What’s fearless about a lemon meringue pie? Well, I’m not a baker, I don’t have enough experience baking to feel comfortable experimenting with predictable results. Last night I grabbed a recipe from Alton Brown. Tell me, do you know a geek that doesn’t love a little Alton? I changed it up a little, just for fun. Rather than a butter / coconut oil crust, I went with straight coconut oil pre-baked crust. (The recipe is included below). And I thought it’d be nice to temper the tartness of the lemon with the slightly sweeter taste of lime.
What did you do for Fearless Friday?
As soon as I have the new code, I’ll add a Mr. Linky widget to this post. If you have a blog, feel free to share your link, otherwise just tell us about it in the comments.
(Pictures will be added in the morning).
There are three parts to this recipe: the crust, the filling, and the meringue. Ready? Let’s go!
Single Pie Crust with Coconut Oil
- 1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated coconut oil
- 4 TBSP cold water (if you live in a dry climate you may need 5 and with a food processor you’ll probably only need 3)
Whisk the flour and salt together. Use a pastry blender or two forks to to cut the oil into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
About halfway through the chill time, empty the oven and don’t feel bad, I use it for storage, too. If there are rugrats in the general vicinity it’s wise to make sure they haven’t been “cooking” anything when you weren’t paying attention. I’ve rescued a lot of my utensils from certain, smelly doom. Begin preheating the oven to 450F, adjust a rack to the center position.
On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to a diameter of about 12″ for a 9″ shell. I find it easiest to roll a fairly even circle by rotating the dough approximately 1/8th of a turn after each roll.
Lemon Lime Meringue Pie Filling:
- 4 egg yolks (Don’t worry, you use the whites for the meringue)
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if you use salted butter)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup lemon / lime juice ( I used 3 small lemons & 1 lime, had a little extra)
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon and lime zest
Pull four eggs from the fridge and set in a safe place on the counter. (This part should take less than 30 minutes and allowing the eggs to come to room temperature helps create more loft in the meringue)
Preheat oven to 375F.
Seperate the eggs, you’ll use the yolks for the filling, reserve the whites in a mixing bowl and set aside. Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside, but within reach of the stove. (Trust me on this)
Stir occasionally, use this time to zest the citrus, squeeze the juice, set both aside. When the cornstarch mixture reaches a boil, keep stirring for one minute.
This next step is VERY important. Add a spoonful of the hot cornstarch mixture to the egg yolks (this is why you needed it in reach). Stir well. Add another spoonful of the hot mixture and stir again. This tempers the eggs so they don’t scramble. Once half of the hot mixture has been mixed into the eggs, it’s time to pour what’s in the egg bowl back into the sauce pan. Stir well and bring back to a boil for one minute.
Turn the heat to the lowest setting, give it a very good stir, then make the meringue.
- 4 egg whites
- 1 pinch cream of tarter
- 2 TBSP sugar
Place the egg whites and cream of tarter in a very clean and dry bowl. For best results use stainless steel or a glass mixing bowl. (Does anyone on a real budget use copper bowls any more? Not in Solos land is all I can say). Plastic bowls have tiny pores that can trap oil. If the egg whites come in contact with oil you won’t get nearly the volume needed for the pie.
Beat on medium to medium high until peaks begin to form, add the sugar and continue beating on high for another 1 – 2 minutes until the peaks are stiff. Turn off the mixer.
Once the meringue is ready head back to the stove and add the butter, zest, and juice to the sauce pan. Stir well.
Quickly spread the meringue over the mixture while it’s still hot. It’s very important to not waste time during this step. A hot mixture cooks the bottom on the meringue which helps prevent weeping (or that icky layer of moisture between the pie and the meringue).
Use the spatula to seal the merinuge to the crust or it will pull away in the oven. If you overbeat it like I did, it’ll be a little too stiff to make pretty peaks. Oh well. You’ll still like the pie.
Place the pie in the oven and bake until the meringue is a golden brown. The original recipe said 10 – 12 minutes, but mine only took seven, in other words, watch the pie carefully.
Place the pie on a rack to cool completely.
Don’t even think about cutting this pie until it’s cool. Cool for an hour on a rack at room temperature and then another 3 – 4 in the refrigerator before serving. If making this the night before place toothpicks in the meringue and cover with plastic wrap.
If you need to know if it tastes OK, sample the filling from your sauce pan.
Told you. It’s delicious.
*Mental Note* Put a pie server on the next supply run. I tend to mangle the slices as I transfer them to a plate. (This is why there’s no photo).