Monday, January 28, 2008

Daring Bakers - (Limey) Lemon Meringue Pie



pastry - love it

lemon curd- to die for

meringue - let me at it

lemon meringue pie - .............meh

Why is this? It confounds me that I do not love lemon meringue pie. Somehow it's just too sweet and sticky and overpowering for my delicate little senses. A mystery for the ages.

So you will understand why I didn't fizz with excitement when I saw this month's Daring Baker challenge. But no way was I going to bail. I mean, who knows, this might be the manna recipe that turns me into a lemon meringue freak. You gotta give things a go.

So I got stuck in.

First up, pastry. This was a fairly standard shortcrust recipe. No problems there.

Next came the curd. I found this to be quite an usual and unusually fun way of making it. Basically, you boil some water, mix in some sugar and cornflour and allow to thicken. You end up with what looks for all the world like clear vicks vaporub. Channelling my childhood, it was all I could do not to rub it into my chest and have a good lie down with a hot water bottle, a hanky and a eucalyptus snifter.

Anyway, this gloop (sorry, only word for it) is mixed into egg yolks and thickened again over the heat. Butter, juice, zest and vanilla finish it off. In this case I used a mixture of lime juice and lemon zest. It's then left to cool in the pastry shell, like so.

Then came the meringue. I love making meringue. Egg whites, sugar and a touch of cream of tartar, salt and vanilla are whipped into glossy peaky perfection (and yes I have been watching Nigella).





This is piled on top of the curd and baked to a golden crisp. Like so and so.






I have to say, I was thrilled with the way the pie came out appearance wise. It was quite stunning, if I do say so myself.



Now for the key question - taste. How did it taste?



Well, I think I can honestly say that I enjoyed this lemon meringue pie more than any other I have ever tried. But was I converted? Well, no. No I wasn't. But if any pie could have done it, it would be this one. It's a cracker. Lemon meringue pies are just not for me. So sad, too bad.

All that was left to do was the washing up. Any volunteers.........please...... pretty please?


This month's challenge was hosted by Jen The Canadian Baker. You can find this recipe on lots of other terrific foodie treats on her lovely blog. If the recipe is not there yet it soon will be. I also encourage you to check out the efforts of my fellow Daring Bakers who can be found on the Daring Bakers Blogroll.

68 Comments:

At 11:42 am, Blogger Bellini Valli said...

Love all the photos of this months challenge. Great job with it all!!!
I have 7 more hours before I can post my version of the DB challenge here. A good challenge for sure!

 
At 12:21 pm, Blogger Megan said...

I wasnt fond of LMP but this pie did change that for me. Your looks beautiful!

 
At 12:46 pm, Blogger JEP said...

Beautiful pie!

 
At 12:47 pm, Anonymous Shawnda said...

Your pictures are lovely and the pie looks terrific!

 
At 1:31 pm, Blogger slush said...

Gorgeous pie and beautiful photos! Fantastic job! I only wish mine had turned out so bad.

 
At 1:48 pm, Blogger Claire said...

Your meringue is so perfectly peaked. I cooked mine just a tad too long. And I love the color of your filling, so yellow! I agree that this is a very sweet dessert, but I just love the lemon flavor!

 
At 1:50 pm, Blogger Beth G. said...

WOW!! What a beautiful LMP!! Great job on this months challenge! :)

 
At 2:43 pm, Blogger glamah16 said...

It may not have been your favorite, but it looks like perfection.

 
At 2:44 pm, Blogger Tablebread said...

Well, despite your continued dislike for lemon meringue pie I would say you pulled through like a champ - it truly looks delicious! I bailed this month. I kind of went on a cheesecake run and forgot about the challenge :( oops

I do have one question. How in the world did you get that thing out of your tart pan?!? I admit I have zero experience with this type of pastry form but to my knowledge they are not usually springforms. Please share :)

 
At 3:02 pm, Blogger steph- whisk/spoon said...

looks great kj! i was like you though...it tasted fine, but ehhh, not my cup of tea.

 
At 7:12 pm, Anonymous sher said...

Your pie looks wonderful. Mine not so much! In fact, it was a disaster!

 
At 7:26 pm, Anonymous Foodie Froggy said...

Wow, it is absolutely superb ! Looks professional !

 
At 7:35 pm, Blogger Dharm said...

KJ, Your pie looks just lovely. I wanted those exact billows (spelling?) on mine!! I too thought it was a tad too sweetish...but Great Job!!

 
At 7:46 pm, Blogger kellypea said...

