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January 28, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge January 2008: Lemon Meringue Pie

Daring Bakers Challenge January 2008: Lemon Meringue Pie: Lemon Meringue Tart with Candied Lemon Peel

I have to admit when I saw that January's challenge was Lemon Meringue pie I was not all that thrilled. I've never cared for Lemon Meringue pie, but having missed December's challenge due to oven issues I didn't want to sit this one out! My sister happens to loves Lemon Meringue, so my first thought was that my sister was about to get herself a pie! (Or several as the case may be since I wanted to do the tarts and use my baby tart pans my best friend Darlene gave me for my birthday!) But I must say I was very pleasantly surprised by this version of Lemon Meringue Pie!! This pie was good! No scratch that it wasn't just good...It was in fact beyond good...It was delicious! I would even go as far as to say I'd make this pie again for myself! I ended up sending all but one of the tartlettes home with Katherine when I made them a few weeks ago anyway since she's a big fan of lemon meringue and it was a bit of a temptation to have them sitting around, but I was most definitely pleasantly surprised!

January challenge was hosted by Jen at The Canadian Baker. The challenge was for making a lemon meringue pie or free form tartlettes. I somehow missed the "free-form" tidbit and ended up making small tarts with pans! But regardless they turned out great! The dough and filling made enough for 8 tartlettes, with a little dough left over. The recipe is from Wanda's Pie In The Sky by Wanda Beaver.

I loved the crust. I tasted slightly like sugar cookies. The filling was also extremely delicious! It was creamy and oh so lemony! I think my issue with lemon meringue pies in the past has been that they didn't really have much lemon to them. They tasted more artificial and sort of bland, instead of lemony and zingy. This pie however is most definitely a lemon lover's dream!

From reading the Daring Baker blog several of the other participants had issues with runny filling, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it set up just perfectly! My sister also told me it didn't get too runny with the ones I sent home with her, other than the normal softness that happens when you store a pie. The filling was thick and creamy and oh so lemony! I really loved it!

What You'll Need for the Crust:
3/4 cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces
2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
1/3 cup (80 mL) ice water

Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt.Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of 1/8 inch (.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about 1/2 inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.

Daring Bakers Challenge January 2008: Lemon Meringue Pie: Tart Crusts Pre Baking

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.

What You'll Need for the Filling:
2 cups (475 mL) water
1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 mL) cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
3/4 cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

Daring Bakers Challenge January 2008: Lemon Meringue Pie: Tart Shells Filled With Lemon Filling and the Beginnings of the Meringue

Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated. Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.

What You'll Need for the Meringue:
5 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

Daring Bakers Challenge January 2008: Lemon Meringue Pie: Meringue Pre Baking

Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden.

Daring Bakers Challenge January 2008: Lemon Meringue Pie: Meringue Baked Up Close

Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.

Daring Bakers Challenge January 2008: Lemon Meringue Pie: Meringue Baked

Note: I somehow forgot to add the butter to the filling until after I had the tartlettes completely done, but they turned out great anyway without the butter! I also don't recall adding the vanilla to the meringue, but it's been a few weeks so that little detail may have just slipped with the passing of time.

To Make Free-Form Tarts:

To roll out tartlet dough, slice the dough into 6 pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll each circle of dough into a 5 inch disk. Stack the disks, separated by pieces of plastic wrap, on a plate, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To bake the dough, position rack in oven to the centre of oven and preheat to 350ºF (180ºC). Place the disks of dough, evenly spaced, on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely.

To finish tartlets, first place oven rack in the upper third of the oven and increase heat to 425ºF. Divide the lemon filling equally among the disks, mounding it in the centre and leaving a 1-inch border all the way around. Spoon the meringue decoratively over each tartlet, right to the edges, in dramatic swirling peaks.

Return tartlets to oven and bake for about 5 minutes, until the meringue is golden brown.

Notes: I think this would be great as Key Lime Tartlettes or even Chocolate Meringue Tartlettes as well!

Daring Bakers Challenge January 2008: Lemon Meringue Pie: The Whole Shebang

I decided to top my tartlettes with candied lemon peel. I had never made this before, but I liked the end result and ended up using the technique to make candied lime peel for my Key Lime Cheesecake later in the month as you regular readers have already seen!

Daring Bakers Challenge January 2008: Lemon Meringue Pie: Candied Lemon Peel

What You'll Need for the Candied Lemon Peel:
1 cup of water
Lemon peels
1 cup of sugar

Bring water to a boil.

While water is heating cut pieces or scrape lemon peels into curls making sure to remove as much of the white pith as possible. Add lemon peels to boiling water and cook until tender. Remove lemon peels and sit aside. Add sugar to the water and allow to dissolve. Put lemon peels back in the water and bring back to a boil. Cook until lemon peels are translucent.

Notes: You can use the left over sugar water as a lemon simple syrup or you can cook it to hard crack stage for lemon candy.

So that's my second completed Daring Bakers Challenge! Don't forget to check out the other Daring Bakers and see how their Lemon Meringue turned out! ;o) And thanks to Jen for a wonderful challenge!

