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Old 03-01-2009, 10:39 PM   #1
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ISO Help with Lemon Meringue Pie

I'm on my second lemon meringue pie and they both have been failures. They are watery and have a tin-like taste.
I did use a prepared pie crust in an metal (aluminum?)pan. It was a Mrs. Smith's brand.

Here is the last recipe I used:



Grandma used this recipe as a pastry chef. It uses half flour which helps stabilize it. It also helps to cook it long and slow say 10 minutes or more on low heat after it thickens before adding the yolks

Grandma's Lemon Meringue Pie

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon rind

Meringue:
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
dash cream of tartar

In a heat proof bowl beat the egg yolks until thick and yellow. Add the lemon juice and rind and mix well. Set this mixture aside. In top of double boiler combine flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar. Gradually mix in 1/2 cup cold water a bit at a time to avoid lumps until you have a smooth mixture. Gradually whisk in the boiling water. Add the butter and cook stirring constantly until thickened. Continue to cook stirring constantly a few minutes more. Remove the sugar mixture from the heat. Add a few spoons (about a third cup, or half cup) of the hot sugar mixture to the yolks and blend quickly. Return the yolk mixture back to the pot, blend quickly and return the pot to the heat. Continue cooking 2 minutes more stirring constantly until the mixture steams a bit. Pour into baked pie crust. Top with meringue and bake in 375 degree oven about 8 to 10 minutes watching carefully until the meringue has golden brown peaks

Note: this is the recipe grandma used when she was pastry chef at a private club before WWI. She used a double boiler because she made large amount of pies. (She used 25 pounds of flour for each day's piecrust). and you have to cook it slower to avoid overcooking the bottom before the rest is done. At home she skipped the double boulder. This pie was served to the likes of Henry Ford I.


Please help!

Mikro

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Old 03-02-2009, 01:14 AM   #2
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To me, it seems to you are cooking it too long, corn starch can stop acting as a thickener if it is overcooked. I don't use flour in mine. This is the recipe we make at school with the kids. It usually works.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Ingredients;

Pastry:

200g plain flour
50g butter
50g lard
1 egg yolk
2 tsp caster sugar

Lemon Filling:

2 large lemons
30g corn flour (corn starch)
300ml water
2 egg yolks
90g caster sugar

Meringue topping

3 egg whites
150g caster sugar


1 Put the flour into a bowl. Cut the butter and lard into cubes. Using your fingertips, rub butter and lard into flour until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2 In a small bowl, mix together 1 egg yolk, l tsp caster sugar and 1 tsp cold water. Make a well in the centre of crumbed flour mixture and add the egg and sugar mixture Using your hands, bring mixture together quickly to form a smooth, firm dough.
3 Roll out pastry on a surface lightly dusted with flour to make a circle big enough to line the base and sides of a shallow, loose bottomed 20cm fluted flan tin. Carefully roll pastry around rolling pin. Lift over tin and unroll pastry.
4 Using fingertips, case pastry into tin. Trim top edge neatly. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes. Put a baking sheet into oven set at 425F/220C/gas 7. Line pastry case with greaseproof paper and weight down with baking beaus. Cook on baking sheet for 15 min. Remove paper and beans. Return to oven and cook for 5 min, or until light golden brown.
5 Finely grate rind and squeeze juice from 2 large lemons. Put juice and rind into a bowl. Add the corn flour and 2 tbsp cold water taken from 300ml cold water. Blend to a smooth paste.
6 Boil remaining water in a saucepan. Pour on to lemon mixture, stirring continuously. Return to pan and bring to boil, stirring continuously for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2 egg yolks and caster sugar, heating well. Cook over a low heat for 1 minute, or until mixture thickens. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, and then pour into pastry case.
7 Put 3 egg whites into a clean bowl. Using an electric beater, whisk whites until soft peaks form. Add caster sugar, 1 tsp at a time, whisking well between each addition, until all sugar is whisked in and meringue is glossy and forms stiff peaks.
8 Reduce oven temperature to 325F/160C/Gas 3. Spoon meringue over lemon filling, spreading right out to edges of pastry case. Pile meringue up in centre of pie to give a domed effect. Cook pie in oven for 25 minutes, or until meringue is pale golden.
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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If the pan is plain aluminum, I'd stay away from it for this recipe as there is a lot of acid and that can effect the flavor.

