Lemon Meringue Pie

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Photo by Leo Teatero

As winter draws in, and the evenings are darker, what better way to spark up your mood by bringing some zesty citrus flavours to the table.

This is Leo Teatero‘s mother’s recipe.

Ingredients

Pie base (paté brisée):

  • 850g all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 5.5 g of salt
  • 225g unsalted cold butter, cut into small pieces (place in freezer for 10 minutes)
  • 78ml of ice cold water
  • 11g of sugar
  • 42g of graham cracker crumbs or speculoos crumbs

Lemon Filling:

  • 200g of sugar
  • 31g of cornstarch
  • 1g of salt
  • 355g of cold water
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 6g of lemon zest
  • 115ml of fresh lemon juice
  • 14g of unsalted butter

Meringue Topping:

  • 13g of cornstarch
  • 1g of cream of tartar
  • 100g of sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2ml of vanilla extract
  • 78ml of water
Photo by Leo Teatero

Method

Base

  • Once you have made the pâte brisée recipe, turnout your dough on the rolling board, and divide into half. Put one half in the freezer for future use and leave the remaining half on the board.
  • Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs or speculoos crumbs all over it.
  • Mix well by hand and shape into a disc and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to set.
  • Once the dough has set, remove it from the refrigerator and let it rest for 10 minutes on the rolling board. Roll it out as normal, creating a large circle. Fold the circle in half and then again in half to have one triangle of dough. Place the dough in the pie plate, trim and flute the sides according to your edge design. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.
  • Prick shell at 1cm intervals, the press a double square of aluminum foil into the shell.
  • Refrigerate again for 30 minutes.
  • Before you put it in the oven to bake, lay pie weights (or beans) to make sure the dough does not rise or bubble. Bake in a 400°F or 205°C oven for 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 350°F or 175°C, remove aluminum foil and beans and continue to bake for another 10 minutes until slightly golden.

Filling

  • For the filing mix the sugar, cornstarch salt and cold water in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat, whisking occasionally and more frequently as the mixture begins to thicken.
  • Once the mixture starts to simmer and becomes translucent, whisk in the egg yokes two at a time. Then add the zest, lemon juice and lastly the butter.
  • Bring the mixture to a good simmer, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and place plastic directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming.

Meringue

  • For the meringue, mix the cornstarch with the water and bring to a simmer, again whisking occasionally and more frequently as the mixture begins to thicken. When it turns translucent, remove from heat and allow it cool away from the stove.
  • Heat oven to 325°F or 160°C. Mix cream of tartar and sugar together in a small bowl.
  • Beat egg whites until frothy and then add the vanilla extract. Slowly incorporate the sugar mixture one tablespoon at a time until soft peaks form. Then, slowly add the cornstarch mixture, one tablespoon at a time.

Assembly

  • Pour warm filling into the pie shell.
  • Using a rubber spatula place the meringue evenly around the edge, then the centre of the pie. Make sure the meringue attaches to the crust to prevent shrinkage.
  • Bake pie on middle rack, in oven until meringue is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it, as the meringue can burn in seconds.
  • Transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature. Enjoy!