So scoring through my refrigerator to find leftover ingredients to use, I found a lemon... literally. Lots of ideas flooded through my mind then... lemon pound cake, lemon souffle, lemonade (no kidding), lemon chiffon cake (again!) and then it struck, lemon meringue pie!
I am also very happy that HHB had a meringue tart/pie in her recipe index too. She's always so detailed in her baking process and from her research links, I usually gain a lot. In this case, I learned about how not to make lemon meringue pie "weep"! Apparently, "weeping" = the meringue sliding off the filling. To ensure it doesn't do that, one of the key ways is to make sure the meringue is topped onto a hot filling so that they will gel together vs having water vapor forming on top of the filling when cooled and causing the meringue to slip off later.
So, I left the filling in the saucepan on the stove top and when I was about done with my meringue, I asked Hubby to heat it slightly and then pour the filling into the "cheat" pie crust. It worked!
I couldn't find a recipe that suited my liking (a.k.a. moderately easy and little effort) so in the end I mixed and matched from HHB's and other sites to create my own. I think the meringue should be much sweeter than what I have put here but since Hubby and I don't have a super sweet tooth, so I followed the baking911 site and added about 1 and a half tablespoon of sugar for every egg white.
Lemon Meringue Pie
Ingredients (6-inch round tin with removable base)
"Cheater" Pie Crust:
110g digestive biscuits, crushed into crumbs
60g unsalted butter, melted (I used only 40g this time round, definitely not enough. Would recommend at least 60g)
2 egg yolks
40g caster sugar
20g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
zest of 1 medium sized lemon
juice of 1 medium sized lemon, approximately 60ml
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
30g caster sugar (I used an estimate of 3 tablespoons. This is not very sweet as Hubby and I dislike too sweet stuff. Add more if you have a sweeter tooth).
"Cheater" Pie Crust:
- Line the tin with baking paper, if necessary.
- Mix biscuit crumbs & melted butter together and press firmly onto the base and sides of tin.
- Chill for at least 1-2 hours in the fridge.
- Whisk egg yolks manually with a little bit of the milk. Add in sugar and corn flour, mix well.
- In a saucepan, bring the remaining milk to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the hot milk gradually to the yolk mixture, whisk to combine.
- Pour the mixture over a sieve and return it to the saucepan.
- Bring it to boil on low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent the mixture from turning lumpy or burnt at the bottom of the pan. When it boils, continue to stir constantly for another 1 minute.
- Remove mixture from heat and whisk in the butter, lemon zest and lemon juice.
- Pour the filling into the "cheater" pastry crust and smooth the top.
- Preheat oven to 230 deg C.
- Using the electric beater, whisk the egg whites till foamy and add in cream of tartar.
- Continue beating till soft peaks are formed, add in sugar in 3 batches and beat till stiff peaks are formed and the mixture is glossy.
- Pile onto the filled pastry crust to form a dome shape, pressing down to remove pockets of air trapped in between.
- Using the back of a spoon, "poke" the surface slightly to form peaks.
- Bake in the oven for 2-3 minutes or until the surface is nicely browned.
- Remove from the oven and leave it to cool. Chill in the fridge when pie is cooled.