April 18, 2010

Lemon Meringue Pie

After the previous Coffee Chiffon Cake, I just wanted ride on the success of my egg beating attempt and ensure I practise, practise and practise.... enough to keep the success rates of my cake high.

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!
Looking through tons of recipes online, I have discovered that it is not as easy a process as I had envisioned. There are three parts involved - the pie crust, the filling and the meringue. I decided that I can do away with one difficult part by "cheating" with a digestive biscuit crust instead of making one from scratch. In the end, taste-wise it passed but it was too crumbly as I used too little butter to "gel" the crumbs together. Would need to increase the butter "glue" next time.

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)

Filling:
2 egg yolks
40g caster sugar
170ml milk
17g cornstarch
20g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
zest of 1 medium sized lemon
juice of 1 medium sized lemon, approximately 60ml

Meringue:
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).

Method

 "Cheater" Pie Crust:
  1. Line the tin with baking paper, if necessary.
  2. Mix biscuit crumbs & melted butter together and press firmly onto the base and sides of tin.
  3. Chill for at least 1-2 hours in the fridge.

Filling:
  1. Whisk egg yolks manually with a little bit of the milk. Add in sugar and corn flour, mix well.
  2. 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. 
  3. Pour the mixture over a sieve and return it to the saucepan. 
  4. 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.
  5. Remove mixture from heat and whisk in the butter, lemon zest and lemon juice. 
  6. Pour the filling into the "cheater" pastry crust and smooth the top. 
Meringue:
  1. Preheat oven to 230 deg C.
  2. Using the electric beater, whisk the egg whites till foamy and add in cream of tartar.
  3. 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.
  4. Pile onto the filled pastry crust to form a dome shape, pressing down to remove pockets of air trapped in between.
  5. Using the back of a spoon, "poke" the surface slightly to form peaks.
  6. Bake in the oven for 2-3 minutes or until the surface is nicely browned.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave it to cool. Chill in the fridge when pie is cooled.

1 comment:

  1. I am sure you have fun making this meringue pie :) It looks challenging at first, but once you get going, everything seems to fall in place easily. I really like the idea of using the digestive biscuits as the crust!

    ReplyDelete