Thursday, February 05, 2009

Making Lemons, blah blah blah.

Occasionally, being unprepared can be a wonderful thing. This is not the way I work best, but it does force you to try new combinations and to look at the items in your cupboard with new eyes. (In my case, eyes that are bulging out with horror, hopelessly seeking a solution). Anyhoo, last Sunday I had offered to bring a lemon meringue pie to a Superbowl party. Unfortunately, I left my preparations to the last minute. I was confident that I had a whole slew of lemons at my disposal but was shocked* to find that their numbers had dwindled to just two. As I desperately dug through the fruit bowl calmly considered my options, I discovered that I also had limes and oranges on hand. In the interest of half heartedly keeping my word, I decided to make a Citrus Meringue Pie. 

At first glance, this looks like a typical Lemon Meringue Pie. Once you pierce that fluffy meringue cap, bright flecks of green lime and orange zest will let you know that this is no ordinary pie. It has a not too sweet, delightfully sour filling that takes these three fruits and makes them in to one citrus superfruit explosion! While they add lovely flavor, those bits of colorful zest also make this a pie best served in an environment where you can explain their presence. If left unattended on a buffet, people may begin to talk. You don't want to be known as "That lady who brought the pie with the weird bits in it". Save this for people with open minds, open mouths, and an appreciation for all things sour. 

*You're thinking, "Is this the sort of situation that would really shock someone?" I spend most of my time alone at home with my two cats these days, it was the most shocking thing that happened all week.

Citrus Meringue Pie (Adapted from Betty Crocker's New Cookbook) 
Your favorite pie crust, baked
3 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 TBLSP cornstarch
1 1/2 cup water
3 TBLSP butter
1/2 tsp meyer lemon zest
1/2 tsp lime zest
1 tsp orange zest
Enough citrus juice to make a generous 1/2 cup. I used mostly meyer lemon juice and a few tablespoons each of the lime and orange. If you use more orange juice than lemon you'll probably want to add less sugar. 

3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 TBLSP sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Beat egg yolks in a s
mall bowl. Mix sugar and cornstarch together in a saucepan, gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Immediately stir half of the hot mixture into the egg yolks; stir back into hot mixture in the sauce pan. Boil and stir for 1 minute; remove from heat. 
Stir in butter, citrus zest, and citrus juice. Pour mixture into pie crust.
Prepare Meringue. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 TBLSP at a time, continue beating until mixture is stiff and glossy. Beat vanilla into meringue.
Spoon meringue onto hot pie filling. Carefully spread meringue to the the edge and seal to crust to prevent shrinking.
Bake 8-12 minutes, until meringue is light brown. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. 


Jennifer said...

Sounds yum. Did you try it with Miracle Fruit?

Lani said...

Oh my goodness I have always wanted to try this but I never had the courage. Thanks for paving the way!

eviedee said...

Jennifer, the pie was perfectly sour and sweet I fear Miracle Fruit would have only ruined the experience. (Kind of like Miracle Fruit and beer eh?) :)

Lani, you and your mad baking skills should totally give this a try! All who partook agreed that citrus meringue would win over lemon meringue in a flavor throwdown any day!

Sylvie said...

Three different citrus flavours sounds perfect to me.

stormy said...

Glad you're back to delighting us with your kitchen antics.

Anny said...

That sounds good! Your cat comment made me laugh :)