Lemon meringue pie just happens to be my favorite pie. With mother’s Day approaching fast I though it would be fun to share a tutorial from the crust to the meringue.
I have broken down each step from crust to meringue. The technique might seem a little daunting, however you can prepare the crust dough a day or two ahead of time.
I promise it will be worth the effort!
Having a food processor will help with the pie crust, however if you do not own one two forks or a pastry cutter work just as well.
Lemon Meringue Pie:
- 234 grams/ 2 1/4-cups pastry flour
- 187 grams/ 3/4-cups butter, cold and cubed
- 1/4-teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking poweder
- 10 grams/ 2-teaspoons cider vinegar, cold
- 59 to 77 grams to 4 to 7 Tablespoons ice water
• Food processor, optional
Place the pastry flour and cold butter in the freezer for 30 minutes prior to preparing.
Prepare your mise en place.
In a food processor, fitted with a metal blade add pastry flour, salt and baking powder. Pulse about 4 times to combine. Add 1/2 of the cold butter, pulse 4 times, add the second half and pulse till the mixture looks like coarse sand. Add the cider vinegar and start with 59 grams/ 4-tablespoons of water, pulse about 6 times. The mixture when pinched should hold together. If the mixture does not hold add 1/2-tablespoon at a time of water and pulse about 3 times until the mixture does hold.
Place the dough in a gallon ziplock bag, knead with your hands until a dough forms.
Turn out onto a work surface and shape into a round, flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes before using. (Or, refrigerate up to 48 hours or freeze up to 1 month before using. If frozen, let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before rolling out).
When ready to roll out the dough, let the dough warm up for a few minutes at room temperature. Dust a work surface with a little flour. For ease you can roll out the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper (flouring the bottom sheet and the top of the dough before rolling). Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough and start rolling outward from the center with quick, light strokes. Don’t worry if the edges split a bit; concentrate on getting a good circle going from the center. Lift up and rotate the dough 1/4 turn every minute or so to help ensure even rolling. The dough should feel smooth and soft. Transfer the crust to a pie pan, by rolling the dough up onto the rolling pin, then gently unroll it in the pan. Make sure that the dough is allowed to settle completely into the pan.
Don’t stretch and press the dough into the corners; stretched dough will likely shrink back when you bake it. Instead, lift the edges of the crust to let it settle down into the corners. If the dough tears a bit, don’t be concerned; we’ll patch it in a minute. Using scissors or a sharp knife, trim the dough to within 3/4-inch of the rim. Use any extra scraps to patch the crust, pressing with your fingers (wet them if necessary) or set aside. Chill the finished crust for 20 to 30 minutes before baking the pie.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line the inside of the chilled crust with aluminum foil. Fill the foil all the way up to the top of the shell with pie weights or dried beans. Place the pie in the oven and reduce the oven to 400. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until dry and beginning to turn “blond.” Lift the foil and weights out of the shell and bake another 5 to 10 minutes, until medium brown.
Crust Without a food Processor
Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and stir with a a fork to combine. Add the butter pieces to the bowl. Rub the cold chunks of butter between your fingertips, smearing the butter into the flour to create small pea size (roughly 1/4-inch) flakes of fat. Drizzle the ice water over the flour mixture. Stir with a fork, adding 1 Tbs. more water if necessary, until the mixture forms a shaggy dough that’s moist enough to hold together when pressed between your fingers. With well-floured hands, gently gather and press the dough together, and then form it into a disk with smooth edges. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 45 minutes, to 48 hours before rolling.
Lemon Curd Filling:
- 200 grams/ 1 cup sugar
- 85 grams/ 2/3-cup cornstarch
- 590 grams/2 1/2-cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 lemons washed and zested
- 1 teaspoon limoncello
- 183 grams 3/4 cup lemon juice, about 4 to 5 lemons
- 160 grams/8 egg yolks, reserve the whites
- 28 grams/ 2 tablespoons butter
- Heavy bottom sauce pan
- Whisk, wire
- Glass bowl
- Measuring jug
Prepare your mise en place.
In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to a boil and whisking constantly until transparent and thickened, about 3 minutes, take off the heat. Temper the yolks with the hot sugar mixture. Pour and whisk the temper egg yolks into the sugar mixture, off heat,whisk in the lemon juice, zest, limoncello and salt Put the mixture back over heat and cook for another 3 minutes. Transfer the custard to the cooled pie crust, hot. Place plastic film over the custard and cool.
- 200 grams/ 1-cup
- 240 grams/ 8- egg whites, room temperature for at least 1 hour
- 1/4-teaspoon egg white powder
- 1/2-teaspoon salt
- 1/2-teaspoon cream of tartar, if not using copper bowl.
- Electric food mixer, or hand mixer
- Copper bowl for mixer,optional
Prepare your mise en place.
Pour room temperature egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, with egg white powder, salt, and if not using a copper bowl, cream of tartar.
Whisk on medium speed till foamy, slowly add the sugar, increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat.
Top the custard with meringue, when the custard has cooled to room temperature.
Seal the edges carefully with an off-set spatula, use the spatula to create peaks and transfer to the oven. Broil until browned, or extra fun use a torch to brown the top (the later is my personal preference)!
Allow the pie to rest 10 minutes.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Have a happy Mother’s Day!