Lemon Meringue Pie with Flaky Crust
A tart yet sweet aromatic Lemon Meringue Pie with a flaky crust and soft airy meringue top! 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.
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You Will Need
Place the pastry flour and cold butter in the freezer for 30 minutes prior to preparing.
Prepare mise en place.
In a food processor, fitted with metal blade add pastry flour, salt and baking powder. Pulse about 4 times to combine. Add 1/2 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 hands until a dough forms.
Turn out onto a work surface and shape into 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 parchment 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; going from the center. Lift up and rotate the parchment paper with dough 1/4 turn every minute or so to help even rolling. The dough should feel smooth and soft. Transfer the crust to 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. Chill the finished crust for 20 to 30 minutes before baking the pie.
(Working around the rim, turn the crust under itself (not under the rim of the pan) to make a thick edge, pressing it firmly against the pan to reduce shrinkage. To decorate the rim, just press it all around with a round bottom measuring jug or glass
Whisk egg yolks lightly.
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, 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 custard and cool.
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 sugar, increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat!
Top the custard with the meringue, when the custard has cooled to room temperature. Seal the edges carefully with off-set spatula, use the the spatula to create peaks and transfer to the oven. Broil until browned. Allow the pie to rest 10 minutes.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.