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Sunday, 5 August 2012

Lemon Meringue Cream Pie

Recipe Title:  Lemon Meringue Cream Pie (made at the Greenlake cabin in the Cariboo)

By: Miriam Borys


PASTRY (enough pastry for 4-5 pie shells)

5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 lb. shortening
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar or white vinegar
1 cup ice water
1 tbsp. brown sugar

1.     Mix together flour, salt and brown sugar. Whisk together to remove the lumps.
2.    Cut up shortening into small cubes, return to cooler to keep cold.
3.    Add vinegar and egg to liquid measure cup. Beat with a fork.
4.    Add enough ice cold water to egg/vinegar mixture to make a total of 1 cup of liquid.
5.    Place measured dry ingredients in a large bowl if mixing by hand.
6.    Add shortening and with a knife or a pastry blender start cutting the shortening in to the flour until all the shortening is dime size and mealy.

Miriam's Time Saving Tip If using a stand mixer in pastry making do not multi-task. Stay at the mixer and pulse the machine on and off until the flour and shortening are slightly mixed but not totally combined. There should still be big size chunks of shortening showing and plenty of loose flour. Do not be alarmed at this because if you go too far at this stage you will ruin the pastry.
7.     Add liquid to mixing bowl and with a fork mix liquid in. Do not over mix at this stage or your pastry will be tough. Gently form into a ball with your hand.
8.    Roll dough up into a disc and wrap in parchment paper and then in a clean plastic bag and store in cooler until needed.
Miriam's Time Saving Tip Making this pastry ahead is a great time saver. It keeps well for over a week in the fridge as long as it is wrapped well. After making pies freeze the remaining pastry for use later.


Servings: 2 pies

2 cups sugar
5 tbsp. flour[i]
½ tsp. salt
3 cups water
5 egg yolks
5 lemons – zest & juice         
5 egg whites
1 tsp. cream of tartar
¼ cup white sugar

Roll out pastry and line 2 pie plates with pastry.
Dock[ii] the pastry with a sharp knife to make multiple pin holes.
Blind bake (without filling) in a hot oven (400 degrees) for 12 minutes until pastry is golden brown. (If you have more than 2 pie plates place an extra pie plate inside each pastry lined pie plate and weigh each down with 4 forks. This weighs down the pastry so it stays flat)
On the stove in a stainless steel pot add sugar and flour. Whisk together and add water and salt.
Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, to the boil.
Continue to cook for 5 minutes while stirring.
Meanwhile, separate egg yolks from whites ensuring that no yolk gets into the whites.
Whisk yolks together. Slowly drizzle a small amount of the hot sugar syrup into yolks to temper[iii] the egg yolks.  
Add tempered egg yolks to hot sugar mixture and continue to whisk and cook.
Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add lemon juice, zest and butter.
Allow to cool slightly before adding lemon filling to baked and cooled pie shell.
Whip egg whites. Slowly add 5 tbsp. white sugar and cream of tartar.
Pile on top of lemon filled pies and bake in hot oven 425 degrees until meringue is golden brown (approximately 2 minutes)
Remove from oven and cool before serving.

[i] I have used flour only in this pie filling because we did not have corn starch at the cabin. If you have corn starch available, reduce the flour to 4 tbsp. and add 2 tbsp. cornstarch to the white sugar mixture.
[ii] To dock the pastry you would take a sharp knife, skewer and lightly piercing the base of the pastry to stop air bubbles from forming which would result in an uneven pie shell.
[iii] Tempering refers to the process of slowly raising the temperature of an ingredient without causing it to cook or coagulate as in tempering egg yolks before using.

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