Monday, January 28, 2008

Lemon Meringue Pie

This is my very first attempt at a lemon meringue pie, and also my very first challenge as a Daring Baker! I am so happy to be joining a group so fond of baking and blogging. Thanks to Jen of The Canadian Baker for hosting this month's challenge. Check out her blog if you would like the recipe.

First I made the crust. It was the first time I had attempted a crust that actually called for "cutting in" the butter. (I substituted margarine because of my milk allergy.)



I tried to keep everything really cold while I worked the margarine in, even using a frosty mug and Brita water from the fridge when it came time to add the water, but it didn't come together very easily for me.

It was really crumbly and dry, as you can see.


I finally was able to roll it out, though. I assume this trouble was just due to my inexperience.

I gratefully draped the pie crust over the pan...

...and trimmed and crimped the edges.

Then I filled it with foil and black beans (to act as pie weights) and pre-cooked the crust according to the recipe.
Next it was time to make the lemon curd. Things got a little tricky here. Because after running to the store to purchase lemons, I found that I didn't have quite enough corn starch. But remembering my earlier experience with corn starch in pie filling, Bryan and I decided I should just use what I had and hope for the best. (Can you tell where this is going?)

But things seemed to be going alright. So I forged on. My inexperience slowing me down at every turn, this challenge was becoming a baking marathon.

But next we get to my favorite part: meringue. This was my first time making it, and look how fun it is:

I love how effortless it was to create these snowy, stiff peaks. They reminded me of a scene out of the original Grinch cartoon.

I got it on top of my pie, covering the edges, and proceeded to make little decorative peaks all over.

When it came out of the oven, it looked fantastic to me. Success?

Um... not quite.

But that is what being a daring baker is all about, right? Trying things that you wouldn't otherwise have pushed yourself try. And knowing there are tons of kind bakers to commiserate with if you make mistakes and things go awry.


I am looking forward to my next challenge. I feel like I learned a lot from this one, and the next pie I make will be so much better because of it.

25 comments:

Elle said...

Your pie is beautiful to look at, even if the filling isn't quite as firm as one might like :) Lots of DBs had this problem...mine was weepy. Wasn't the meringue fun??
SO glad you are a Daring Baker! Good for you for persevering and posting the results.

Mer said...

Yes, the meringue was a blast!

Thanks!

Yvo said...

What was wrong with it? I can't tell. I seriously do not bake; being a "daring" baker just means that I actually baked to begin with. Hehe. No, really, I even messed up a boxed biscuit (it's posted over on Feisty Foodie) mix. I'm still confused. Hahaha.

Deborah said...

Wonderful job on your first challenge! Welcome to the Daring Bakers.

Mer said...

Yvo - when I cut into it, you should see the bottom of the pie dish - instead where I cut filled with lemony "soup" since my filling hadn't set correctly. Take a look at the picture of the slice of pie posted at Pennies on a Platter to see what the filling should have done. ;0)

Deborah - thanks!

javagirlkt's cookin' said...

Beautiful meringue :)

Tartelette said...

The meringue look so soft and inviting! I have my spoon ready for the filling! Great job on the challenge!

Angel said...

Your pie looks wonderful, I love your meringue peaks they looks so fun.
Great Job, and Welcome to the club!!!

Karen said...

Congratulations on your first challenge! Love all of your photos. Cute and clever blog headline.

Mer said...

Thanks to Javagirl, Tartelette, Angel and Karen for your kind comments. I am so thrilled to be a part of such a supportive and fun group of bakers. :0)

Brilynn said...

Congrats on finishing your first DB challenge and trying something new! (Even if it didn't go quite as planned...)

Janet said...

Hi- Welcome to this great group! It is only my second challenge this month, isn't it fun?
I think your crust looks really great, especially given the recipe- not my fav! Try the pate brisee in the Silver Palate cookbook. That's my standard, anyway.
Meringue rocks!

Barbara said...

I love your grinchy meringue!

Mer said...

Janet - yes, it is a lot of fun! I am already looking forward to this month's challenge. :0) Thanks for the tip on the pie crust recipe.

Barbara - Thanks!

crumblycookie said...

Isn't working with meringue great? I love making it, and I love eating it, with hundreds of tiny air bubbles popping in my mouth.

It sounds like you learned a lot from this challenge! Hopefully the next one works out better for both of us, since my lemon filling was soupy as well.

Dolores said...

You've got the right idea...trying things that you wouldn't otherwise have pushed yourself try and learning from the experience is *exactly* what the Daring Bakers is about. Welcome... I'm glad you're here and I'm getting a chance to know you and your blog.

Lis said...

Just a beautiful pie! I loved the meringue part too! :)

xoxo

amanda. said...

Mmm! Your pie looks delicious! Congratulations on your first challenge!

kitten said...

i love your step by step photos and the beautiful ocean waves that your meringue made. great job !

Pixie said...

Aww! shame about the filling! Fantastic photos of the meringue and congrats on your first challenge!

Mer said...

Brilynn,Crumbly Cookie, Dolores, Lis, Amanda, Kitten and Pixie: Thanks for all your kind and encouraging comments! :0)

Claire said...

Wonderful pie! HOw did the crust turn out using margarine? Im sure it tasted great! Glad you're a Daring Baker now!

Aoife said...

Oh no, your poor filling! You know, when I was mixing mine, I thought that the amount of cornstarch was crazy, so I don't blame you for going easy on it. Live and learn!

Mer said...

Claire - The crust turned out well, I thought. Margarine seemed to work fine. :0)

Aoife - Yeah, next time I will suck it up and go back to the store if I'm a bit short on something.

Thanks for your comments!

Sparky said...

Oh my mouth is watering at the final picture, all that lovely oozing yellow lemon cream, mmmmm. I always have problems with pastry and end up cursing and patching up holes for ages!