Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Recipe: Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

What I Thought:
First, I wanted to cry. I had the ultimate lemon meringue pie recipe in a cookbook from the 1920’s that I loved and have not been able to find. So when I found this recipe, it looked similar to what I had used and I thought I would give it a try. I love lemon and wanted to make something lemony.

Second, I wanted to cry. I have no idea why, but I could not get the filling to thicken like my old recipe used to. I even used extra cornstarch, but it didn’t seem to help at all. Odd. It did thicken a bit when cooled, but was more of a pudding consistency than pie filling consistency.

Third, I wanted to cry. Seeing a theme here? I made the perfect meringue. I mean it was perfect! It was thick and glossy and absolutely beautiful! Then I broiled the top. Let me tell you that 4 minutes is absolutely too long for the meringue. Maybe if I had the pie on the bottom rack it would have been OK, but I had it in the middle.

Oddly enough the pie tasted great. As I said, it was more of a lemon meringue pudding, but it was tart and sweet. The flavor was phenomenal. I will try this again because I am curious if I did something wrong that I overlooked before. I really want to make this pie recipe work because I know that the end result is worth it.

Anyway, I am a perfectionist and HATE it when I screw up, but I guess we have to allow some wiggle room for the times that things just don’t work out. Obviously, this is one of those times. But I decided I would share successes and failures with you all regardless.

Changes I Made:
None, I followed this recipe exactly ~ at least as far as I can remember. I may have screwed up on something. An update will follow when I try it again.

I used all 5 egg whites. I hate wasting things, so I used them all in the meringue.
As mentioned, 4 minutes was way too long in the broiler o definitely keep an eye on that step. Nothing more aggravating than having the perfect pie and then ruining it all the last couple of minutes.

Yield: 1 pie              Units: US | Metric


1 - 9 inch deep dish pie crust; baked

Filling Ingredients: 

large eggs
5 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 pinch salt
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Meringue Ingredients:

large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.     To prepare the filling, whisk together eggs, egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add cornstarch and salt and continue whisking until well combined. Add lemon juice, water, lemon zest and butter. Continue whisking until fully incorporated.
2.     Pour into a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk continuously, scraping sides with a spatula and taking care not to burn the bottom. Cook until mixture thickens and deepens in color, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and continue to whisk 1 more minute.
3.     Pour into prebaked piecrust. Cover pie with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
4.     To prepare meringue, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt and continue mixing until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Once all the sugar has been added, add vanilla and beat 30 more seconds. The meringue should be light and fluffy. Test the meringue to see if it will hold by inserting your spatula into the meringue mixture and quickly pulling it out. If the meringue forms little peaks but does not fall, you have achieved the desired consistency. If the meringue falls, continue beating and retesting with your spatula at 30-second intervals until the peaks remain in place when the spatula is removed.
5.     Scrape meringue on top of lemon curd in piecrust. Smooth to cover the entire pie and form a mound in the middle. Use a spatula to pat and lift meringue across the top of the pie, forming peaks.
6.     Heat broiler. Place pie on oven rack in the middle position and let cook 3 to 4 minutes, until meringue is browned.

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