Lemon Meringue

When we lived in Houston, there was a 24 hour pie shop nearby.  Any time of day or night you could get delicious pies.  One of the best there was lemon meringue.  So, when I was choosing what pie to make, this was  natural choice.

There's nothing particularly complicated about making a pie like this.  I did this to get some practice.  The meringue is fairly labor intensive if, like me, you don't have an electric mixer.  Come to think of it, I don't have electric devices in the kitchen besides a blender.  Anyway, the pie dough is made first.  A simple mixture of flour, butter, and water (dash of salt for flavor).   The ratio seems simple enough, but I'm not completely sure whether it scales well.  3:2:1 is the ratio, by weight for flour:butter:water, at least in US measures.  Since I like using metric in the kitchen, the ratio is still roughly the same, but with small adjustments  2.88:1.88:1.   This is something I'm noticing more and more, but the ratios seem to be more often nice and neat (i.e. rational) with "US" measures (pounds and ounces)  than when using metric.  I'm not sure why this is.

The dough is chilled so the butter can firm up again, it is scaled to about 284 grams per crust and rolled out into a rough circle.

If you've made any sort of custard or pastry cream before, the filling is pretty much the same sort of thing.  Instead of a cornstarch thickened milk/cream mixture, you have cornstarch thickened lemon juice, zest, and water, egg yolks, and sugar.

The topping is a basic sweetened meringue.  A little more sugar than I'm used to using (e.g. for macarons), but still the same sort of thing.  For this, it is 2:1 sugar:egg whites.  

I had a little trouble getting mine to stiff peaks.  It seemed to want to stay in a ribbon stage after getting opaque and silky, almost like a cooked italian meringue. I think I still got decent results, though.

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