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1.28.2008

Sweet Tart I Love You...Daring Bakers Challenge Lemon Meringue Pie


They look sweet and innocent don't they? Those are the ones you always have to watch out for



my mother always warned me!
In my four months as a Daring Baker I have never seen people get worked up over something as they did with this pie /tart .When Jen at Canadian Baker announced her topic as host this month reactions were varied. It seemed as if some were disappointed in this pies simplicity.But don't judge a book by its cover! A natural reaction after all of our creative juices were let loose on the Yule Logs prior. I welcomed the challenge as I love lemons and need to work on pie crust skills.A very nice crust I must say!

For the record I have not liked lemon meringue pie for most of my life. My mother loved it and used this recipe with Real Lemon. I found the taste weird. Every now and then I found a lemon dessert I liked, but for the most part I stayed away from it. Certain Someone admits its never his favorite flavor.He likes chocolate naturally! Give me lemons in my teas, salads, fish,etc. and I'll run to it. In dessert I approach with caution and may be just inclined to like it. The glamah gal I am decided to use those famous Meyer Lemons everyone goes on about. Expensive , but so juicy and good!Only the best for my tartlettes.All that said this pie/tart didn't disappoint. I loved it. I loved it so much I didn't want to waste any of tartlettes and tried to find them good homes while they were fresh. Time was of the essence because these babies only look and taste good young, but who wants an old soggy tart. So Hollywood, so 15 minutes of fame!Soon they would be all washed up and experiencing a meltdown.My greedy self popped a few over a time and even the Mister said they taste good. Those sweet thangs managed to seduce him for a moment.I could have dropped my tartletts ! So thanks Jen for zesting up our lives in this dreary winter.Next month we will move on to the next hot pastry.It may be sweet, it may be savory. Kind of like, do you gravitate to Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Aniston.I myself like the femme fatale type.But we will always remember those pies. Check out the other Daring Bakers and see their experience.

Challenge Requirements:1. Pie flavor must be lemon

Allowed Modifications:

1. You may make either the pie or the Lemon Meringue Free Form Tartlets (recipe follows Lemon Meringue Pie)

2. You can compliment your pie with a sauce. For example, you can serve it with raspberry or white chocolate sauce.

3. You can use a piping bag to apply the meringue if you like

4. Decoration is up to you - lemon zest or fruit are totally acceptable.

5. High altitude modifications are allowed as long as you stay "true" to the recipe.

6. Conversion for certain dietary restrictions like gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan etc. is allowed.

7. Recipe ingredient exception allowed only if allergy or an ingredient not available or cost prohibitive in your region.


Lemon Meringue Pie courtesy of Wanda's Pie In The Sky by Wanda Beaver 2002


Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie

For the Crust:

3/4 cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces

2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour

1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar

1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt

1/3 cup (80 mL) ice water


For the Filling:

2 cups (475 mL) water

1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (120 mL) cornstarh

5 egg yolks, beaten

1/4 cup (60 mL) butter

3/4 cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract


For the Meringue:

5 egg whites, room temperature

1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar

1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt

1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract

3/4 cup (180 mL) granulated sugar



To Make the Crust:Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt.Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of 1/8 inch (.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about 1/2 inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.


To Make the Filling: Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated. Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.


To Make the Meringue:Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.


Daring Bakers Extra Challenge: Free-Style Lemon Tartlets(from "Ripe for Dessert" by David Lebovitz)


Prepare the recipe as above but complete the following steps:To roll out tartlet dough, slice the dough into 6 pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll each circle of dough into a 5 inch disk. Stack the disks, separated by pieces of plastic wrap, on a plate, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

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59 comments:

kellypea said...

You know, I almost chose my little tartelette tins and went for the larger ones instead. Yours turned out so nicely! I agree that the lemon was very, very nice and that they were sweet "thangs" indeed.

KJ said...

Your tartelettes look lovely. I have never tried meyer lemons. Maybe they are the secret to great tasting lemon meringue pies.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

I love your fantastically-shaped meringues!

Maryann said...

Absolutely stunning!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your tartlets look very dainty and cute! Well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

Proud Italian Cook said...

They all turned out beautiful!! Like I said before, "what lucky friends you have!"

Veron said...

I agree, meyer lemons make a better lemon curd bar none! I love the taste of the all butter crust too. Gorgeous tartelettes!

Big Boys Oven said...

Gosh...ther are so many of them.... wow....I just can't get my eyes away from them.... so incredible!

Deborah said...

I am opposite - I love lemon desserts! I'm glad this recipe was a good one for you, though! The mini pies are adorable!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Those all look completely ADORABLE! Great job!

Gabi said...

Really beautiful little tarts! Nice job!
xoxo

Emiline said...

Wow! Look at all of those tart pans. Oh, sorry.

Your tarts look fab. I think that's cool that you used Meyer Lemons. Did you think they were a lot better than regular lemons? I want to try them, but we don't have them here.

Laura Rebecca said...

