Daring Bakers #1: [Lemon Meringue]

January 28, 2008 at 6:44 am 51 comments

Let me tell you about the Daring Bakers.

They are an international group of women (and men) that come together, bake the same dish (chosen by pre-selected members each month) and post their experience in their own blog on the same day. I knew about them but it was intimidating to say the least and I was content to watch from afar behind the safety of my computer monitor. I wouldn’t say I was forced to sign up but I was definitely coerced by my persistent foodie mentor, NB! LOL. Thankfully she knew me better than myself and my first experience would be something that I would ultimately enjoy.

I admit my palms were sweaty and my heart was beating fast when I realized my first challenge would be something I’d never even eaten much less attempted to bake before. But I was up for opportunity to go outside my comfort zone and give it a try! I give you my version of the Lemon Meringue Pie. ENJOY!

To see my fellow Daring Bakers’ blogs, please click here.

Hosted by Jen @ The Canadian Baker

Lemon Meringue Pie “Cupcakes”
Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie

INGREDIENTS

Crust
3/4 cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into 1/2-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

Filling
2 cups (475 mL) water
1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 mL) cornstarch
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

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

INSTRUCTIONS

To make 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. (I put in the frig but I know some ppl put in the freezer?)

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 ⅛ 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 ½ inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.

[NOTES: I used a 5 inch diameter cookie cookie to shape the crust and molded it into each cupcake tin.]

[NOTES: Obviously I used a cupcake tin. I thought it would be easier to portion, freeze and eat whenever we want this way. I am a genius! Ok… maybe I got the idea from other DBers… maybe? haha.]

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. (I used uncooked brown rice b/c I didn’t have weights or 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 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 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.

Pie recipe courtesy of Wanda’s Pie in the Sky by Wanda Beaver, 2002

Additions:

  • You can compliment your pie with a sauce. For example, you can serve it with raspberry or white chocolate sauce.
  • You can use a piping bag to apply the meringue if you like.
  • Decoration is up to you – lemon zest or fruit are totally acceptable.

Husband rating: A+
He’s had LMP before and he liked this version, just the filling was a little runny but that’s probably the “baker” not the recipe. haha.

Wifey rating: A
I’ve never had LMP before so this was a very nice surprise! I really loved how the crust turned out and the meringue was SO yummy!

Other rating: A+
I brought some over to T’s parents’ to taste-test and they were VERY impressed! I am now the favorite daughter-in-law. (I am the only DIL. haha)

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Entry filed under: Daring Bakers, dessert.

Menu 1/28-2/3.08 Foodie Question of the Day

51 Comments Add your own

  • 1. NinaBeth  |  January 28, 2008 at 7:05 am

    Looks so yummy! I love that “you were so brilliant to think about freezing it for portion control”. :)

    Reply
  • 2. Jen  |  January 28, 2008 at 7:09 am

    CB – they look great. Thanks for all the help with mine!

    Reply
  • 3. Susan  |  January 28, 2008 at 7:37 am

    Lovely “cupcakes.” Great first challenge!

    Reply
  • 4. Judy  |  January 28, 2008 at 8:00 am

    Great job on the challenge. They turned out great!

    Reply
  • 5. nikki57  |  January 28, 2008 at 8:44 am

    It’s beautiful darling!

    Reply
  • 6. Dee Light  |  January 28, 2008 at 8:47 am

    They are just lovely, and look sooooo yummy!!

    Reply
  • 7. Alanna  |  January 28, 2008 at 8:59 am

    So cute, CB! I love the cupcake tin idea. You are so genius!!!

    Reply
  • 8. CB  |  January 28, 2008 at 9:20 am

    NINA, I know right?! Sometimes ideas just “pop” in my head. Its crazy. haha.

    JEN, thanky! I just saw yours too. brillant job! Long live making everything a cupcake!

    SUSAN, Thanky! Yours turned out awesome too!

    JUDY, Great job! Yours turned out marvelous!

    NIKKI, i know. haha. I had a good mentor ;)

    DEELIGHT, oh yes! I am definitely an LMP fan. ps. nice to “meet” you!

    ALANNA, ty ty ::bowing:: where’s your LMP missy??

    Reply
  • 9. BBKiddo  |  January 28, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Those look great! I hate LMP but I might try a cupcake one because they are so darn cute!

    Reply
  • 10. CB  |  January 28, 2008 at 10:03 am

    BB, i know you don’t bake but i bet if you slowed down and tried you could totally do it! I always have to remind myself to read, re-read and take it slow…

    Reply
  • 11. Ashley  |  January 28, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Wow, good job on your first LMP, I find it to be an intimidating desert and doing a cupcaked version seems like an ambitious undertaking. Mad props!

    Reply
  • 12. CB  |  January 28, 2008 at 11:51 am

    ASHLEY, it was WAY intimidating for me. I really need to get better at getting all the ingredients out *before* I start b/c I felt like I was running around with my head cut off! You should totally join DB with me! Its scary but way fun… Thanks for the props!

    Reply
  • 13. Melanie  |  January 28, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    I agree with everyone else, VERY cute little tarts. Great idea!

    Reply
  • 14. Lemon Meringue “Cupcakes”? « I♥CUPPYCAKES!  |  January 28, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    […] the full entry on my food […]

    Reply
  • 15. CB  |  January 28, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    MELANIE, thanky! ::rubbing knuckles on chest:: they turned out pretty darn well for my first time. :)

    Reply
  • 16. Suzana  |  January 28, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    I love tiny desserts – those ‘cupcakes’ are so cute! Great job! It’s just wonderful to complete your 1st challenge, isn’t it? :)

    Reply
  • 17. Chou  |  January 28, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Beautiful! And many congrats on your first challenge. I look forward to watching the rest. :)

    Reply
  • 18. CB  |  January 28, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    SUZANA, agreed. they are just 10x cuter when they are smaller. haha. and yes, its fabulous to finish my first challenge. Can’t wait for the next one! :)

    Reply
  • 19. CB  |  January 28, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    CHOU, thanky! I am ready for the next one! Can’t wait! :)

    Reply
  • 20. How To Eat A Cupcake  |  January 28, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    You’re such a genious!

