My grandmother was a great baker. My grandfather used to end every meal telling her he would keep her around for another 6 months... all thanks to her baking abilities! :0) It was something we would all look forward to hearing...
My grandmother's lemon meringue pie was probably our favourite dessert - Paul would always request it on his birthday. I decided to try my hand at it today - it was so warm and sunny and beautiful outside this afternoon that I wanted to bake something that made me feel the same way.
I made my basic pie crust - and then had to blind bake it. To blind bake just take your pie crust, line it with wax paper and fill it with about 4 c. of dried peas (use them over and over again to blind bake your crusts - just store them after use). I baked it for about 15 minutes at 425 F and then put it aside.
Meanwhile, I put together my pie filling... my whole apartment smelt of lemons (Allison even woke up from a nap and could smell the lemons in her bedroom). I thought it was going to be way more daunting of a recipe than it turned out to be... super simple and really not time consuming at all. Which shouldn't have been a surprise... I can't picture my grandmother slaving away in the kitchen...
Isabel's Lemon Meringue Pie
1 c. sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. water
1/2 c. lemon juice
1 tbsp (or a little more) Limoncino
2 tsp lemon zest (the zest of an entire lemon)
1 tbsp butter
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
Preheat your oven to 350 F.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, flour, water, lemon juice, limoncino, and lemon zest. Put the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring until it comes to a boil and slightly thickens.
Remove it from heat and stir in the butter. Take about 1/2 c. of the mixture and add it to the egg yolks - it'll temper the yolks and keep them from curdling. Whisk the egg yolks well - once they're smooth, pour them into the saucepan. Return the pan to the heat and cook it, whisking constantly - bubbles will form in the mixture. That's when you'll know that it's ready to be poured into the prepared pie crust.
Set aside and make your meringue.
4 egg whites
1/4 c sugar
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high until foamy. Incorporate the sugar a spoonful at a time - continue to beat the egg whites until they form still glossy peaks. Spread over the pie, make sure that you seal it well to the crust so that it doesn't shrink while baking.
Place in the oven and bake, on a top rack, for between 10 and 12 minutes (my oven at that point was so warm that it took 10 minutes).
Remove from heat, cool and then chill. The filling will set and then it's ready to serve.
Just making this was fun - great memories - and I can't wait to bake it for my family... I think Mayrse's visit from Japan will totally warrant it! Enjoy.