104. Lemon Meringue Pie

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Lemon meringue pie is a baked pie, filled with a sweet and tangy lemon curd, topped with a fluffy meringue, which is browned with golden peaks.By common misconception, lemon meringue pie is considered an American classic, but it is in fact a Swiss concoction that has been globalized since.
It is quite simple to make, and organization is key. There are three stages: the crust, the filling, and the topping. Once the work is divided, the rest is a joy to assemble.

 

I: The Crust

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
8 Tbsp (100g) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons ice water, plus 2 more, if needed

 

Method:

In a food processor, pulse flour, salt, and sugar several times to combine. Add butter. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with just a few pea-size pieces remaining.
Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers (if needed, add up to 2 tablespoons more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Do not over process.
Press dough into the pie mould, refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line crust with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights.
Bake until crust is lightly browned, about 45 minutes.
Carefully lift and remove paper with pie weights and let crust cool.

 

II: The Filling
Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
4 large egg yolks (egg whites reserved for meringue)
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup cornstarch
5 Tbsp (60g) butter

Method:

In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, zest, and egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, water, cornstarch.

Place pan over medium-high. Cook, whisking constantly, until 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).

Remove pan from heat while continuing to whisk, add butter and continue whisking until melted and incorporated.

Pour curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl.

III: The Topping

Ingredients:

4 large eggs, whites only
1/3 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt

 

Method:

In a large bowl, combine egg whites, sugar and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until stiff peaks form.

                                                             IV: The Assembly

Spread the curd in the cooled crust and smooth the top.
Refrigerate to cool and set (3 hours or over-night).
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Prepare the meringue and pile it on the pie, making sure it touches the crust all around. Bake until meringue begins to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

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