Today’s Shout-Out Sunday, is slightly different from previous editions that I’ve shared. First, due to trying to document these pies on the fly (running out the door on Thanksgiving), these photos were taken with my Iphone. The quality is far from good, but it is what it is… my apologies. Second, due to an abundance of Thanksgiving cooking and baking, I haven’t ventured too far from my own arsenal of recipes. Which, leads me to a question, for you the readers…
What is your style of holiday cooking?
Are you a traditionalist? … Sticking with the same recipes year after year because of, well…traditions of the family kind.
Or, perhaps you’re more daring? Just going for it…trying a brand new recipe for a holiday feast.
I tend to fall into the first category. Not by my own making though…I get a little help from my family. Each individual seems to have a favorite…a different favorite. Not wanting to disappoint anyone, I tend to slightly overdue things in the baking department. And me, being me, I tend to try at least one new recipe to keep my inquisitive side happy too.
We didn’t host a Thanksgiving feast at our home this year. Instead, we were guests at the home of Glenn’s sister and her husband. They put out a fabulous spread of the required savory dishes. It was fabulous! My assignment for the day was to make dessert. And desserts I made!
Upon receiving my assignment, I inquired if there were any “special requests” for the dessert table. Our niece requested my cheesecake with strawberries on top. This Classic Cheesecake was actually my 100th post several months ago. You can view the recipe, here. Yes, I know, technically it’s not a pie…but it is round, and it has a crust, so…
Both of my kids love apple pie… so I made my Grandma’s Apple Pie to appease the fruity monsters. And, I admit…myself too. I posted Grandma’s recipe last year (which is my cheater’s method), the recipe can be found, here.
My inquisitive side was made happy by trying one new recipe in the spread. A chocolate pie. I had never made a from scratch chocolate pie before…which makes no sense at all. I love pie. I love chocolate. Duh…make a chocolate pie, Nancy! Ironically, Shari @ Cook AZ I Do, posted the chocolate pie she made for her family’s Thanksgiving last week. And guess what? It was basically the same recipe I made! That, thankfully, has saved me a lot of time in typing… I don’t need to post the recipe… Shari did for me!! Thank you, Shari… you can view the delicious recipe, here.
Of course, if it’s Thanksgiving, Pumpkin Pie must be available. Now, I’ll admit, I don’t much care for pumpkin pie. Never have. But, in the spirit of the holiday, I wasn’t about to let anyone else’s taste buds down…so I baked one up. This is where the biggest secret of all comes in…shhhhh…I use the recipe (slightly adapted) from the back of a can… Libby’s Pure Pumpkin, in fact. For shame, I know!
Finally, I made a Lemon Meringue Pie. I didn’t even know I liked lemon meringue pie until, about a year ago, I had a request for said pie from a brother in law. It took me a few months to honor his request, but once I did… I was hooked! I even made one for my own birthday last year… that’s how smitten how I was. Finally, I offer you a recipe for a deliciously tangy, crowd pleasing lemon meringue pie!
What will you be baking this holiday season? I’m sure I’ll have a repeat, or two, from round one (Thanksgiving)… and possibly one or two new ones too! Enjoy!
Lemon Meringue Pie
Corn Starch Paste:
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup cold water
Homemade or premade crust for 9-inch pie
2-3 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated from 2 lemons
1/2 cup lemon juice, strained from 2-3 lemons
4 egg yolks (whites reserved for meringue)
1¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1½ cup cold water
2 Tablespoons butter, unsalted, cut in small pieces
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup superfine sugar (see note below)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Note: Standard sugar can be processed with a metal blade in a food processor for 1 minute to achieve superfine status.
For the Cornstarch Paste:
In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch and water. Whisk until well combined and no lumps remain. Heat to boiling, while stirring constantly, just until the mixture turns translucent and thickens. Remove from heat. Scrape the paste into a small bowl, cover and set aside to cool for use in the meringue.
For the Crust:
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place dough in pie plate; crimp edges as desired. Using a fork, prick the dough several times to prevent puffing of the crust. Place a piece of foil on the dough and pour either pie weights or dried beans to further prevent puffing and bulging. Bake about 7 minutes; remove the foil and weights/beans; continue baking for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Cool crust of wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF.
For the Filling:
Grate the zest from 2 lemons to measure 2-3 teaspoons.
Squeeze lemons to make 1/2 cup juice.
Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a small bowl and whites of the bowl of a mixer (reserved for meringue).
In a medium sauce pan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt and water. Set burner heat to medium and stirring constantly, cook the mixture until very thick (2-3 minutes). Temporarily remove from heat (keep the burner set to medium).
Whisk the lemon juice into the egg yolks. Carefully add a spoonful of the hot, thickened filling to the yolk/juice. Whisk well to combine. Repeat with 2 more spoonfuls.
While whisking, slowly pour the tempered yolk filling into the pot of thickened filling. Return the pot over the hot burner and cook until very thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Stir in butter and lemon; set aside for assembly of pie.
For the Meringue:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until very frothy, about 1 minute. Slowly add the sugar, a tablespoon or so at a time, mixing well with each addition.
Increase speed to high and continue beating until whites hold stiff peaks, scrape down bowl as needed.
Reduce speed to low and add the vanilla and the cornstarch paste (1 tablespoon at a time). Return speed to medium for 30 seconds or so until well incorporated.
To Assemble the Pie:
Pour the filling in the baked pie shell.
Spoon large dollops of meringue around the pie edge. Smooth and adjust the meringue; there should be no gaps between the crust and meringue. Place the remaining meringue on the center of the filling; covering the filling completely.
Create peaks in the meringue by using the back of a spoon. Gently push the spoon in the meringue, then pull the spoon up to create peaks. Try not to overwork the meringue, or you’ll risk it flattening during baking.
Bake in the preset, 350ºF oven for 15-20 minutes or until the meringue is light brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours.
This pie tastes best if eaten the same day it is baked.