Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lemon Meringue Pie #1

Looks can be deceiving.

While it may look pretty, this first attempt at Lemon Meringue Pie (LMP) ended up not really pie. The filling was runny. It wasn't even thick like pudding or eggnog - not even close.

But, we ate it anyway! And, it tasted great!

LMP is not difficult as far as the steps and ingredients go, although I did think it was a great recipe for two people to work together. My mom and I made this while she was here over Thanksgiving and it worked out great as far as timing and helping each other. While my mom was working the filling on the stove, I was working the meringue on the counter. We were ready to come together at the same time, just like the recipe says. I do not know how my grandmother-in-law made these pies all by herself. She must have had secrets! (Love you, Grandma Suzie!)

Our pie was not a success in the traditional sense of pie, in that you cut a piece of pie, put it on a plate, and eat it with a fork. The crust (store-bought) was good and the meringue was light and fluffy and sweet, although it did have the sugar droplets on top after we put it in the fridge overnight. (Why does THAT happen?) The filling was very lemony and tart, but not too tart. The only problem was the filling just never set. But, it was easy to eat with a spoon! And, that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly what we did.

With all my vast experience in baking (tongue is firmly in cheek), I am going to hypothesize that we did not have enough cornstarch to thicken the filling. I looked at a ton of LMP recipes online trying to figure out what went wrong, and most of them called for 1/3 cup or more of cornstarch, and no flour. Our recipe called for 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and flour each. Since we all liked the flavor of the filling, I am going to keep the recipe the same, except for the cornstarch - I'll up that to 1/3 cup, and I will omit the flour. We'll see how it turns out then.

My mom-in-law and I are going to try LMP while she is here for Christmas. We have enough lemons from our lemon tree, we could try it at least a dozen times. Eventually, we'll get it right. And I am sure we will enjoy every single attempt, solid or not!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, etc. Enjoy your time with family and friends!

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