Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Sunday Baking: The Meringue Wars Part 1

Lemon Meringue: Classic vs Modern Part 1

I've been wanting to experiment with lemon meringue for a while. So, I planned a play date for a Sunday with The Brownie Eating Monster, my gorgeous friend Ane. While we were at it, we planned a play date for the guys too- they took Ralph's toy helicopter to the park, and then arranged a scrumptious braai for us. It was a whole day of the best company, baking and cooking. My favourite kind of day.

The plan was to make two lemon meringue pies, different in their crust, filling, and topping. I wanted the first pie to be classic, so it came straight out of the Larousse

Lemon Meringue
From Larousse Gastronomique

Makes a 9-10 inch pie

225 g cake flour
50 g chilled butter
50 g chilled vegetable fat (Holsum in South Africa)
3 - 5 tblsp cold water

350 ml water
65 g cake flour
65 g corn flour (Maizena in South Africa)
250 g castor sugar
3 lemons, juiced and zested
4 egg yolks
25 g butter

4 egg whites
125 g caster sugar
20 g icing sugar

Shortcrust pastry:
1) Preheat oven to 200 C.
2) Put flour in a large bowl with chilled butter and fat. First use a pastry cutter, then rub in with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
3) Pour 3 tablespoons of water in, and mix with a palette knife until it all comes together. For me, I tried to keep it to that, but it was too little in the end- add a bit more if needed!
4) Form into a ball, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5) Roll out and place in the pie tin, cutting away extra bits (more neatly than I did!).

6) Now, layer some wax paper into the pie tin, and fill it with something heavy, like pie weights, rice, lentils or beans. This will help the pie crust keep it's shape. Ane did a great job with ours!

7) Bake for 10 minutes.

Lemon Filling:

1) Boil water.
2) Add the flours and castor sugar into a pot, and gradually add the boiling water.
3) Put on the heat, bring to the boil.

4) Set aside and allow to cool. Then transfer to a bain marie (double boiler).
5) Add the lemon zest and juice, egg yolks and butter, and cook over boiling water for 15 minutes, whisking occasionally.

6) Pour into pie crust, and bake for 10 minutes- still at 200 C.

Lemon Meringue:

1) Put the egg whites into a super clean bowl, and add a pinch of salt.
2) Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks.
3) Gently fold in sugars.
4) Spread over pie (I made a couple extra- my pie dish was a little small).

5) Return to the oven for about 10 minutes, or until brown.

I got great compliments on this pie! It's much more humble than the other pie, it made me feel sophisticated and proper. It's soft and comfortable, but not over the top. Like something you would be proud to make for your mom in law. My mom in law would love this..

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