Your tarts look so scrumptious! You did a marvelous job.

thepassionatecook said...

you've got a whole lemon thing going this month, haven't you? i have never tried meyer lemons, sadly, they are something unknown in europe. i have some juice at home, though, donated by a fellow foodie, but haven't yet opened it - it'll be perfect for making another lemon meringue pie very soon! well done on the pie styling, very glamourous!

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a fabulous job on all the little tartlets. I love how each one has it's own meringue design.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

culinography said...

These are beautiful! I'll bet the Meyer lemons went wonderfully in this recipe!

Meryl said...

I love that you made yours all different shapes!

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

I love the tartlettes, what a nice idea to use different shapes.

DaviMack said...

Truly marvelous meringues! And why is it that meyer lemons are only a US fruit? Strange!

Ben said...

They look so beautiful! Shame on me I didn't do my homework this month :( Oh well, more challenges will soon come :D

Shayne said...

I love the collage of Polaroids, it looks great.

I have to say my family loves anything to so with lemon for dessert; however, they are not all that big on chocolate.

Your tarts look great.

chou said...

Soooo cute! I think I need little tartlet pans RIGHT now. :)

Lesley said...

I used small tartlet pans for a few of mine, but BOY did they stick! How did you get htem out?

Barbara said...

So cute and gorgeous.

Annemarie said...

Oh. My. Goodness. I love all those little pies! I can't imagine how much patience that piping and crust rolling out must have taken...

April said...

I love your mini tarts! They look great!

Mary said...

I am so impressed with your little tarts! They are quite simply beautiful. And I'm so jealous that you have so many gorgeous little tart pans.

Andrea said...

Ok, I have GOT to get me some of those little tart tins! Your tartlettes look wonderful!

Dolores said...

Wow... you really went all out for this one. All of those adorable baby tarts. I must find some tiny tart tins and host a dessert party soon!

Princess of the kitchen said...

Your tartlets look fantastic. I have never seen so many tart cases. Wow

joey said...

That's it! I'm springing for some tart tins! Your's look soooo good! Very glamah-rous styling :)

Jenny said...

The baby tarts are really cute, but what I wanted to say is that you take great photos!

Butta Buns said...

How beautiful and artful your tarts are!

Half Baked said...

Beautiful photos! Love all the mini tarts! Great job.

Brilynn said...

I love all your little molds! The pies look great!

Kim Stone said...

Ahhh, seeing your tarts I wish I had went for the little brioche pans as well. Nice job on the challenge.

Candace said...

I love all your little tarts! Cute!

Molly Loves Paris said...

Your tartets are adorable. I used meyer lemons also. They seemed expensive but when I weighed the regular lemons to compute their cost per pound they cost exactly the same. Nothing like making something really from scratch. I thought my pie tasted great 4 days later. I think that that sturdy crust held up very well.

linda said...

I love all the little tarlet tins you used. And what piping skills you have! They look very cute!

maybahay said...

these tartlets look gorgeous. i love your decorative meringue tops.

Elle said...

Wow! so many darling little tarts, so little time. They are absolutly gorgeous! Too bad they are party girls who get soggy so fast.

wmpe said...

Your variety of tart shapes are great! You let your creative juices flow!! I am sure your found many a good home for these tarts, they are had to resist. I enjoyed your write-up and photos. Wendy

Dhanggit said...

oh my i have never seen a meringué that perfect!! and your tartellettes look awesome!!well done for this months challenge!! :-)

Naomi Devlin said...

Those tarts look just fantastic! Now I have fancy tin envy though - your tart tins are gorgeous.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

that's a heck of a lot of fancy little tarts you made there...very nice!

breadchick said...

Fantastic post and cute sassy tarts to go with it! Great job on the challenge.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Just goes to show us how the simple can be oh so not simple! It was great fun to see so many of us, me included, think we knew what this was about and find out we didn't.
Courtney your tarts are lovely and I'm glad you enjoyed them. I sure did.

Sagari said...

mini pies look so cute

Lunch Buckets said...

I'm so freakin' jealous of your little pans! Too cute :)

Simona said...

I like all the photos!

Meeta said...

I like the way you made different shapes. Perfect looking pies. Well done!

Jen Yu said...

Look at that amazing array of lovely tarts! The shapes are so awesome and the piping is gorgeous :) Great job!

creampuff said...

Glad you enjoyed the challenge! They look so cute!

Cynthia said...

You out-did yourself! Georgeous!

Claire said...

These re beautiful...how creative and talented you are! Great job.

Quellia said...

They look just like little appetizers, so cute and munchable!

Pixie said...

Oh yum, love these small tarts. Wish I can have a few right now and it's 8:30 in the morning!

BrineS said...

Wow! What fun you must have had with all of those fabulous tins!

Lis said...

I am so envious of all your cute lil tart tins! :)

Your tiny tarts turned out beautifully if I may say so.. I'm glad you found good homes for all of them - and happy to hear the Mr. enjoyed them too! Yay!

xoxo