Monday, January 28, 2008

Daring Bakers January Challenge

Daring Bakers, who are we?
we're an online community of bakers who, once a month, receive a recipe chosen by that month's host, make the recipe without modifications (unless allowed by the host), and then blog about the experience on the same day. By following the same recipe, we have a good basis for comparing our results and we get to flex our baking muscles.
We have a separate blog with the links to the participants' blogs!

Lemon Meringue Pie Challenge

So this month we rolled back our sleeves and dived in to some Lemon Meringue Pie. Pie happens to be my favorite kind of dessert; so as you could guess I was very excited. On top of that Jen at The Canadian Baker
Chose a fantastic Lemon Meringue Pie recipe for us. Thankyou Jen it was FANTASTIC!

So I've never made Meringue before or lemon meringue pie it was something new, something daring, something absolutely delicious. The great part was even though this took a lot of arm power and coordination the recipe steps themselves are very simple. The lemon curd though is stirred forever in a pot gradually adding ingredients. I stirred mine a lot and felt like my arms were going to fall off. Wicked though gave me some advice to make sure i cook the curd and bring it to bubbling where it says in the recipe. Many people had mentioned that theres were turning out watery and she thought they might not have cooked it long enough.
I don't know if she was right, but her advice seems to have worked because my pie turned out perfect. The curd stood up to perfect consistency the meringue was delicious and the only problem was its soo good there just isn't enough to satisfy everyone.
Also this recipe would be easy to modify and use for other styles of pie. Definitely a keeper in my book.
Here is the Recipe for those of you who DARE!
Lemon Meringue Pie

Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie

For the Crust:

¾ cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces

2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour

¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar

¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt

cup (80 mL) ice water

For the Filling:

2 cups (475 mL) water

1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar

½ cup (120 mL) cornstarch

5 egg yolks, beaten

¼ cup (60 mL) butter

¾ cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

For the Meringue:

5 egg whites, room temperature

½ tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar

¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt

½ tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract

¾ cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

For the Crust: Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of ⅛ inch (.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about ½ inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.

For the Filling: Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.

Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.

For the Meringue: Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.

Daring Bakers Extra Challenge
Free-Style Lemon Tartlets

Prepare the recipe as above but complete the following steps:

To roll out tartlet dough, slice the dough into 6 pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll each circle of dough into a 5 inch disk. Stack the disks, separated by pieces of plastic wrap, on a plate, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To bake the dough, position rack in oven to the centre of oven and preheat to 350ºF (180ºC). Place the disks of dough, evenly spaced, on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely.

To finish tartlets, first place oven rack in the upper third of the oven and increase heat to 425ºF.

Divide the lemon filling equally among the disks, mounding it in the centre and leaving a 1-inch border all the way around.

Spoon the meringue decoratively over each tartlet, right to the edges, in dramatic swirling peaks. Return tartlets to oven and bake for about 5 minutes, until the meringue is golden brown.


You can make one pie or tartlets (in a tin or free-form)

You can compliment your pie with a sauce. For example, you can serve it with raspberry or white chocolate sauce.

You can use a piping bag to apply the meringue if you like.

Decoration is up to you - lemon zest or fruit are totally acceptable.

Pie recipe courtesy of Wanda’s Pie in the Sky by Wanda Beaver, 2002
Tartlet recipe courtesy of Ripe for Dessert by David Lebovitz, 2003


Kitten said...

WOOHOO!!! That is damn Gorgeous Sweetness!!! I love your swirly Meringue!!! Am so glad It all worked out for you =) and am equally glad you loved it as much as I =)

Dolores said...

Congratulations on your first foray into LMP. The lemon curd was a bit of a workout, but it sounds like in your case, it was worth the effort. It turned out great!

Mary said...

Your pie looks delicious! I love the meringue!

Princess of the kitchen said...

Looks lovely your lemon meringue pie. well done!

Big Boys Oven said...

this meringue is gorgeous and some more got a dark peak! that's cool!

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a wonderful job on your lemon meringue pie. I love your swirls of meringue that resemble a rose. Simply beautiful.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Deborah said...

Your pie looks wonderful! Great job!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Excellent, it looks like a rose.

Lesley said...

Lovely meringue, the swirl is mouth-watering!!

Angel said...

Thankyou everybody. I never thought about it looking like a rose, but i guess it does. Oooh now I like my pie even more!

Suzana said...

That's a beautiful pie - I love the doomed meringue! Congrats on your 1st LMP! Great job.

Quellia said...

Lovely work! And nice to hear you had no problems making the pie.

javagirlkt's cookin' said...

Thanks for the nice pie feedback on my blog :) Yours looks sooooo delicious! Perfect meringue.

I'm glad you had such success with your pie!

Jen said...

what a pretty pie! and so evenly browned! greatness!


creampuff said...

Glad you enjoyed it! Great job on the pie!

Tiffany said...

Aww, looks like a giant cupcake with the swirly meringue. Yummy!! Just make sure you don't make a fool of yourself like I did when you go to get those Meyer lemons :-)

Lunch Buckets said...

Gorgeous pie, what a great success!

breadchick said...

Yea, I think the recipe is a keeper too! Great job on the challenge this month.

marion - il en faut peu pour ... said...

I love the different shapes of all these meringues waves :)
It looks yummy ;)

Cakelaw said...

Hi Angel, what a cute pie! I love the swirly top. You got the hang of LMP very quickly.

Molly Loves Paris said...

I love your pie photos. They are truly artistic. My lemon filling cooked up really quickly and I think it was because I used a copper saucepan. But it was just a bit runny at first, though not the next day. It's all rather scientific, isn't it. Well done.

Claire said...

Beautiful! I love your swirly meringue. Great job!

Liliana said...

Your pie looks fantastic! What a great job you did on the meringue! I definitely have to make this pie again and work on those meringue swirls!

Melanie said...

The meringue on your pie looks extra-swirly - really pretty! I loved how it looked and was so glad/partly jealous(!) that it turned out so perfectly. And I am really glad I am not the only one that has disasters in the kitchen. Thanks for visiting my blog...I'm glad to have found yours!

Jen Yu said...

Yay! Nicely done on the first challenge for 2008! Looks great.

ioyces said...

WOW!!! I can't believe that we used the same recipe!! Yours look and sound so much better!!! :D
Good job!!!

Sara said...

I am so happy to read posts where others loved the pie as much as me! I love the smooth swirl of your meringue.

Mer said...

I am glad that your pie turned out well. I love that huge pile of meringue on top. It looks delicious. :0)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I agree - pies are my fave dessert too. I'm a slut for pie crust!

Laura said...

What a splendid pie!!

Glenna said...

Very nicely done!