Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lemon Meringue Pie

Now I actually have a good reason for the pause in blogging: vacation. For the whole of July we were almost everywhere but home and I have not baked or cooked a lot. Besides, the weather has been so hot and humid (and unlike Finland) that even the thought of a hot oven has convinced me to stay put near the fan and not to heat up the already too warm an apartment even more. But now we are back in the normal course of life and it's even a little bit cooler (although not a lot) and we hosted a meeting for our Bible Study group last night so I decided to bake something, and deal with the consequences of a hot oven.

During our vacation, my husband and I together with his parents spend two weeks in the State of Washington, USA to visit some newly found family of my father-in-law. Therefore, I found it only proper that the first recipe I blog after that trip is something typically American. I took this recipe from a cook book that I got for last Christmas called Maailman ihanimmat leivonnaiset (The world's most wonderful pastries). It is a Finnish cook book put together by a couple of journalists from the Finnish food magazine Maku (Taste). This was the first recipe which I tried from the book, although the wonderful pictures have drawn me to browse it through a number of times before. As this recipe is probably known to my readers across the Atlantic, I will give the recipe as it is in the book i.e. in metric measurements.

I really loved the combination of the little sour lemon pudding and the sweet fluffiness of the meringue. This is the first time I did this pie myself and I'm sure it's not the last. This was fairly easy and quick too, and not difficult to make it gluten-free, if you just use gluten-free flour.

Lemon Meringue Pie

about 10 pieces

100 g butter
3 dl flour
2 tbs sugar
½ tsp baking powder
1 tbs water

1½ dl sugar
2 dl water
1 dl lemon juice
2½ tbs corn starch
4 egg yolks
50 g butter
1 tbs vanilla sugar

4 egg whites
1½ dl sugar

Line the springform pan (about 24 cm in diameter) with a baking parchment. Grease and flour the pan.
Make the crust. Mix the dry ingredients with the room-temperatured butter. Then add the water and squeeze the dough to an even texture. Press the crust on the bottom and on the sides of the pan. Put the pan in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Heat the oven to 200 C. Put another piece of parchment of top of the dough in the pan and pour about 3 dl of dry peas, beans or rice. Press the parchment a little bit so that it stays on properly.
Bake it with the weight for 15 minutes on the lowest rack of the oven. Then take the weight off and bake for another 5 minutes.

When the pie crust is in the oven, make the filling. Measure all the ingredients except the butter and the vanilla sugar into a saucepan. Whisk continuously while the mix heats up until it thickens and starts to boil. Take the pan off the heat, add the butter and vanilla sugar while whisking.

Whisk the egg whites in a clean dry bowl until it is properly foamy. Add the sugar little by little. Continue to whisk until the foam is hard and glossy.

Pour the lemon filling on top of the pie crust and even. Spoon the meringue on top and make little waves in it. Bake the pie for another 10 minutes until the meringue is golden.

The pie is at its best just after cooling down.

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