    Reply
  • 21. CB  |  January 28, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    HOWTOEAT, haha. I’ve been told that many times! Must be true. ;)

    Reply
  • 22. slush  |  January 28, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    They are adorable! Oh so cute. And I would have taken a tad runny to the swimming pool I ended up with! Cant wait to see what next month holds.

    Reply
  • 23. CB  |  January 28, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    SLUSH, swimming pool! bahahaha. It was SO not that bad for you. Definitely excited for next month. It will be my goal to turn all DB challenges into cupcakes. LOL

    Reply
  • 24. Amber  |  January 28, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Your little pies are adorable!! Congratulations on your first successful DB challenge.

    Reply
  • 25. CB  |  January 28, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Hi AMBER! thanks so much for the compliments. Not sure how “successful” b/c of my filling but fun nonetheless. ps. I love your blog!!

    Reply
  • 26. Tina  |  January 28, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Those look great!!!

    Reply
  • 27. CB  |  January 28, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    TINA, aawwww thanky! Yours is so freaking fabulous that there’s no comparison! ps. Nice to “meet” you! :)

    Reply
  • 28. Beth G  |  January 28, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    They look AWESOME!!! Congrats on your first challenge!

    Reply
  • 29. Iisha  |  January 28, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Looking great… good job.

    Iisha

    Reply
  • 30. CB  |  January 28, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    BETH.G, thanky! yours looks so perfect! btw I love your blog!

    IISHA, thanky! ps. Nice to “meet” you!

    Reply
  • 31. Deeba  |  January 28, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    To one runny pie from another…your pies look ever so cute & yummy. Loved the write-up too! My first DB challenge as well…with the lemon curd that made me weep…but I loved it!

    Reply
  • 32. Aparna  |  January 28, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    My first challenge too. I liked your idea of making them in the cup-cake tins. Smaller single serving portions. And easier to manage with runny fillings.:)

    Reply
  • 33. temperedwoman  |  January 29, 2008 at 6:55 am

    YAY! CupPies!! I concur~ the best way to handle this challenge. Not to mention it saves you the trouble of slicing and makes it easier to give away to tasters. Congrats on winning over the in-laws. ;-)
    Great job!

    Reply
  • 34. CB  |  January 29, 2008 at 7:07 am

    DEEBA, haha. I agree. Weepy cup-pie or not? I still had a blast!

    APARNA, ::high five:: for DB newbies!

    TEMPERED, cup-pies rule! haha. yeah my ILs rock! ps. I love your blog!

    Reply
  • 35. Kaykat  |  January 29, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Delicious! I love the little CupPies – can that word go into the DB dictionary? :)

    Reply
  • 36. Kim  |  January 29, 2008 at 11:48 am

    CupPies indeed! Whatever name you use they look terrific! Congrats on a challenge well done!

    Reply
  • 37. CB  |  January 29, 2008 at 11:54 am

    KAYKAT, I think cupPIES should totally be in the baking dictionary! I’d vote for it! haha.

    KIM, thanky!! ps. Nice to “meet” you! :)

    Reply
  • 38. Shandy  |  January 29, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Very cute! I think you did a great job and I know your hubby had to be impressed! Great challenge =d

    Reply
  • 39. CB  |  January 29, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    SHANDY, thanky! hubs was definitely impressed even though he keeps telling me to stop baking b/c he’s the one that ends up eating everything! haha. ps. Nice to “meet” you!

    Reply
  • 40. peabody  |  January 30, 2008 at 2:44 am

    A wonderful job on your “cupcakes” and welcome to the Daring Bakers.

    Reply
  • 41. CB  |  January 30, 2008 at 8:04 am

    PEABODY, ok seriously. You’re like my foodie idol. I am so flattered you commented on *MY* blog. I love your blog! Can I have your autograph? haha. Thanks for the welcome! :)

    Reply
  • 42. Deborah  |  January 30, 2008 at 10:22 am

    I love your “cupcakes”! They look amazing!

    Reply
  • 43. CB  |  January 30, 2008 at 10:30 am

    DEBORAH, thanky! I totally should have played around with piping the meringue like you did! Too cute!

    Reply
  • 44. Dolores  |  January 30, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    I’m so glad you stepped outside of your comfort zone… your lemon meringue cup-pies are adorable. Congratulations on a most successful first challenge, and welcome!

    Reply
  • 45. CB  |  January 30, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    DOLORES, thanky! Its always scary to make something new but when you find something you like, its all worth it! Thanks for the welcome! :)

    Reply
  • 46. Lisa  |  February 1, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Looks like a win! Congratulations on your first DB success :)

    Reply
  • 47. CB  |  February 1, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    LISA, thanks! I am definitely quite proud of my first DB pie! :)

    Reply
  • 48. cookiedoc  |  February 3, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Looks great! I’m going to have to try the mini-versions some time. Glad you and hubby liked them.

    Reply
  • 49. CB  |  February 3, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    COOKIEDOC, mini me LMPs were great! :) I think it reallly helps control my portions.

    Reply
  • 50. Ivonne  |  February 9, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    You did a great job!

    Reply
  • 51. CB  |  February 9, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    IVONNE, thanks so much for stopping by! It was fun and looking forward to the next challenge (even though I am a bit scurred! haha)

    Reply

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