easy desserts & recipes: lemon meringue pie (tart) with pâte brisée base
What happens when you receive a package from your dear friend who resides in Tokyo? In my home the entire family gathers to see what has been sent. Marie sends me many fun packages. My husband and boys enjoy the chocolates and candy. And, I receive many wonderful girly things like lip balm, hand gel, soaps, etc. I feel like a kid at Christmas for all the packaging is brightly colored and brilliantly decorated. None of the labeling is in English. All the print is Japanese. Sometimes I have no clue what is in the packaging until I open it to peek at the contents.
On one occasion I had left the contents of one of Marie’s care packages on my kitchen table. I was at work one day and my husband called me at work and this is the conversation we had:
My Hubby: “Babe, I think some of the candy Marie sent is bad.”
Me: “Huh? I just ate some last night. Everything seemed fine.”
My Hubby: “The lemon candy tastes like it went bad.”
Me: “What lemon candy?”
My Hubby: “The lemon candy that looks like a giant Sweettart.”
Me: “Hmmm.. I don’t think she sent…oh my god!”
My Hubby: “What?”
Me: “You just ate a bath fizzy.”
My son and my husband had mistaken a bath fizzy for an oversized Sweettart. I have to admit, the bath fizzy did look like a large Sweettart candy, however it did not smell like one. It was a mistake I don’t think either will forget. When asked if they spit it out, they both said, “No.” It tasted bad, but not bad enough to spit out. A little extra fizzy in the belly isn’t a bad thing, I guess!
Here is a much more enjoyable lemon treat if you are as much a fan of lemon flavored treats as my family.
Lemon Meringue Pie (or Tarts)
Pâte Brisée (Martha Stewart)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds.
2. With machine running, add ice water through feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly; add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
3. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll to fit size of baking tin(s).
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
6. Place the dough into the pie or tart shell. Using a fork liberally poke holes into the base. (This releases the hot air during baking and prevents bubbles. If you need to do it mid baking cycle very carefully take a fork and poke holes in any raised areas. Be careful not to burn yourself from the steam.)
7. Prebake the pie or tart shell until golden brown; cool completely.
4 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
1/3 cup corn starch (plus two tablespoons)
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup lemon juice (Meyer lemons)
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar
Place egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then gradually add sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Whisk the egg yolks in medium size mixing bowl. Set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, water, sugar and salt. Whisk until combined without lumps. Turn heat on medium and stirring frequently bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute more. (I left on the heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture almost looked like a gelatin)
4. Remove from heat and add one whiskful at a time, beating constantly, the hot mixture to the egg yolks.
5. When completely blended, return mixture to the stove, cook on low, stirring constantly. After about 2 minutes gently stir in the lemon juice and butter until well combined. Keep on heat, stirring continuously, until thick.
6. Pour mixture into pie shell and top with meringue while the filling is hot. Make sure meringue covers filling and that it goes to the edge of the crust. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until meringue is golden. Remove from oven and cool. Chill for at least an hour before serving.