I'd cook the filling a little longer to ensure it thickens adequately. The combination of flour corn starch and eggs will give you a nice thick mixture but takes longer than 2 minutes in a double boiler.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:12 AM   #4
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Here's my grandma's recipe...it's quite simple and really delicious.

Grandma Snarr’s Sunshine Pie

4 eggs; separated
1 cup Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup water
1pie shell; baked

Dissolve gelatin in water. Add 1/2 cup sugar to egg yolks, lemon juice and zest. Cook in double boiler and beat until creamy. Remove from heat and stir in gelatine. Beat egg whites till stiff, then beat other 1/2 cup sugar into egg whites. Fold whites into other mixture. Spoon into baked pie crust and chill. Serve with whipped cream.




As for the pie crust, I recommend the ones you find in the dairy case, that you just unroll and put in the pie pan.
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:54 AM   #5
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I use Lucky Leaf; the canned lemon filling. I should be embarrased, right? But it's fast and always perfect.
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:24 PM   #6
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LEMONPIE

There's the link to mine if you'd like to try it.
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:10 PM   #7
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Sometimes I think using all fresh lemons you get that tin like taste, even in a glass pie plate. This recipe will not get weepy and the meringue will not get condensation on it due to the cornstarch gel.
Enjoy! Debbie

LEMON MERINGUE PIE



CORNSTARCH GEL
1 tablespoon(s) CORNSTARCH
1 tablespoon(s) SUGAR
1/3 cup(s) WATER

PIE CRUST
1 cup(s) FLOUR
1/2 teaspoon(s) SALT
1/2 cup(s) SHORTENING
ICE WATER; As Needed.

LEMON FILLING
1 1/4 cup(s) SUGAR
1/3 cup(s) CORNSTARCH
1/8 teaspoon(s) SALT
1 1/2 cup(s) WATER
1/4 cup(s) LEMON JUICE; Fresh Squeezed.
1/4 cup(s) LEMON JUICE; Bottled.
4 large EGG YOLKS; Room Temperature.
3 tablespoon(s) BUTTER

MERINGUE RECIPE
1/4 teaspoon(s) CREAM OF TARTAR
1/2 cup(s) SUGAR
4 large EGG WHITES; Room Temperature.
1/2 teaspoon(s) VANILLA
_____

Prepare pie crust by combining flour and salt in medium bowl; cut in vegetable shortening with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly.
Sprinkle with water; blend until mixture holds together.
Shape dough into ball; place on a lightly floured surface.
Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
Line pie plate with pastry.
Prick crust all over with a fork.
Turn edge under; crimp as desired.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool pie shell.

After crust has cool, make cornstarch gel by combining 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan.
Add 1/3 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Continue to stir until clear and thick, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool while preparing lemon filling.

For lemon filling: In a stainless steel sauce pan, add 11/4 cups sugar, 1/3 cup cornstarch and 1/8 teaspoon salt and blend together.
Add 11/2 cups water, 1/2 cup lemon juice, and beaten egg yolks.
Bring to a boil on medium to medium-low heat, stirring and whisking often.
You don't want the heat real high or the filling will stick to the bottom of the pan or burn.
Simmer until the filling is thick, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and add the 3 tablespoons butter.
Do not stir in butter,let butter melt on top of filling.
After the butter melts then stir in.

While butter is melting make meringue by mixing 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar and 1/2 cup sugar together and set aside.
With a mixer on high speed, whip egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla on high until foamy.
Add sugar and cream of tartar mixture 1 tablespoon spoon at a time until meringue forms soft peaks.
Then beat in the cool cornstarch mixture into the meringue 1 tablespoon spoon at a time until meringue forms stiff peaks that stand up.

Carefully pour filling into cooled baked pie shell.
Spread a layer of meringue over the filling and right up to the ends of the pie crust sealing in the filling.
Pile on the remaining meringue and swirl into decorative peaks with a spoon or spatula.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until meringue peaks start to brown.
Cool completely before refrigerating.
Chill well before serving.
_____
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol-blue View Post
After crust has cool, make cornstarch gel by combining 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan.
Add 1/3 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Continue to stir until clear and thick, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool while preparing lemon filling.

For lemon filling: In a stainless steel sauce pan, add 11/4 cups sugar, 1/3 cup cornstarch and 1/8 teaspoon salt and blend together.
Add 11/2 cups water, 1/2 cup lemon juice, and beaten egg yolks.
Bring to a boil on medium to medium-low heat, stirring and whisking often.
You don't want the heat real high or the filling will stick to the bottom of the pan or burn.
Simmer until the filling is thick, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and add the 3 tablespoons butter.
Do not stir in butter,let butter melt on top of filling.
After the butter melts then stir in.

