See? Great culinary minds agree! Pie is the next big thing. In honor of this newly developing fall trend, today's featured recipe is lemon meringue pie with a homemade crust. The crust itself is light and flaky. The lemon filling has just the right amount of tart sweetness. It's sure to please even the most discerning palate.
If you're not quite ready to jump right into making your own crust, that's perfectly fine. Here are a few tips to help you overcome your crust phobia.
- Use butter. It adds amazing texture (flakiness) and ensures that you have a moist, delicious crust.
- Make sure the butter is not just cold but really really cold. As you incorporate your ingredients together with your warm hands, it will begin to melt. That's not at all what you're going for.
- Don't overwork the dough. Once it's in a ball, stop touching it. Wrap that sucker in plastic wrap and refrigerate immediately. For at least an hour.
Now that you've learned the overwhelmingly important parts of dough making, it's time to take a look at the recipe. The pie itself has three parts. The crust, the filling, and the meringue each have their own set of instructions. The easiest part is really the meringue itself, and should be done last. It's showtime.
Flaky, delicious pie crust recipe (makes enough for 2 pies without top crust, so squirrel extra away in the freezer)
2.5 cups of all purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter, should be cubed into 1/2 inch pieces and need to be ice cold
1 cup of ice water on standby
Instructions for the pie crust
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl
- Add cubes of cold butter
- Using a pastry cutter, press down to incorporate the butter into the dough. When the butter is the size of small peas, then you're done with this step. If it looks uneven, so be it.
- Evenly distribute half of the water around the bowl. Be sure not to dump any ice in.
- Use a rubber spatula to combine, so you don't end up with dough all over your hands at this stage.
- Once the dough is beginning to come together (and some of it won't at this point), slowly add more water about a tablespoon at a time until the dough starts coming off the side of the bowl in fairly large hunks.
- You can take it out of the bowl at this point to get the pieces of dough that won't combine using the spatula together.
- Split the dough in half, forming it into a disc shape. Wrap one part in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for an hour. Put the other into a zip top bag and freeze.
*pretend that at least one hour but not more than 2 days has passed*
- Remove dough from the fridge. Unwrap and place on a clean, lightly floured surface.
- Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough a few times evenly away from you, then toward you.
- Rotate 90 degrees, then roll the dough a few times evenly away from you, then toward you.
- Repeat steps 10 and 11 until the dough is about 1/8th of an inch thick
- Place gently into an non-greased pie pan. Place some parchment over the crust, and pour in some sort of rice or beans. This ensures that the crust does not rise, bubble up on the bottom during the cooking process, or slide down the sides.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and carefully remove the weighty item in the center.
- Dock the crust (poke a few holes in the bottom with a fork) so any air that may be trapped under the crust does not crack it. Bake for 10 more minutes so the crust is light golden brown. Set aside to cool at room temp.
3 lemons, zested
3 lemons, juiced
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick butter, room temp
1 pinch of salt
Instructions for the lemon filling
- Combine butter, zest, and sugar in a bowl. Mix until butter is creamed
- Add juice, salt, and the eggs (one at a time), mixing thoroughly
- Heat over medium heat in a sauce pan, stirring constantly to avoid curdling the eggs
- Once curd thickens, which will take about 8minutes, then set aside
- When the tart shell has cooled, pour the lemon curd into the shell
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 tbsp sugar
Instructions for the meringue
- Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a bowl
- Whip until at soft peak stage
- Slowly fold in sugar and vanilla into mixture
- Continue to beat until stiff peaks occur
- Scoop meringue gently and lovingly onto previously mentioned pie.
- Bake for 10 - 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Evacuate from oven, set aside to cool.
- Once cold, refrigerate until ready to serve