I love pies! I always dreamed of owning a pie diner like in the movie The Waitress, where the pie changes everyday with super fun names.
There are many variables to a perfect pie. First the crust, do you use cold butter, shortening with hot water or cream cheese? Maybe a sugar cookie crust or graham cracker crust instead. Then the filling, well the possibilities there are endless, berries with tapioca or maybe cornstarch, box pudding or homemade pastry cream. The top to me is very important, meringue, whipped cream, another crust, no crust and caramelized sugar. How does one choose? First you pick the pie.
This past Sunday we had some unpleasant weather in Florida so my daughter and I choose to bake. My dad Reggie had requested a Lemon Meringue Pie for his birthday which had fallen on April 9th while I was away, so this was the pie for us.
For the crust we made traditional pie crust with cold butter.
Recipe for crust will be at the bottom. You can use store bought as well. We choose to buy 5 inch disposable aluminum pie pans so we could make multiples. After baking the crusts we let them cool.
Next we made the lemon curd. We used fresh lemons and lots of the zest from the lemon to make it very tangy. Once the curd came to a simmer we poured it into the pie crust.
Last but not least meringue. I have made meringue a million different times. I never had the results I know can be achieved for meringue, having had it many times in restaurants. So I started surfing the web for the perfect meringue recipe. I read tons of them. One stood out as a technique I had never attempted before, I had seen it on Diners Drive Ins and Dives but I had never seen an actual recipe. I found this recipe on Genius Kitchen Web Page http://geniuskitchen.com it was called Mile High Meringue. It had 5 star reviews.
I followed the recipe exactly using my open stand mixer from Cook’s Companion. I am not posting this woman’s recipe, only the link. I never like to steal peoples recipes, and this one was perfect. https://youtu.be/d4eBlTYAhk8
After baking for 325 degrees we used a crème brulee torch to add a little more color. We made 4- 5 inch pies. Recipe will yield two 8-9 inch pies.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
For the crust – makes 1 single crust
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
10 tablespoon cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 tablespoons ice water
Place the flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the stainless S blade.
Pulse several times. Add the butter in and pulse 10 times, do not just let it run, pulse to cut the butter into the flour. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time pulsing.
Place dough onto floured surface and form a ball. Flatten into a disk and with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll to form a 10 inch circle.
Press into pie pan. Prick the crust with a fork. If you have pie weights you can use them. Bake crust for 15 minutes on center rack in the oven.
For the filling.
We used two boxes of Jell-O cook and serve lemon pudding to make all of our pies, we substituted 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice for some of the water, and added a tablespoon of freshly grated lemon zest. Once the pudding began to simmer we poured it into the cooled cooked pie crusts.