First Daring Bakers Challenge 2008: Lemon Meringue Pie

I have to admit, that I don’t know how to translate „pie“ to German. We have words for savoury pies, but not for the sweet ones. I translated it to „Mürbeteig mit Zitronenfüllung und Baiserhaube„.

The challenge before the real baking challenge for me is to convert the recipe to metric units. I always use this conversion table and it worked up to now. I don’t know why it happened, dirty glasses or bad maths, I used the wrong amount of starch. I should have known that 30 grams for at least 655 ml liquid won’t work, but I realised it too late. So the filling wobbled under the Lemon Meringue Pie after baking:

Lemon Meringue Pie

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and ran away after slicing. The taste: top, the visual appearance: flop. For my childrens palate it was too „American“, so I didn’t bake it again.

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The recipe with the correct metric amounts follows below. I didn’t use cream of tartar, I substituted it with the same amount vinegar essence. I whisked all ingredients toghether and beat it in a bowl standing in very hot water until stiff.

-========= REZKONV-Recipe – RezkonvSuite v1.4
Title: Lemon Meringue Pie
Categories: Baking, Pie
Yield: 1 Pie Ø 25 cm


175 grams   Cold butter; cut into 1.2 cm pieces
250 grams   All-purpose flour
50 grams   Granulated sugar
1/4 teasp.   Salt
80 ml   Ice water
475 ml   Water
200 grams   Granulated sugar
60 grams   Cornstarch
5     Egg yolks, beaten
58 grams   Butter
180 ml   Fresh lemon juice
1 tablesp.   Lemon zest
1 teasp.   Vanilla extract
5     Egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teasp.   Cream of tartar
1/4 teasp.   Salt
1/2 teasp.   Vanilla extract
150 grams   Granulated sugar


  Pie recipe courtesy of Wanda’s Pie in the Sky by Wanda
  Beaver, 2002
  Tartlet recipe courtesy of Ripe for Dessert by David
  Lebovitz, 2003
  Edited *RK* 12/30/2007 by
  Ulrike Westphal


For the Crust: Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of 3 mm. Cut a circle about 5 cm larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about 1.2 cm. Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 175 °C. Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.

For the Filling: Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.

Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 240 mL of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.

For the Meringue: Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.

Prepare the recipe as above but complete the following steps:

To roll out tartlet dough, slice the dough into 6 pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll each circle of dough into a 5 inch disk. Stack the disks, separated by pieces of plastic wrap, on a plate, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To bake the dough, position rack in oven to the centre of oven and preheat to 180ºC. Place the disks of dough, evenly spaced, on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely.

To finish tartlets, first place oven rack in the upper third of the oven and increase heat to 220ºF.

Divide the lemon filling equally among the disks, mounding it in the centre and leaving a 2.5 cm border all the way around.

Spoon the meringue decoratively over each tartlet, right to the edges, in dramatic swirling peaks. Return tartlets to oven and bake for about 5 minutes, until the meringue is golden brown.


You can make one pie or tartlets (in a tin or free-form)

You can compliment your pie with a sauce. For example, you can serve it with raspberry or white chocolate sauce.

You can use a piping bag to apply the meringue if you like.

Decoration is up to you – lemon zest or fruit are totally acceptable.


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