Soooooooo funny! I completely agree with your first 4 lines, and the gloop, and the mess that is STILL in my sink. ARG! Good thing tomorrow's another day. And what LOVELY photos you have.

 
At 7:53 pm, Blogger Pixie said...

Looks great. Well done!

 
At 9:34 pm, Blogger Aamena said...

hey you said it for me! while making my pie yesterday i kept thinking what the cornflour and sugar in water looked like!

 
At 9:51 pm, Blogger Maryann said...

It looks great from where I'm sitting. And I'll gladly have yours since you don't want it :)

 
At 12:35 am, Blogger *fanny* said...

it does look gorgeous
lemo meringue tart has never been a favourite for me either

xxx

 
At 1:30 am, Anonymous Angela said...

Wow! That first picture is just to die for!

I have to agree that the pie was very sweet--less sugar in the filling to contrast against the very sweet meringue would have helped matters, I think.

Congratulations on a beautiful pie!

 
At 1:30 am, Blogger Rachel said...

It looks great!

 
At 2:36 am, OpenID culinography said...

Ha! I had the same thought about Vicks when the cornstarch thickened!

Your pie looks absolutely wonderful! Great job!

 
At 2:54 am, Anonymous Butta Buns said...

Vicks vaporub....that's priceless! You're so right, it does look exactly like it.

I'm glad that you stuck by your DB guns and saw it through because it's beautiful.

 
At 3:06 am, Blogger Meeta said...

Just awesome KJ! Love the pics too. Well done!

 
At 3:20 am, Blogger Annemarie said...

Your pie does look great. I do love the gloopy baby-food thickness of the curd, but there's probably something Freudian about that. :)

 
At 3:23 am, Blogger Deborah said...

Your photos are all wonderful! I thought about doing a combo of lemon and lime, but ended up sticking with lemon. Wonderful job!!

 
At 3:45 am, OpenID pipinthecity said...

Well, it looks great, and at least you didn´t hate the taste. For a version you might like more, try Pierre Herme´s French lemon tart included in Dorie Greenspan´s book. I has no meringue and that lemon cream is the creamiest and yummiest ever, though it does have a considerable amount of butter, but we are trying to convert you here, so that doesn´t count.

 
At 4:31 am, Blogger Quellia said...

I couldn't find anyone to wash my dishes for me either!
Your pie looks wonderful!

 
At 4:41 am, Blogger Katie B. said...

lol, this pie sure did create a lot of dirty dishes, didn't it? Yours looks heavenly - great job!

 
At 5:30 am, Blogger Lesley said...

I love the pile of meringue. It looks lovely. Yum.

 
At 6:58 am, Blogger I(dot)J said...

Great job. Looks great!
Iisha

 
At 7:26 am, Blogger Baking Soda said...

LOL! Vicks vaporub! That gloop must tremble with all the names it got thrown at. Really love your merinque pics!(See...now I've done it again...used the M-word)

 
At 7:52 am, Blogger Molly Loves Paris said...

Well for someone who's not keen on LMP you did a wonderful job. I like the loose bottom tart pan idea. It makes the pie look so elegant.

 
At 9:01 am, Blogger DK said...

hahahaha! I fully agree to the 'washing up' part at the end. Good that you got everything perfectly well! I sure did have hic ups with mine!

 
At 9:23 am, Blogger Mary said...

Wow your pie looks beautiful! And thanks for the giggle about rubbing the gloop on your chest. I have to admit I got a little nervous at that part of the recipe!

 
At 9:30 am, Blogger SweetDesigns said...

Your Tart looks Beautiful!!! man your pictures are fantastic, this is one of my favorite parts getting to look at everyone's success!!

 
At 12:49 pm, Blogger Kim Stone said...

Perfectly beautiful.

 
At 3:14 pm, OpenID cerisegourmand said...

Your pie looks perfect! Great job =)

 
At 3:38 pm, Blogger kitten said...

your tart looks amazing. i agree about the meringue, it is so much fun to make and it sure makes this pie look great. i'm not a huge lemon meringue gal myself, so i can't wait for next months challenge.

 
At 5:29 pm, Blogger Big Boys Oven said...

oh ! wow! the fillings looks so dense and full of flavour, just like blasting out!

 
At 5:41 pm, Blogger Princess of the kitchen said...

What a shame you don't like it that much. It looks absolutely divine! Well done!

 
At 5:50 pm, Blogger Miss Ifi said...

Well, what can I say that is a nice looking pie, very pretty!
I must admit I am not a big fan of Lemon Meringue Pie but still it was fun to make, I am glad to hear that someone else besides me enjoyed making the filling.
And in regards to the dishes.. well I'll help you, but beware I only work for chocolate cake.

