Monday, January 28, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge.


This month I participated in my first Daring Bakers challenge. I asked to join back in the middle of December and anxiously awaited that first assignment. I had so much fun and can't wait to see what the next challenge is!

So anyway... this month was hosted by Jen of The Canadian Baker and she chose lemon meringue pie.


The pie was done in three parts: crust, lemon curd, and meringue. There wasn't a particular difficult part about it but it was time consuming and I loved every minute of it.

I didn't expect to like the pie because I always tell myself that I don't like lemons (what kinda person doesn't like lemons?!) and meringue has always sort of scared me, but I really enjoyed this pie. I even had *gasp* two pieces.


Lemon Meringue Pie
From Wanda’s Pie in the Sky by Wanda Beaver

Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie

For the Crust:

¾ cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces

2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour

¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar

¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt

⅓ cup (80 mL) ice water

For the Filling:

2 cups (475 mL) water

1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar

½ cup (120 mL) cornstarch

5 egg yolks, beaten

¼ cup (60 mL) butter

¾ cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

For the Meringue:

5 egg whites, room temperature

½ tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar

¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt

½ tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract

¾ cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

For the Crust: Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of ⅛ inch (.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about ½ inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.

For the Filling: Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.

Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.

For the Meringue: Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.


Pixie said...

Congrats on your first challenge, well done!

Susan said...

Beautiful pie! Welcome to Daring Bakers.

Sheltie Girl said...

Lovely job on your lemon meringue pie. Welcome to the DBers!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Deborah said...

Wonderful job on your first challenge!

Tartelette said...

Hooray for the two pieces! You did a fabulous job!

Candace said...

What beautiful fluffy meringue! Nice job!

Miss Ifi said...

Congratulations on your first challenge, your pie looks great!!! seriously what kind of person doesn't like lemons *giggles* I am glad you enjoyed the challenge and had 2 pieces of your amazing pie

Andrea said...

Your pie looks beautiful, perfectly browned on top. Congrats on your first challenge and welcome to The Daring Bakers!

Molly Loves Paris said...

That is a really lovely lemon meringue pie. I'm so glad you liked it. Welcome to the daring bakers.

Dolores said...

Congratulations on a successful first challenge, and welcome to the group. I'm glad that after the effort you put in, you enjoyed the pie well enough to have two slices.

Lunch Buckets said...

Nice pie! Congratulations on your first DB success :)

Jenny said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Your lemon curd looks perfect.

Bev and Ollie "O" said...

yay! You finished your first challange! Welldone you! The pie looks fab.

Mer said...

Good job, from another Daring Baker newbie. :0)