Friday, March 14, 2014

March 14 is "Pi " day

In honor of pi day, I made a lemon meringue pie. Complete with candied lemons as garnish I might add. 

To make the candied lemons, I followed the recipe in the February 2014 Southern Living magazine, page 120. 
Cut 2 medium lemons into 1/8 inch slices, discard seeds. 

Stir together 2 cups sugar and 4 cups water in a large heave saucepan. Bring to a light boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add lemon slices, reduce heat to medium low and gently simmer about 45 minutes until rinds are soft and lemons are translucent. Turn lemons about every 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Save the syrup! You can use it in tea or in the meringue for this delish lemon pie! 

Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups pillsbury unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 cup crisco
1 egg yolk (save white!)
5-7 TBSP ice water

Combine flour salt and brown sugar. Cut shortening into flour mixture until it is coarse crumbles 

Lightly beat egg yolk and add 4-5 TBSP ice water 

and add to flour, toss with fork until mixture comes together well. Shape into a ball, chill dough 30 minutes for easier rolling. Roll dough on pastry cloth to fit 9 inch pie plate, fold and gently place into pie plate, poke holes in bottom of pie crust to prevent air pockets, trim and crimp edges.

 Bake in 375 degree oven until browned. Remove from oven. 

Now for the lemon pie filling
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt

4 egg yolks (save whites!)
1 3/4 cup water
2/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 stick Land O' Lakes butter

Combine dry ingredients in heavy saucepan, stir together with whisk. Next, take the egg yolks and lightly whip. Stir in the water and add to the dry mixture. 

Begin to cook over medium heat stirring continuously. Add lemon juice and bring mixture to boil, stirring until thickened to desired consistency. Remove from heat, add butter and stir occasionally to incorporate butter.  Place in baked pie crust.

Remember that syrup? Here's your chance to use it! Place syrup back on burner and heat to boil. 

Place egg whites (remember the one from the pie crust) in bowl and beat on high with whisk attachment of stand mixer. When soft peaks begin to form, begin to gently and carefully pour hot syrup (from candied lemons) into egg whites, using about 1/2 cup at a time and whip until desired sweetness and consistency, (stiff peaks) I used 1 1/2 cups syrup and 2 tsp lemon juice. Top hot pie filling with meringue and return to oven to brown. When meringue begins to brown, turn off oven and leave pie in oven about ten minutes more- watching to prevent over browning! Done! Garnish with candied lemon slices. It's too pretty to cut!! 

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