While butter is melting make meringue by mixing 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar and 1/2 cup sugar together and set aside.
With a mixer on high speed, whip egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla on high until foamy.
Add sugar and cream of tartar mixture 1 tablespoon spoon at a time until meringue forms soft peaks.
Then beat in the cool cornstarch mixture into the meringue 1 tablespoon spoon at a time until meringue forms stiff peaks that stand up.

Carefully pour filling into cooled baked pie shell.
Spread a layer of meringue over the filling and right up to the ends of the pie crust sealing in the filling.
Pile on the remaining meringue and swirl into decorative peaks with a spoon or spatula.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until meringue peaks start to brown.
Cool completely before refrigerating.
Chill well before serving.
_____
Thanks for the reply..

When do I add the cornstarch gel?
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikro View Post
Thanks for the reply..

When do I add the cornstarch gel?
With a mixer on high speed, whip egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla on high until foamy.
Add sugar and cream of tartar mixture 1 tablespoon spoon at a time until meringue forms soft peaks.
Then beat in the cool cornstarch mixture into the meringue 1 tablespoon spoon at a time until meringue forms stiff peaks that stand up.
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:38 AM   #10
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Location: Hull, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol-blue View Post
Sometimes I think using all fresh lemons you get that tin like taste, even in a glass pie plate. This recipe will not get weepy and the meringue will not get condensation on it due to the cornstarch gel.
Enjoy! Debbie

LEMON MERINGUE PIE



CORNSTARCH GEL
1 tablespoon(s) CORNSTARCH
1 tablespoon(s) SUGAR
1/3 cup(s) WATER

PIE CRUST
1 cup(s) FLOUR
1/2 teaspoon(s) SALT
1/2 cup(s) SHORTENING
ICE WATER; As Needed.

LEMON FILLING
1 1/4 cup(s) SUGAR
1/3 cup(s) CORNSTARCH
1/8 teaspoon(s) SALT
1 1/2 cup(s) WATER
1/4 cup(s) LEMON JUICE; Fresh Squeezed.
1/4 cup(s) LEMON JUICE; Bottled.
4 large EGG YOLKS; Room Temperature.
3 tablespoon(s) BUTTER

MERINGUE RECIPE
1/4 teaspoon(s) CREAM OF TARTAR
1/2 cup(s) SUGAR
4 large EGG WHITES; Room Temperature.
1/2 teaspoon(s) VANILLA
_____

Prepare pie crust by combining flour and salt in medium bowl; cut in vegetable shortening with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly.
Sprinkle with water; blend until mixture holds together.
Shape dough into ball; place on a lightly floured surface.
Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
Line pie plate with pastry.
Prick crust all over with a fork.
Turn edge under; crimp as desired.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool pie shell.

After crust has cool, make cornstarch gel by combining 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan.
Add 1/3 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Continue to stir until clear and thick, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool while preparing lemon filling.

For lemon filling: In a stainless steel sauce pan, add 11/4 cups sugar, 1/3 cup cornstarch and 1/8 teaspoon salt and blend together.
Add 11/2 cups water, 1/2 cup lemon juice, and beaten egg yolks.
Bring to a boil on medium to medium-low heat, stirring and whisking often.
You don't want the heat real high or the filling will stick to the bottom of the pan or burn.
Simmer until the filling is thick, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and add the 3 tablespoons butter.
Do not stir in butter,let butter melt on top of filling.
After the butter melts then stir in.

While butter is melting make meringue by mixing 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar and 1/2 cup sugar together and set aside.
With a mixer on high speed, whip egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla on high until foamy.
Add sugar and cream of tartar mixture 1 tablespoon spoon at a time until meringue forms soft peaks.
Then beat in the cool cornstarch mixture into the meringue 1 tablespoon spoon at a time until meringue forms stiff peaks that stand up.

Carefully pour filling into cooled baked pie shell.
Spread a layer of meringue over the filling and right up to the ends of the pie crust sealing in the filling.
Pile on the remaining meringue and swirl into decorative peaks with a spoon or spatula.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until meringue peaks start to brown.
Cool completely before refrigerating.
Chill well before serving.
_____
Lemon pie is a passion of mine...I can tell a really good recipe when I see one. Thanks for sharing...I've copied and pasted into my computer recipe book. Thanks again!!!
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