“They are so much trouble, and I can’t make pie crust.”
- 1-1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1-1/2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 baked, cooled 9-inch piecrust
Combine the sugar, flour, salt and water in a heavy saucepan. Stir constantly over medium-high to high heat (depending upon your cooktop, especially if it’s electric) until mixture boils. Boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Slightly beat the egg yolks in a bowl with a fork. Mix half the boiled mixture with the egg yolks. Then put the egg yolk mixture back into the pan with the boiled ingredients, and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add butter.
Grate 1 lemon and add the grated peel, together with the juice of 1-1/2 lemons. Mix thoroughly.
Pour into the cooled, baked piecrust. Put the meringue (recipes follow) on the filling while the filling is hot to prevent weeping, and seal meringue to edge of pastry. Bake in a 375°F oven 10 to 12 minutes or until nicely browned.
- 3 egg whites (from extra large or jumbo eggs)
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Have egg whites at room temperature. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer on high until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla. Bake at 375°F 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Generally speaking, the proportion of sugar to egg whites is 2 to 1 (e.g., for a 4-egg meringue, use 8 tablespoons of sugar; vanilla and cream of tartar can remain the same).
Also, remember that meringue pies cut better with a wet knife blade.
For a single-crust pie
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2-1/2 tablespoons ice water
- 1/2 cup Crisco or other good shortening
Place the Crisco in a bowl. Over it, pour 1 cup of the flour and the salt. With your pastry blender (some old timers use a fork), cut the flour and salt into the Crisco until somewhat mixed. Mix the 1/4 cup of reserved flour with the 2-1/2 tablespoons (estimate, or, if you must be exact, a half tablespoon equals 1-1/2 teaspoons) in a small cup to make a smooth paste. Pour the paste over the pastry mixture and continue cutting in with the pastry blender until incorporated. The less you work the dough, the better the pastry.
Form pastry into a ball of dough, flatten and roll between sheets of waxed paper (you may see little veins of Crisco here and there, but that’s okay) to a thickness of about 1/8 inch and 1 inch wider than pie pan. Peel off top piece of waxed paper (tear off in pieces, if you like), invert pie pan on dough surface, turn over, center dough on pie pan, and peel off second sheet of waxed paper. (If any little tears in the dough result, it’s okay, just pinch it back together.) Trim dough to a 1-inch overhang, then turn under to make an edge. You can put a fancy crimp in the edge at this point, if you wish.
For a pre-baked pie shell, prick bottom and sides of pastry with a fork to allow steam to escape (those pie pans with the holes in them are good for this purpose), and bake in a 425°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes until the crust is nicely browned.
For a two-crust pie, simply double this recipe. http://www.texascooking.com/features/marchlemons.htm