Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Lemon Meringue Pie

“The century was young, the horseless carriage was making a tentative appearance, and ladies’ skirts still swept the ground in the early 1900s when this classic recipe was printed on the Argo Cornstarch package.” So reads the introduction to this recipe in Best Recipes from the Backs of Boxes, Bottles, Cans, and Jars, a book we found on our shelves when we were searching for a good lemon meringue pie recipe. We actually had Argo cornstarch in our pantry, and guess what? They are still printing this recipe on the back!

Here are the ingredients.

The lemon kept trying to be the center of attention and get in all the pictures.

The first thing I did was prepare the crust. I know, we have a great pie crust recipe, but this was back in 2010 when we were just getting started with pie-making, and I went frozen.

Even if I had made this pie crust, I still would have poked holes all around it using a fork – this way it doesn’t puff up when you bake it without a filling inside it, as I was going to do here.

Next step: making the lemon filling!

This basically involves a lot of stirring and waiting.

Yep, about 10 minutes of constant stirring.

Before you know it, it will look like this!

Set it aside while you grate some lemon peel and measure out some lemon juice to add to it. It smells so good!

Then pour it into the pie crust! And this is what a lemon pie would look like.

But we’re not making a lemon pie; this is a lemon meringue pie! And a meringue requires lots and lots of beating.

It took us about half an hour to get these “stiff peaks” to form. And we tried to help the process along by refrigerating the bowl beforehand. It just takes patience.

I carefully followed the recipe’s instructions to spread the meringue all around the outside of the pie first (touching the crust) before covering the inside.

Then I made it look pretty before sending it for a quick trip to the oven.

Doesn't the color remind you of a toasted marshmallow? (P.S. Yes, I think my photography skills have improved a little since 2010!)

The reflections here on the knife are intriguing – I wish we had gotten more pictures with them... but then, who wants to pause and take pictures with a pie staring you in the face? Not my family, that's for sure!

I am not a huge fan of meringue, but this was a delicious pie. It’s just classic springtime.

It’s a good thing we didn’t have this much left over for long – I had heard that the meringue is not as good the next day.

Lemon Meringue Pie (recipe from Argo Cornstarch)

1 cup sugar

3 tbsp. cornstarch

1½ cups cold water

3 egg yolks, slightly beaten

1 lemon’s grated rind

¼ cup lemon juice

1 tbsp. butter

3 egg whites

⅓ cup sugar

  1. Stir together 1 cup sugar and cornstarch in a 2-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in water until smooth. Stir in egg yolks. Stirring constantly, bring to boil over medium heat and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir in lemon rind, lemon juice, and butter. Cool. Turn into pastry shell.
  3. Beat egg whites until foamy in small bowl with mixer at high speed. Add cup sugar, 1 tbsp. at a time, beating well after every addition. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  4. Spread some meringue around edge of filling, first touching crust all around, then fill center.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, until lightly browned.
  6. Cool on wire rack at room temperature for 30 minutes; refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.

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