 
At 6:23 pm, Blogger Dolores said...

Clear Vicks Vapor Rub.

KJ, I think I love you.

As I sit here in my recliner wrapped in five blankets, my chest smothered with an inch of the eucalyptus joy, I imagine you adding egg yolks and lemon to it to make a curd.

Thank you... laughter really IS wonderful medicine!

Oh, and your pie is beautiful. :)

 
At 10:51 pm, Blogger Amanda at Little Foodies said...

It looks excellent! Loved the description of it resembling vicks chest rub! I thought something else but you're spot on.

 
At 4:45 am, Blogger Jenny said...

Great looking pie! Love all of your pictures!

 
At 6:21 am, Blogger DaviMack said...

Good job anyway - we felt much the same. :)

 
At 8:38 am, Anonymous Louise (Gato Azul) said...

Great success! I just like the curd on its own but the whole assembly makes for a gorgeous pie.

 
At 9:58 am, Blogger Lynnylu said...

Great photos!

 
At 10:31 am, Blogger Amy said...

I'm wondering how you got the Lemon Meringue Pie out of the Tart pan too! @_@ it's like magic!!

 
At 12:50 pm, Blogger creampuff said...

You summed that up very well. Separately the elements are great but together ... it's just okay! It looks lovely, though.

 
At 4:16 pm, Blogger The Baker & The Curry Maker said...

Gorgeous pie! So funny, somoene compared it to Clag Glue, Lis compared it to snot and now you Vicks. You're all right. Haha.

 
At 4:35 pm, Blogger Lunch Buckets said...

Nice looking curd!

 
At 4:36 pm, Blogger Chez Denise et Laudalino said...

great photos - love it

 
At 12:13 am, Anonymous Candace said...

Gorgeous tart and a wonderful read! Enjoyed your entire post. :)

 
At 1:12 am, Blogger Sheltie Girl said...

Your pie looks simply scrumptious.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

 
At 1:53 am, Blogger breadchick said...

You LMP sure is lovely and I'll never look at the beginning stages of this curd again without thinking of Vicks!

 
At 7:47 am, Anonymous Carrie said...

I have to say, I'm shocked this LMP didn't convert you. Yours looks so... PERFECT! :-) Nice work!

 
At 2:17 pm, Blogger Sagari said...

thats a beautiful pie

 
At 3:29 am, Blogger Jen Yu said...

Your pie is sooooo beautiful! I find it fascinating that you're not a fan of the whole ensemble, but that you love each of the components. I think I have similar feelings about it too. But you sure make a gorgeous pie :)

 
At 3:36 am, Blogger Kelly-Jane said...

Well, it a lovely pie!

 
At 7:25 pm, Blogger KJ said...

Thank you all first of all for visiting and second for your kind and generous comments.

Hi Tablebread and Amy - I used a loose bottomed flan tin. They are widely available. To be honest it didn't even occur to me to use a pie plate. It would have made more sense because it is, you know, a pie!!!!

 
At 1:55 am, Blogger Cheryl said...

You know, when I look around for everyone to help me with the dishes they are all gone too. But they miraculously show up when it is time to eat the pie. Yours looks great, your crust is perfect.

 
At 8:30 pm, Blogger Yenping said...

Totally hilarious!

There's something about your baked meringue that reminds me of artfully tousled, even windswept hair. It is indeed stunning.

 
At 9:12 pm, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

:):) Just no explaining taste KJ. So glad it went well for you.
Yes it really is a stunning pie and yours surely is!!

 
At 6:33 am, Blogger african vanielje said...

Love the pics and the determination. I'm not the biggest LMP fan in my house, but this was a nicer version than most, I agree. Sorry , not volunteering to help with your washing up, I'm still sulking that Father Christmas didn't bring me the dishwasher I asked for.

 
At 6:13 am, Blogger Elle said...

KJ, if this didn't convert you to LMP, probably it won't become your fave dessert. Super photos, even the one with the curd peeking over the pot. I'm envious of your filling...so firm and no weeping. The meringue is glorious...Nigella eat your heart out!

 
At 6:30 am, Blogger Carla said...

You pie is stunning and I love your photos.

 
At 12:43 pm, Blogger Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

Beautiful job on the pie! I should have used a tart pan...I suck at making pretty edges!

 
At 3:55 pm, Blogger Tartelette said...

Beautiful pie! I love all the shots of the bowl....I am a bowl freak!

 

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