The weekend before Thanksgiving I threw/catered a party for a friend who wanted a surprise party for his husband. My friend gave me free reign over the menu with only two requests: it must be football/New England Patriots themed and there must be a lemon meringue pie. I went with football game day themed food. I had this whole wonderful menu laid out and executed. It consisted of pepperoni pizza pretzel bites, cheddar-bacon potato skins, buffalo chicken cups, smoked sausage with an apple-leek slaw and spicy dipping sauce, cheddar ale dip, 7-layer dip, Devil’s Food cupcakes with peanut butter cream cheese frosting and, or course, a lemon meringue pie. It was all delicious and wondering, but somehow I managed to only take a picture of the lemon meringue pie. Yes, I know, I am a terrible person and I am mad at my constant inability to photograph what I cook. So, lemon meringue pie is what you get this week, even though it is incredibly unseasonable.
This is basically Martha Stewart’s recipe; however, I found that the piecrust recipe wasn’t enough, the lemon curd recipe wasn’t enough and even the meringue recipe wasn’t enough to fill a pie dish. I just decided everything needed to be doubled. Well to be honest, I forgot to double the crust recipe so that was too thin. I will not make that mistake again, and you get to learn from my foolishness. Anyway, the flavor of this pie is AMAZING! The birthday boy has said it is the best lemon meringue pie he has ever had, even better than anything he got back in Boston when he lived there. So, make it, make it now, and pretend it is actually summer and winter is not coming.
Lemon Meringue Pie
Adapted from Martha Stewart
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon sugar
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 tablespoons ice water, plus 4 more, if needed – I needed it
1. Add flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and mix with a fork.
2. Add the butter (cut up in pieces) to the flour mixture and blend with a pastry knife until you have crumbs no larger than a pea. You can also blend this in a food processor, but I like doing it by hand.
3. Add 4 tablespoons of water and mix together with a fork and then your hands until the dough comes together in a nice ball. You may have to add up to 4 tablespoons more for though dough to come together.
4. On a lightly floured surface roll dough out into a ¾ inch thick circle.
5. Carefully place rolled out dough in a 9 or 9 ½ inch pie dish gently pressing it into the dish. Trim off excess dough and make a nice crimp along the edge.
6. Chill in the fridge for about an hour.
7. Preheat oven to 350.
8. Take piecrust out of fridge, lay a sheet of parchment paper on top of it and place either pie weights or lots of dried beans on that. This is to weight the crust down while cooking to keep it from puffing up in the oven.
9. Bake for 45 minutes, remove parchment and pie weights or beans and then allow to cool completely.
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 1/3 cups fresh lemon juice
16 large egg yolks (reserve egg whites for the meringue!)
½ teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups water
½ cup cornstarch
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter (20 tablespoons), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1. In a large saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, zest, and egg yolks; whisk in lemon juice and salt.
2. Whisk together 1 cup cold water and 1/4 cup cornstarch add to lemon mixture along with butter and place pan over medium-high. Cook, whisking constantly, until butter has melted, mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and small bubbles form around the edge of pan, about 5 minutes (do not boil).
3. Remove pan from heat while continuing to whisk. Pour curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl.
4. Pour immediately into cooled piecrust
5. Put in pie or cake carrier and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
The Meringue Part
16 egg whites – leftover from making your curd!
1 1/3 cups sugar
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl or in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine egg whites, sugar and salt.
3. Using an electric hand or stand mixer, beat on medium-high until stiff peaks form.
4. Pile meringue on pie, making sure it touches the crust all around.
5. Bake until meringue begins to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
And…VOILA…you are done. And if I do say so myself, my pie is prettier than the one on Martha’s website!