Yesterday morning we awoke to sunshine streaming through the curtains and blue skies. I also found I had an abundance of lemons in the fridge that needed to be used asap.
What to do, what to do… why Lemon Meringue Pie of course!
This pie is delicious! I love the tartness of the lemon curd paired with the sweet mallow-like italian meringue… and the rich pastry is flaky and melts in your mouth!
We made the lemon curd filling first so that it had some time to cool while the crust was cooking and the meringue prepared.
A year or so ago I was given this rocking recipe for lemon curd that can be made completely in the microwave and I have never used another! It is amazeballs and so, so easy to prepare.
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Place the eggs and sugar in a large glass microwave bowl and beat until well combined. Add the butter, lemon rind and juice. Microwave on high for 8 minutes, stirring with a whisk every two minutes.
Now this lemon curd is coat the back of your spoon thick but not quite thick enough for a pie filling that will set up so I popped it on the stovetop and whisked in a couple of Tbsps of corn starch in until it thickened up to a better ‘pie’ consistency. Next time, I am going to try and add the corn starch right in the initial mixture. I think it would work so long as it’s well incorporated.
Set aside to cool.
Now for the pie crust.
This recipe is from my favorite Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book.
Rich Tart Pastry:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup cold butter
2 beaten egg yolks (keep your whites aside for the meringue!)
1 Tbsp ice water
In a medium bowl stir together flour and sugar. Cut butter into cubes and work into flour mixture until the butter is pea sized and it resembles course sand.
In a small bowl stir together egg yolks and ice water until well combined.
Gradually add egg mixture to flour and butter mixture. Using your fingers gently knead the dough until a ball forms. Cover with cling film and pop into the refrigerator for 30 – 60 minutes, or until the dough is able to be handled and rolled out.
On a floured surface roll out dough to form and circle and transfer to your pie pan.
Place some tin foil over your crust and add baking beans or rice. Blind bake at 350 F for approx 20 minutes, remove foil and bake another 5 minuted until lightly browned and fully cooked.
Remove from the oven to cool.
Now for the fun part! I found the recipe below at Serious Eats. I would highly recommend you check out the link below as there are loads of tips and tricks for getting your meringue to come out perfectly! I love Italian Meringue as the process means that the meringue is already cooked, so the only thing left to do once your pie is assembled is to brown the top.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
4 room temperature egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a low boil over high heat refraining from stirring. If sugar crystals begin to appear you can brush the sides of your pan down with a pastry brush dipped in water.
Continue to boil until sugar reaches 240 F on a candy thermometer.
Meanwhile, whip your egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
While mixing continuously, carefully and slowly drizzle in your hot sugar syrup. Increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form. You should have a very thick and airy mixture that has nearly tripled in size. It is very similar in look and taste to marshmallow fluff!
To assemble your pie:
Pour cooled lemon curd into pie shell.
Spread meringue over lemon curd.
Decorate by adding pretty peaks.
For the final finishing touch, place completed pie in the oven under the grill on high. Watch very, very carefully. I left my oven open and kept turning my pie. It only took about 3 minutes to brown up nicely!
Allow to cool and set completely before devouring!