Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lemon Meringue Pie

From: _The Perfect Pie_ by Susan G. Purdy

Note: The completed pie should be served the same day it is baked.

9" blind-baked crust or graham cracker crust

1 cp granulated sugar
1/3 cp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cp water
Grated zest form 1 lemon (about 1 1/2 T)
1/2 cp fresh lemon juice
4 lg egg yolks, room temp
2 T unsalted butter, room temp

No-Fail Meringue Topping:
1/2 cp granulated or superfine sugar, divided (2 T and 6 T)
1 T cornstarch
1/2 cp water
4 or 5 lg egg whites, room temp
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Prepare the Filling:
  1. In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  2. Whisk in the water, lemon zest, and juice; scrape into the pan corners to incorporate all the dry ingredients.
  3. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 7-8 minutes, until the mixture comes to a boil.
  4. Whisk constantly while boiling for 1 full minutes, until it thickens, looks clear, and generously coats a spoon.
  5. Remove from the heat.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks well, then whisk in about 1/2 cup of the hot lemon pudding to warm the yolks (work quickly so the yolks do not poach).
  7. Scrape the warm yolks into the hot lemon pudding in the pan, simultaneously whisking hard to blend in the yolk mixture before the eggs overcook.
  8. Return the lemon pudding to the stove over the very lowest heat and stir continuously for about 4 minutes, to cook the yolks and ensure a stable pudding.
  9. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.
  10. Leave the pudding in the pan and set it aside.
Prepare the Meringue Topping:
  1. In a small saucepan, stir together 2 T of the sugar, the cornstarch, and water until the cornstarch dissolves.
  2. Stir constantly over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture bubbles up into a boil; it will immediately start to thicken and look almost clear.
  3. Quickly remove from the heat and set it aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  5. Place the egg whites in a large absolutely grease-free bowl.
  6. Add the salt and cream of tartar.
  7. With the mixer on medium speed, whip the whites until foamy.
  8. Gradually add the remaining 6 T sugar while beating continuously.
  9. Whent he whites look thick and foamy, increase the speed to high and whip unitl they look smooth and satiny and you begin to see beater tracks on the surface. When the mixer is turned off and the beater is lifted, the foam should make a soft, slightyly droopy peak.
  10. Add the vanilla, turn the mixeron to medium speed, and begin beating in spoonfuls of the cooked cornstarch mixture fro tehsmall pan.
  11. Beat on high a little longer, until the whites are smooth, satiny, and hold very stiff peaks. Don't overbeat or meringue will become grainy or broken.
Putting It All Together:
  1. Rewarm the lemon pudding by stirring it over very low heat just until it is almost hot to the touch; it must be hot enough to poach the surface of the meringue that will rest on it.
  2. Spoon the hot pudding into the pie shell.
  3. Add about half the meringue, spreading it out onto the edges of the crust to seal it and prevent shrinking.
  4. Pile on the remaining meringue and shape medium-high swirls with the back of a big spoon.
  5. Bake at 350F for 12 to 15 min, or just until the meringue swirls begin to look golden brown.
  6. Cool on a wire rack, and serve at room temperature.
  7. Refrigerate leftovers--if there are any!

No comments: