Jen the Canadian Baker is the hostess with the mostess whom set January's Daring Baker's challenge. This is my sixth challenge with the wonderful group of supportive and inspiring bakers from all around the world.
Jen set us a Lemon Meringue Pie as something lighter after all the holiday treats. It was great. I didn't struggle with this challenge, which means this scary dare I set myself to join this awesome group has taught me something. I think the main reason I am having more success in the baking department, is to do with confidence and following the instructions to the letter. I'm one of those eh, I'll throw a bit f this or that in, so baking was never my forte.
We had people over the night I made this and I managed to make each part at different stages through my day in the kitchen and then assembled it as we sat down for dinner, set the timer jumped up 15 minutes later, allowed it to cool and served it about 2 hours later and it was a hit! Everyone loved it. So, thank you Jen for the gorgeous recipe and challenge and thank you fellow Daring Bakers for all your help and support in the last 6 challenges.
For the Crust:
180 grams cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces
2 cups plain flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
⅓ cup iced water
For the Filling:
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
½ cup cornflour
5 egg yolks, beaten
¼ cup butter
¾ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Meringue:
5 egg whites, room temperature
½ tsp cream of tartar
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla extrac
t¾ cup sugar
For the Crust: Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with the iced water, let rest 30 seconds and then process very briefly just until the dough begins to stick together and comes 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 roll the disk to a thickness of ⅛ inch. Cut a circle about 2 inches 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 ½ inch. Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 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 before filling.
For the Filling: 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 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.
For the Meringue: Preheat the oven to 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. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.