, beat the egg whites in a large clean bowl with the cream of tartar. When they make soft peaks, gradually add the sugar and continue until the meringue becomes stiff and glossy and the sugar crystals are dissolved (rub a little between your fingers to feel). Spoon the meringue over the lemon filling, making sure the edges are covered and sealed (otherwise the filling will bubble out). Smooth the meringue, then make peaks (or whatever design you wish) with the back of a spoon. Bake until the surface is lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool before serving; refrigerate if not serving right away. 

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