Lemon Meringue Pie

HCH-2-BAUDELAIRE-PARIS-EYAL-STREETT HCH 4 / May 2015

Lemon Meringue Pie, by Eyal Streett

Welcome back! It’s time for making some desert. Here’s my recipe for lemon meringue pie. Hope you like it. Keep on cooking!

Ingredients

Crust

175 g cold unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups flour (white)

2 Tbsp. sugar (white or brown)

3 – 4 Tbsp. cold water

1 pinch of salt

(1 cup beans or baking weights)

Filling + meringue

1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice

Zest of half a lemon

400 g condensed milk

2 eggs separated and kept at room temperature.

1/3 cup white sugar

Instructions

First of all we’ll make the dough for the crust. This recipe makes enough dough for 2 pies. You can keep one of them in the refrigerator for future use. Very useful to have around the house. So here’s the recipe:

  1. Mix the flour, sugar and salt.
  2. Cut the butter into cubes.

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The butter cut into cubes / Photo by Eyal Streett

  1. Mix the butter into the flour (either with your hands or with a food processor). The flour will turn into crumbs.
  2. Gradually add the water: start with one spoon. Mix the dough around. Then another spoon, etc. You want your dough to easily form into a ball.
  3. Cut the dough in 2, form balls, wrap with plastic-wrap and keep in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  4. 2 hours later: take out your dough. Roll it out on a floured work surface. Carefully take the dough and put it in your pie pan. Set the dough on the whole surface (including walls) of the pan. Cut off any excessive dough.
  5. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and put it back in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Meanwhile we’ll make the filling (we’ll be using only the egg yolks for the filling):

  1. Mix together the condensed milk and the yolks (2 yolks).
  2. Gradually add the lemon juice: add some in, mix, add some more in, keep on mixing and so on.
  3. Add the lemon zest and mix well. The filling is now ready.

Back to the crust:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 220º C.
  2. Take out your pie pan and take off the plastic wrap. Using a fork, pinch the dough (surface and walls).

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Pinch the dough with a fork / Photo by Eyal Streett

  1. Take a piece of aluminium foil that’s double the size of the surface of the pie pan. Fold it in half and put it over the dough. Pour the beans over the aluminium foil.

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I was out of beans, so I used soybeans / Photo by Eyal Streett

  1. Lower the heat on your oven to 200º C and place the pie pan (with the beans) into a low part of the oven.
  2. Once the dough gets a darker color (carefully peak under the aluminium foil), around 10 – 12 minutes, take the pan out of the oven, carefully discard the aluminium foil and the beans and set it aside to cool down a bit. Turn down the oven to 140º C.

Now we’ll make the meringue:

  1. Get the 2 egg whites (at room temperature) and put them in a mixing bowl.
  2. Using a hand mixer, start mixing the egg whites on medium speed. Go on for a few minutes and slowly let the substance grow.
  3. Once your mix starts forming soft points it’s time to add the sugar. Gradually add the sugar, one spoon at a time, while mixing on high speed. Do not add all of the sugar at once.
  4. By now your meringue should already be forming hard points. To be sure your meringue is ready it should pass 2 tests: a) When you put it in between your fingers you can’t feel any sugar grains. b) Scoop some out with a spoon. Turn the spoon around. The meringue should stay on your spoon, denying gravity.

If your meringue didn’t pass both of these tests then it’s still not ready and you should continue mixing until it passes these tests. Patience. You’ll definitely get there.

  1. Take the pie pan (with the crust inside, of course), fill it with the lemon filling and top it all with the meringue. You should seal the top of the pie with the meringue.

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Filling the pie with the yummy lemon filling / Photo by Eyal Streett

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Adding this wonderful meringue on top / Photo by Eyal Streett

  1. Put the pie back in the oven on a higher rack (the oven should be set on 140º as we did in step 15).
  2. This should usually take around 8 minutes, but it depends on the oven: Let the pie bake. Keep an eye on the meringue. Once it starts browning the pie is ready. You can decide if you want your meringue baked a bit longer or not, but don’t take it out of the oven until the first hints of brown appear on the tips of the meringue.

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Here’s the pie right out of the oven / Photo by Eyal Streett

  1. Let the pie cool down for about an hour. As tempting as it might to dig in, I recommend you keep it in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before you sit down and have a piece of pie.

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A yummy piece of lemon meringue pie / Photo by Eyal Streett

Different textures, all delicious. Forget about the calories!

a-yally-dalit-3-PRECIOSOS Eyal Streett, Madrid–Toledo, April 2015

TO READ IN PDF (pp. 149–154): HCH-4-MAYO-2015

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