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La Belle Cuisine - More Pie Recipes

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Lemon Meringue Pie



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La Belle Cuisine


Lemon Meringue Pie

Square One, San Francisco
Gourmet April 1993

For the shell:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter,
cut into bits and frozen
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
cut into bits and frozen
1 tablespoon ice water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Raw rice for weighting the shell

For the filling:
12 large egg yolks
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter

For the meringue:
1 cup egg whites
2 cups superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the shell: In a bowl stir together the flour, sugar, and a pinch
of salt, add the butter and the shortening, and blend the mixture until it
resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water and the lemon juice and toss
the mixture with a fork until it forms a dough. Form the dough into a
ball, flatten it slightly, and dust it lightly with flour. Chill the dough,
wrapped in wax paper, for 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a 12-inch round, fit it
into a 10-inch glass pie plate (1 1/2 quarts) and crimp the edge decora-
tively. Prick the shell in several places with a fork and freeze it for at
least 30 minutes or overnight. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line the
shell with foil, fill the foil with the rice, and bake the shell in the middle
of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F.
and bake the shell for 25 minutes more. Remove the foil and rice care-
fully, bake the shell 5 minutes more, or until it is pale golden, and let it
cool in the pan on a rack.
Make the filling
: In a bowl whisk together the yolks, lemon juice, and
sugar until the sugar is dissolved, strain the mixture through a fine sieve
set over a heavy saucepan, and stir in the zest and the butter. Cook the
mixture over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until it registers 140
degrees F. on a candy thermometer and cook it at 140 degrees F., stirring
constantly, for 3 minutes more (do not let the mixture boil). Transfer the
filling to a bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and let it cool,
stirring occasionally, until it is the consistency of raw egg white. Pour the
filling into the shell and bake the pie in the middle of the 350-degree F.
oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the filling is just set. Chill the pie for at
least 3 hours or overnight.
Make the meringue
: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat the whites until they are frothy, add the sugar, a little
at a time, and beat the whites until they hold stiff peaks. Fold in the
vanilla. Pile meringue on top of the filling, making decorative peaks,
and bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 7 minutes, or until the
meringue is golden brown. Chill the pie for 3 hours, or until it is set.

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