I made this Lemon Meringue Pie after a request from a cooking class participant. We were making Cherry Hand Pies and Morganna, a 15-year old budding gluten free baker, told me she wanted to make an apple pie and a lemon meringue pie.
Here’s what I learned making my Lemon Meringue Pie.
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“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” -Albert Einstein
I find this statement to be true with baking, gluten free baking and life in general.
Of course there is a difference between pie pastry and tart pastry, I just never really thought about it. These days I’m teaching people how to make gluten free pastry in my cooking classes. After all this talk and recipe testing for pastry I finally realized that my old pastry recipe is really tart pastry. So here’s the difference:
As a young baker I was enthralled with beautiful magazine photos of tarts. I thought it was easier to only make a bottom crust, I liked the cookie like pastry and the unusual shaped tart pans allowed me to create an interesting presentation.
My mom, on the other hand, was famous for her flaky pie pastry. She made double crust fruit pies all summer and said that lard was the secret to a flaky crust. In later years when one of my brothers went vegetarian she adjusted to using shortening and no one seemed to notice.
For a gluten free pastry there are a lot of adjustments needed to make flaky pastry that is tender and stays together. Thanks to America’s Test Kitchen for doing all the science and determining that all butter is best with sour cream and vinegar to create all the elements needed for using gluten free flours.
Meringue is another topic where there is more to learn. Bakers around the world have their preferences and these are some of the differences.
My mom and grandmother would have said meringue is just beaten egg whites with sugar. They may have mentioned that a pinch of cream of tarter makes meringue more stable. And they both made and served amazing lemon meringue pies with no more than that knowledge. So make your pie and learn more as you go. You get to decide how tall the meringue should be. I couldn’t pile it all on so I made a few small tarts with the extra pastry, filling and meringue.
You don’t need much more than a pie plate and a rolling pin.
Let me know in the comments below how your Lemon Meringue Pie turned out. Morganna has been working on her pastry skills and shared this photo of her Strawberry Meringue Tarts.
Good luck with your baking!
|1½ cups water|
|1 cup sugar|
|¼ cup cornstarch|
|⅛ tsp salt|
|6 egg yolks|
|1 Tbsp grated lemon zest|
|½ cup lemon juice from 3 lemons|
|2 Tbsp butter|
|⅓ cup water|
|1 Tbsp cornstarch|
|4 egg whites|
|½ tsp vanilla extract|
|¼ tsp cream of tartar (optional)|
|½ cup sugar|
|Chilled pastry for single 9-inch pie shell|
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