Sunday, March 18, 2018

Mile High Lemon Meringue Pie

Yes, I am back from my food blogging hiatus!  I'm glad to be back, and I hope that many of you have stuck around by subscribing to my feed or following me on my Facebook Fan Page. I just had to take a break from social media for a while. I wanted to take the pressure of myself worrying about stats on how many comments or hits this blog of mine receives.  I wanted to come back to food blogging for the joy of it, because I haven't lost my desire to cook and bake new recipes. So, I'm back feeling refreshed with a few recipes I'll be sharing with you.

This luscious Lemon Meringue Pie is the perfect way for me to come back to my blog and tell you that if you love Lemon Meringue Pie as much as I do-- you must make this!  There's a mini-story behind this pie, that has a secret little ingredient that takes this to a new level, Yes, folks, I'm about to blow that secret right out of the water!  The story begins at a restaurant where we live.  My husband and I decided to split a slice of the lemon creme pie that was the special of the day.  The meringue was velvety smooth.  It was not like any classic meringue pie I've ever had, and I was smitten.  The only downer was the crust. It was tough and I just scraped out the pie and its topping. I had to figure out what was in that meringue and I had to make this pie for myself-- with a good pie crust! I went back to that restaurant for a second time, and paid the $8.00 for a sliver of that pie.  The pie crust still wasn't good, but I finally realized what made that meringue so addicting!

Marshmallow Cream!  That had to be the secret! I scoured the internet for a recipe that could be a Copy Cat but came up empty. One day, King Arthur Flour sent me an email with their recipe for  their Mile-High Meringue Pie.  Yes!!! This was it! It was perfect timing that our Eureka lemon tree was very generous with us, as my husband brought in a bucket of lemons. It's showtime!

First things, first. I made their Classic Single Pie Crust that uses a combination of shortening and butter.  I changed their technique by using my food processor and some gentle hands, being very careful to not overwork the pie dough.  (I'm pretty sure this is why the pie crust at that restaurant was so tough.)  I made this pie crust the night before, because there are a few steps to making this pie-- and please trust me when I say it is so worth it!

Let's make the lemon curd filling!  This filling recipe was very easy to make because you are using whole eggs. HOWEVER, this is an ingredient you might not have in your pantry.  I always keep this in my own pantry, because Instant ClearJel is a fantastic thickener for pie fillings (and gravy and many other uses).  I prefer this over cornstarch (or tapioca) because it doesn't "cloud" my pie fillings. I'll never go back! If you don't want to use this ingredient you can substitute cornstarch.  To make the filling you'll need sugar, eggs, butter, lemon juice and lime juice. Yes, lime juice! Now, this is optional, but since I happened to have limes I decided to trust King Arthur Flour.

The filling thickened up beautifully. I poured it into the cooled pie shell and covered it with plastic wrap, gently pressing it onto the filling-- so it wouldn't form a skin. (KAF suggested rubbing some butter over the filling but I skipped that with no problems.)  Now, for the meringue...

I had forgotten that I had an unopened container of Meringue Powder so I used it for the first time.
Folks, this stuff is magical! I didn't have to separate eggs and the meringue turned out beautifully! I added one container of marshmallow cream and look at that!  This meringue is exactly what I had hoped it would be.

So, now the fun begins.  There's plenty of meringue, with this recipe, and I generously slathered it on top of the filling.

The final step is to bake this for 18-22 minutes...

Perfection!  Now the wait begins to chill the pie for a few hours (I chilled it overnight).

As you can see, the filling is perfectly set-- and ClearJel is why. There's no "weeping" or liquid at the bottom of the pie pan.

  How about that generous meringue topping?

TASTING NOTES: I have made many pie crusts, and shared them on this blog. This pie crust is now my new favorite. It was very tender from the shortening, and the butter added a rich flavor. 
The lemon filling was tart with ample lemon flavor, but not to the point that I had to pucker.
The meringue was the star of the show.  It was fluffy, sweet without being cloyingly sweet.
I'm not gonna lie.  This pie was devoured by the two of us, until my son arrived from a visit (he moved to Oregon). He polished off the last two pieces. That is true love, because I had a little bit of food envy.  I absolutely LOVED this pie-- crust and all. As for the lime, I couldn't taste it. I think it just amped up the citrus flavor and I'd use it again.

If you want to see a more classic Lemon Tart I've made, click here.

As always, I'm embedding a printable recipe card, along with notes of a couple of changes I made.  

It's good to be back, and I plan to share recipes with y'all as often as I can.


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Barbara Bakes said...

Love the idea of using marshmallow cream in meringue. I'm definitely try that next time I make meringue.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

What a pleasant surprise to see you back in the blogging world. Beautiful pie and one of my favorites.

portcity34 said...

OMG I must make this even if it means I have to share it with others. I wondered what happened to you and glad to see you are back sharing great recipes. We mustn't make too much of likes, dislikes, and negative comments--geeze--it's like high school all over again but for adults and with people we don't even know! However, as adults we can now use foul language and flick them off without a second thought! LOL

Mimi G said...

Great to see you back! This pie looks favorite. I've never used meringue powder, but I'll definitely give it a try. Pinned for future baking. Thanks for sharing.