Let’s face it, sometimes a person just can’t get enough PIE. I love a good challenge in the kitchen and honestly, there aren’t many bakers that have their meringue-game ‘in the bag’. I certainly didn’t think I did, until I lucked into making a pretty decent recipe, and I didn’t have to wait for pigs to fly. (See end of post where I tie these TOTALLY unrelated topics together.)
This pie was sensationally gorgeous, and for once I didn’t burn the meringue. (aka: no one came and rang my doorbell, the dishwasher didn’t chime, the dryer didn’t buzz, I didn’t have a child with a total freak out/meltdown/blood injury, I didn’t see a shiny object… yes I get distracted THAT easily.) Imagine that. The meringue was lovely, easy to work with and didn’t bead up with moisture like some meringue pies do. Oddly enough, the humidity was high when I made the pie too so I expected it.
I’ve joked lately that I brush my teeth with lemon curd, and this filling tastes like the best curd, ever. Seriously people, this is the condiment of my dreams and I am beginning to wonder if I need a jar for my purse in case of an emergency. I love LEMON CURD. This pie is like a lemon bar on ‘roids. Tons of citrusy lemon filling + the delicate pillow-y meringue = sign me up. Oh, and I pretty much knocked out this entire pie myself over the course of 3 days, slice by slice. Yes. I. Did. My family apparently doesn’t worship citrus like I do.
In other news, this week is the World Pork Expo. It is a really neat event where many pig farmers from across the globe, who raise pigs in many different settings and environments convene at the fairgrounds in Des Moines, to gain tons of insight and information. There is a great trade show, seminars about pig farming, and a REALLY awesome PIG SHOW!
My gal pal in crime, Brandi and her son Conner will be hauling their pigs down for the show… and yours truly may have a few in the show ring too. (*disregard the beers in the picture above, that was State Fair last year… Stockman’s. Don’t even. I mean, I needed them, and it was hot, and they ran out of Pepsi. Okay?)
Combine dry ingredients, cut in butter, add we ingredients until dough holds together. Pat into a disk, wrap in plastic. Rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes. When chilled, remove from refrigerator, roll out on floured work space, fit to pie plate (do NOT stretch). Roll crust under, crimp edges. Poke crust with a fork. Place pie weights on aluminum foil or dry beans or rice on foil. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then remove foil and rice/beans/etc. Return crust to oven, bake an additional 10 minutes until crust is golden. Remove from oven, set aside to cool to room temperature.
For the Lemon Filling
Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir in hot tap water and whisk until smooth. Over medium high heat, bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Temper 6 egg yolks with some of the hot mixture (stir a bit of hot mixture in with yolks to raise their temperature so they don’t scramble.) Whisk constantly and stream in yolks until well combined and all added. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter. Return to heat and boiling, for 4 minutes until well thickened. Stir frequently during cooking. Remove from heat. Cool to warm. (I speed process along by stirring this mixture often to release heat and popping it into the freezer a bit.) Must cool to warm. Spoon into pie shell.
For the Meringue
To a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, or with a hand mixer, whisk egg yolks and cream of tartar until foamy. Slowly add sugar in a small stream with mixer running. Whisk whites/cream of tartar/sugar until very stiff peaks form and meringue is glossy. Scoop delicately over lemon filling in pie. Spread meringue to the edges of the pie to 'seal' the meringue. Gently place a spoon on top of meringue and pull up to get a curly pretty top. Bake meringue at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. DON'T LEAVE MERINGUE UNATTENDED... this part is important!
Remove pie from oven, let sit at room temperature. You can serve as is, but I recommend chilling the pie. *Meringue may weep a bit going into the refrigerator, but trust me, it is no big deal. It happens! *Summer humidity is tough when baking meringue pies. 🙂
Serve at room temperature or chilled (my preference).
Know this: The meringue may shrink or weep when this pie goes into the refrigerator. Nothing to be scared of. Facts of pie-life.