#11 Lemon Meringue Pie

WHY THIS PIE?

As I travel further into the pie challenge, I’m finding that there are some good-old standbys that I have yet to make.  Lemon Meringue is one of them; a classic pie that a true pie maker should have in her back pocket.   This pie also happens to be the favorite of my most favorite chef: Alton Brown.

This week’s pie is Lemon Meringue Pie (recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, FoodNetwork.com).  *Important* if you simply follow the instructions word-for-word on Alton’s recipe, you’ll end up with a runny mess.  You’ll do good to watch the video before proceeding with this pie.   I also found that Betty Crocker’s recipe has more clearly written instructions than AB, so I used this for backup.

Lemon Meringue Pie

HOW DID IT GO?

I had to make this one twice.  My first attempt was a train-wreck!  I thought I had it all down before I started, but low and behold the pie turned into a soupy mess when I cut into it.  I went back to the drawing board and learned a couple of things about the process

1.  When they say “boil”, they mean it.

2.  When you add the egg yolks to the filling, be sure to bring the whole mixture back to a boil.

3.  Make sure that the filling is very thick before you pour it into the crust.  It will not set any further while in the oven or in the refrigerator.

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH

The first time around was a bit of a mess.  I had to make this pie twice.  In the disaster of a pie below, notice the soupy interior and the separation of the meringue from the crust.   Not good.  This happens when you don’t cook the filling enough before pouring it into the pie shell.  After adding the egg yolks back to the filling, make sure to bring the mixture back to a boil and cook until it’s thick.   You’ll also notice that the meringue is pulling away from the crust.  When I put this together, I was too concerned with creating a pretty pie, and I didn’t spread the meringue all the way to the edge.  As a result, the meringue pulled away from the crust.  Again, not good.   I *thought* had done a good job of making this pie until I cut into it.   In the end, this proved to be a more difficult pie than I expected.

Sadly, the pie below didn’t make it.  It died a tragic death in the disposal.  Lesson learned?  Cook the filling well.  Pull the meringue way over the edge of the crust; don’t worry about making a pretty pie.

Lemon Meringue Gone Wrong

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