Posted by Dianne at January 28, 2008 7:03 AM

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Comments

This looks really good and I love lemon meringue pie. I haven't made it in years and now I wonder why!

Posted by: Asthmagirl at January 28, 2008 9:38 AM

Oh, those look great! I love how you piped the meringue on top.

Posted by: karen at January 28, 2008 10:49 AM

Your meringue looks amazing and your pies are adorable! I personally thought the crust was the best part of the whole recipe, YUM. Great job.

Posted by: Amber at January 28, 2008 12:07 PM

Wow...those are text book perfect! The candied lemon peel is a really nice touch too!

Posted by: DawnsRecipes at January 28, 2008 12:46 PM

Thanks everyone! I was really pleased with the way they turned out.

Posted by: Dianne at January 28, 2008 1:34 PM

Yummmm . . . now you're making me want more. Maybe you should make some again (and send them all home with me again). ;)

Posted by: katherine at January 28, 2008 2:32 PM

These look scrumptious! Yummy!

Posted by: Michelle at January 28, 2008 4:39 PM

I'm glad these converted you to lemon meringue pie!! Your tarts are gorgeous!

Posted by: Deborah at January 28, 2008 4:46 PM

Sometimes it just takes a great recipe to make us look at a dish a different way. Your meringue was beautifully piped! Great job on your challenge.

Posted by: breadchick at January 28, 2008 8:04 PM

I guess it just goes to show that you should try things every chance you get. You never know when you'll find something you like you thought you didn't...(Though I think in my case I would have to say that doesn't go for raspberries or blackberries! ;o))

Posted by: Dianne at January 28, 2008 8:38 PM

Your tartlettes are perfect! So glas you decided to do the challenge anyway. We even get candied lemon peel recipe as a little gift. Thanks!

Posted by: Elle at January 28, 2008 11:26 PM

They turned out lovely and the candied lemon peel is a nice touch.

Posted by: peabody at January 29, 2008 2:53 AM

I had never tried candied citrus peel before, but had read about it over the years and decided it would make an interesting element. It was easy to make and it tasted delicious too! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at January 29, 2008 8:51 AM

Your meringue is beautifully piped :)

Posted by: Maryann at January 29, 2008 4:09 PM

Thanks! I like the way it turned out, but I wish I had played around with a bit more and made something loftier. I'm going to do that next time I make a pie I think! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at January 29, 2008 6:54 PM

Your tartlets are *gorgeous* Dianne, and perfect for enforcing a bit of portion control. I love the candied citrus peel garnish and the pretty piped meringue kisses.

Posted by: Dolores at January 29, 2008 10:25 PM

Thanks Dolores! I love mini/individual desserts. They are so much fun and as you pointed out much easier in terms of portion control! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at January 30, 2008 8:33 AM

now, now, I am speechless. Your presentation of this meringue is a sure winner, will defintely win the heart of your guest, I am so impressed!

Posted by: Big Boys Oven at January 30, 2008 9:54 AM

now, now, I am speechless. Your presentation of this meringue is a sure winner, will defintely win the heart of your guest, I am so impressed!

Posted by: Big Boys Oven at January 30, 2008 9:57 AM

now, now, I am speechless. Your presentation of this meringue is a sure winner, will defintely win the heart of your guest, I am so impressed!

Posted by: Big Boys Oven at January 30, 2008 9:57 AM

now, now, I am speechless. Your presentation of this meringue is a sure winner, will defintely win the heart of your guest, I am so impressed!

Posted by: Big Boys Oven at January 30, 2008 9:58 AM

Thanks! I was very happy with the way they ultimately turned out. :o)

Posted by: Dianne at January 30, 2008 4:49 PM

Your tartlets look beautiful! Great job.

Posted by: June at January 30, 2008 8:40 PM

your LMP tarts are beautiful! Love the addition on the candied lemon peel:)

Posted by: Paula Hennig at January 30, 2008 9:45 PM

your LMP tarts are beautiful! Love the addition on the candied lemon peel:)

Posted by: Paula Hennig at January 30, 2008 9:46 PM

your LMP tarts are beautiful! Love the addition on the candied lemon peel:)

Posted by: Paula Hennig at January 30, 2008 9:47 PM

Those are just beautiful - I'm kicking myself for not making some candied peel too!

Posted by: Lisa at January 31, 2008 12:13 AM

Thanks everyone! :o)

I'm not sure what made me finally decide on candied lemon peel. I was thinking of a garnish and it just popped into my head. :o)

Posted by: Dianne at January 31, 2008 8:34 AM

So pretty! I love them! Btw, I have the same silpats!!

Posted by: Anita at February 3, 2008 6:50 PM

I've been thinking about getting a few more baking pans and of course Silpats. They are so handy!

Posted by: Dianne at February 4, 2008 2:15 PM

Those little tarts are so pretty!

Posted by: Ivonne at February 5, 2008 7:55 PM

Thanks! I was very pleased with how they turned out. :o)

Posted by: Dianne at February 5, 2008 8:18 PM

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