I’m back, with Pie!

3 Jan

Happy New Year fellow bloggers and readers!!

Wow, it feels like forever since I have updated my blog.  Well in the blogging world I guess it has been forever.  As you can tell from my last post I have been pretty busy lately with Charlie.  It’s almost been three weeks that we got her and she’s growing at an incredible rate, so much so I’m a little concerned that she’ll most probably outgrow me..lol. She’s been adapting very well to our home and sleeping throughout the entire night, God bless her.

The house training in getting better as well, of course being a puppy she’s had a few accidents but she is definitely getting better at letting us know when she has to go.  This morning for example I went to take out the trash and when I came back inside there she was waiting for me at the front door not moving, her sign that she has to go.  I would think that in about two weeks or so she should be house trained, or at least I’m hoping she will be.  Am I going on a little too long about Charlie, this is a baking blog after all?  Ok, just one more quick update.  She’s already learned to sit, give her paw, high five, sit pretty and crawl, all for a treat of course. Oh, and I’m slipping in a picture for you all to see.

I found that it has been pretty difficult to spend much time in the kitchen the last couple of weeks.  That’s not to say that I haven’t been baking, I have.  I just haven’t been baking and taking pictures is all. I did make a point of taking out my camera a few days back when I made a Lemon Meringue Pie. I know what you’re thinking, “A lemon meringue pie in the winter, really?”.  Yes, really.  Aside from it being a request from my husband I was craving something tangy yet sweet, I wanted to bring a little summer to our pallets. 

I felt the need to make something that had nothing to do with the holidays or old man winter, and what could be more perfect than lemon meringue pie?  And I don’t mean lemon meringue pie from a box with a graham cracker crust.  I’m talking the real thing; a flakey butter crust filled with a tangy lemon filling and topped off with a luscious cloud of sweet meringue.

The pie crust is my tried and true recipe that can be found in my Apple Pie post, just half the recipe ingredients for a 1 9-inch pie crust.  Or you can make the double batch and freeze 1 crust for later use which is always handy. The lemon filling and meringue is a recipe that from a wonderful book called Baking by James Peterson.

This is one of the first filling recipes that I have used that didn’t call for any corn starch or flour to act as a thickening agent.  The thickening agent here my dear friends is patience, you’ll need lots of it as you stand over your stove as you’re trying to convince yourself with every passing minute that the custard is getting thicker. You many even want to chant (in your head of course), “you’re getting thicker, you’re getting thicker” and before your arm has a chance to completely go numb the custard finally thickens!

I know the boxed lemon meringue and using a premade crust is way quicker than making a pie from scratch, but I tell you all the difference is in the taste.  I would not lie to you and make you spend indefinitely amount of time in the kitchen if I really didn’t believe it.  Make it; it’s worth the extra effort.  And make it in the winter; your taste buds will thank you.

Pie Crust

2 ½ cups of flour
1 cup butter cold (2 sticks)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4-6 TBSP ice water

Directions
Cube butter and place in the freezer for at least 10 minutes
Combine flour, salt and sugar in a food processor
Add butter and pulse 6-8 times until it resembles coarse crumbs
Add 1TBSP of water at a time and pulse, until dough is combined together
Take out of the food processor, if the dough seems too stick knead in some more flour but be careful not to overwork the dough
Shape into two equal discs, wrap and place in fridge for at least an hour.

Roll out dough in round shape to fit pie plate. Using a fork prick the bottom and edges of pie crust.  Using pie weights or place a layer of foil and fill with rice, bake in a 475 oven for up 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely on wire rack before filling.

Lemon Curd Filling

Baking; James Peterson

8 egg yolks

2/3 cups sugar

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2/3 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, cubed or sliced

Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a medium sized bowl.  Whisk for about 2 minutes, or until pale in colour. Add the lemon juice and zest and put over a pot of lightly simmering water. Continue to stir the mixture until it thickens and take off the heat. Stir in the butter and mix until all the butter has dissolved.

Whisk the curd until slightly cooled.  Using plastic wrap cover the bowl, make sure the plastic wrap is directly on the curd so not to create a skin.  Cool at room temperature for an hour and then refrigerate for at least another hour.

Preheat the oven to 350.  While the oven is preheating it’s time to make the meringue.

Meringue Topping

4 egg whites

Pinch of cream of tartar

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a stand mixture and beat on high until stiff peaks form.  Add the sugar and continue to beat for another 2 minutes.

Assembling the Pie

Spread evenly the cooled lemon curd in the baked pie shell. Then spread the meringue over the curd making sure all the edges are covered.  This is the part where you can be creative and form peaks with the meringue or just spread using an off-set spatula.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until meringue is lightly browned.  Cool the pie on a wire rack at room temperature for about an hour, then refrigerate for another 3-4 hours.

5 Responses to “I’m back, with Pie!”

  1. hungry dog January 4, 2010 at 12:55 PM #

    The pie looks magazine-worthy! really stunning. I haven’t made a LMP in years but was just thinking about it last night–and here is your post. Must be fate!

    Your puppy is adorable! She sounds like a very good dog. I support you posting more pictures/updates about her along with your fabulous food, but that’s just me. :)

  2. Anna January 6, 2010 at 7:32 AM #

    Thanks so much HD! Like you I haven’t made a LMP in years and was just craving it for a while.

    I will post more updates on Charlie, I have been taking tons of pictures of her.

  3. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie January 13, 2010 at 10:39 AM #

    The pie is super delicious and your puppy is so cute!

  4. Christine March 27, 2010 at 10:38 PM #

    Wow very beautiful pie. Thanks for sharing with pictures. I love the pictures. Hungry Dog is right. It’s good for magazine. ;-)
    Thanks again.

    • Anna April 16, 2010 at 7:10 AM #

      Thanks Christine. Every time I look at the picture I get a craving for LMP!

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