Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I'm Back with a Lemon Meringue Pie

Hi everyone! It's been 4 years since I last posted in my blog, and I've checked it back, it was right after Mooncake Festival in 2012. That was really a blink of an eye, and it's 4 years. I remembered that 4 years ago, I was really tied up with the kids having a transition from primary school to secondary, and mind you, it was a handful, really!!
Anyway, now that my eldest son is completing Form 5 this year, and my youngest girl is completing Primary 6, and if you are my followers, you do know that I have a pair of twin boys, and they are in Form 4, heading to Form 5 next year. 
Oh by the way, I'm happy to introduce to you all the new addition to my family, I have a Tiny Toy Poodle, and she is the apple of the family now, her name is Pixel, and she turned 1 year old in July (same birthday month with me, hehe, in fact one day after my birthday).

  Isn't she a jewel? LOL

Well, I did not stop baking over the 4 years, but just that it was not so much for the family consumption, but more to orders from my other part-time biz - Cupcakes Fairytale. Well, of course, now that I'm back, I will upload and post as much as I can and share with you all just like the olden days.

To start of this first comeback post, I want to share with you the Lemon Meringue Pie that I made over the weekend. It was my first Lemon Meringue Pie, and I must, it was not bad, and in fact, it's good, cos I ate half the pie myself....hehe
As I am a crazy fan of anything zesty, citrus-sy (is there such word), lemon, orange, lime are all my favourite. I never doubt them if I saw them in the bakery shelf. Oh, and the recipe even teaches you to make your homemade version of the Lemon Curd. It was so good, nothing beats homemade, I always says this. Trust me, the curd was not sweet and it has the lemony citrus flavor that makes you just wanna dig the curd from the jar (the leftover one) and eat it on its own. LOL
The sweet shortcrust pastry for the crust base was perfect density, doesn't goes soggy even after pouring in the lemon curd, and even after 3 days in the fridge, it was still crumbly like a cookie and my daughter loves it!

Lemon Meringue Pie
Makes a 9" inch pie 

For the Crust
1 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp Castor sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter, diced and chilled until ready to use
1 egg (large)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
*A bit of egg white for brushing the shell
Lemon Curd
1 1/4 cup castor sugar
1 1/2 cup water
5 Tbsp Cornstarch
5 large egg yolks
A dash of salt
1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

5 large egg whites 
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
5 Tbsp castor sugar
1 Tbsp Cornstarch

For Crust
  1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut in chilled butter until a rough crumbly texture and bits of butter still visible. You can use a pastry cutter or your fingers to do this.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk egg and lemon juice together, then pour all into the flour mixture and combine it well, until it comes together into a dough. 
  3. Shape it into a disc and cling wrap it , store in the fridge to chill for an hour. 
  4. Preheat oven to 200C / 400F. On a lightly flour surface, roll out the dough to just about 1/4 inch thick. 
  5. Sprinkle the 9-inch pie pan with flour so that it won't stick, and line it with the rolled out dough.Tuck in the edges and let it go up to slightly over the rim, roll out using a rolling pin to cut off the edges.
  6. Put the pie shell back to the fridge to rest and firm up for 10 minutes.
  7. Once chilled and rested, line the pastry with aluminum foil and let it cover the edges so it won't be burn when bake. Weigh down the pastry with baking beans / dried beans and bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Reduce to 190C / 375F and bake for another 15 minutes. Then remove the aluminum foil and the baking beans , and further bake for another 10 minutes to dry our the center of the shell.
  9. Useful tip: Once you take the shell out of the oven, lightly brush the base of the tart shell with egg white. This is so that the shell will have a shield against the liquid/ curd that we are going to fill in, it will not turn soggy. Cool completely before filling in with the lemon curd.
For Lemon Curd
  1. Whisk sugar, water and cornstarch together in a heavy bottomed saucepot. 
  2. Whisk in egg yolks and salt and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Increase heat to medium and still continue to whisk, cook until the filling becomes glossy and thick. You should be able to feel it as it thickens and coat the spatula / spoon that you are using. 
  3. Remove from heat immediately and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice and then the butter until it dissolves. Pour immediately into the cooled pie shell and let it cool for 15 minutes. Chill completely before finishing with the meringue, about 4 hours later.
 For Meringue
  1.  Preheat oven to 180C / 350F.
  2. Whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. While whisking, gradually add in the sugar and whisk on one speed below high until whites hold a stiff peak (meringue will stand upright when the whisk is lifted).
  3. Whisk in cornstarch until fully combine.
  4. Generously dollop over the chilled lemon filling. Use a sweeping motion with your spatula to evenly spread the meringue, let it touched the edge of the curd at the rim, and create your swirl and peaks that look so enticing once browned.
  5. Bake the pie for 10 minutes , or just until you see the meringue browns lightly. Let pie cool or chill until you are ready to slice and eat.

 Happy Baking and Bon Appetit!

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