I love lemon meringue pie, as much for the look of it, as the taste. The tart filling is covered in sweet honey meringue. I added a floral twist that adds a subtle scent of lavender to the not-so-subtle taste of honey.
this pie is very easy to make, but there are some steps to follow that will take your pie from a weepy mess to a magnificent mile high show piece. You can watch me make the pie in my instagram stories.
Lemon Meringue Pie
3 cups (410g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 sticks (285g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and well chilled
1/3 cup (78g) lard or veg shortening or more butter, frozen
1/2 cup ice water (more may be needed)
1 tablespoon vodka or lemon juice
Combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter.
Use a pastry cutter, your hands or food processor to work the butter into the flour, until it looks like cornmeal and starts to stick together when squeezed. You want to keep some of the butter in pea-sized pieces. If the butter is too soft and it won’t stay in pieces, place the bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes and then try again.
Work in the lard in the same way.
Mix together the water and vodka and add to the flour/butter mixture.
Stir this with your hand or a wooden spoon, but be very gentle. The goal is to keep the pea-sized chunks of butter in tact.
When most of the flour is coming together, gently knead the dough into a ball. It should not be perfectly smooth, but, it should also not seem dry or crumbly.
Divide the dough into two pieces and create round disks. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
To roll out the pie crust:
When you are ready to prepare the pie, roll one of the disks out on a well floured surface. If the dough seems hard, let it sit at room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will prevent the edges from cracking too much. You still want the dough to be chilled, so the butter doesn’t get too soft.
As you are rolling, you can round out the edges with your hands. Cracking edges are part of the beast, but this will help to keep them smoother.
Once you have it rolled out to about 1/8-inch thick round, measure the dough to make sure it will fit the 10-inch pie plate. I usually just hold the plate over the dough and eye it. There should be about 2-inches of extra dough beyond the bottom of the plate.
Blind Bake the dough, you will find a video on “Blind Baking” in the highlights on my instagram profile page.
Lemon Filling from Rose Levy Bernbaum – I only used her filling, not the meringue. I like the look and texture of Swiss Meringue, but as she says, Italian meringue isn’t quite as sweet.
Honey Lavender Meringue:
1 cup egg whites
1 1/2 cups honey
1-2 teaspoons lavender extract (or any scent you like or none at all)
To watch me make the Honey Swiss Meringue please see the video “Lemon Pie” in the stories/highlights on my instagram profile page.
Use a thin bladed knife dipped in hot water to slice this pie. The meringue will want to stick to it’s neighbor, so it may take a little effort to remove it from the pan cleanly.