Friday, February 13, 2009

Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

(Serving for 8 persons – 9” round backing tin)

Ingredients –

Pie Crust :
1-1/2 cups of crushed graham crackers or digestive biscuits
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tbsp of sugar
1/4 tsp of salt (If the biscuits you select is salty or butter is not unsalted, you may go without salt)

Lemon Fillings :
1/3 cup of cornstarch
1 1/2 cups of sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup of lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)
1-1/4 of cup water
2 tbsp (1/4 stick) of unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tbsp of grated lemon zest (from about 4 lemons)

Meringue :
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions –

For Pie Crust crust:
1) Crush the biscuits into small crumbs.
2) Place all the pie crust ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Press mixture evenly into a 9-inch metal backing tin (I use a flat base heavy cup in helping me to press the crust). Bake till lightly brown (5-10 min). Remove from over and leave on a wire rack to cool.

For Lemon Filling:
1) Mix cornstarch, sugar, egg yolks, and lemon juice in a big non-stick saucepan. Slowly add in water and whisk till the mixture is well blended.
2) Boil the mixture over medium heat for 1-2 minutes and whisk constantly to avoid burning. The mixture will be a bit thickening. Remove saucepan from heat immediately and add in butter and lemon zest. Stir quickly till the butter melt and well mixed into a smooth and creamy paste.
3) Pour the mixture into the crust and let it cool at room temperature. Cover with baking paper.

For the Meringue:
1) Prepare a large bowl. The bowl must be absolutely clean.
2) Place egg whites and salt in it and whip with a mixer on high speed until soft peaks form (when you lift up the mixer a bit, the mixture is able to form soft peaks). Add sugar gradually and continue beating till glossy, firm, stiff peaks (when you invert the bowl, the mixture will not flow right down i.e. able to stay in the bowl even the bowl is upside down).
3) Remove baking paper from pie. Pipe or spoon meringue (step 2 mixture) over lemon filling. Spread meringue to cover the entire surface of pie. I prefer piping as it will forms peaks on the surface. When bake, the peaks will turn brownish while the bottom of the peaks remains white.
4) Bake for about 10 minutes at 180°C till meringue is golden brown.
5) Remove from oven and let it cool on wire rack to room temperature.
6) Chill in refrigerated for at least 4 hours. Slice and serve.

Tips –
1. Use center rack of the oven at 180°C for even heat.
2. While spreading/piping the meringue over lemon filling, MUST make sure that the meringue covers the entire surface and meets the crust. This is because the meringue will shrink inward. You will not like to see a meringue pie exposing fillings.
3. For additional fun, I sprinkle Almond slices on top of the lemon fillings before spreading the meringue.
P.S. -
I bake this pie for my son Supercute's birthday instead of cake and he is delighted. It's a great fun and beautiful pie for kids and adults. If you want something special for someone special, this pie never fail you.

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