When I first saw the Baking Made Simple book in the November Bluum toddler subscription box, I knew I would have to try out every single recipe. Cooking is a love of mine, but my real passion rests in baking as you may be able to see from my other recipes. The first recipe I decided to try was the lemon meringue pie because I absolutely love everything lemon-based.
This book was included as a way to use baking to bond with your child, but most of these recipes are a bit too complicated to do with a small toddler like my daughter. Including this lemon meringue pie. She loved watching me, but instead of helping, she preferred to sneak a box of cereal to the corner of the kitchen to munch on and stick a green marker up her nose. If you are looking for a recipe to do with a two year old, I recommend sticking to cookies, breads, and cupcakes for a while!
The recipe isn’t difficult, but has a few moving parts that can become complicated if you try to multitask. I recommend taking your time and maybe trying this recipe out while your child is safely preoccupied or napping. Otherwise you might make a few mistakes like the ones I made the first couple of times I tried out this recipe.
The lemon curd filling is simple enough, but I had to change one critical part of the original recipe. The book states you should simply add the egg yolk to the curd and I do nnot recommend that at all. By adding the yolk immediately to the curd, you quickly raise the yolk’s temperature which could cook the yolk before it incorporates in the curd. The last thing you want are small bits of cooked egg yolk in your pie! Instead, I slowly raise the temperature of the yolk by adding some of the curd to the yolk then adding that to the rest of the filling. small mistakes can lead to a failed meringue fairly quickly.
One part of the pie I had particular difficulty with was the meringue. I’ve only made meringue a few times in my life with mixed results and this was a great opportunity to perfect my meringue. The one thing I learned was that you really don’t need to kick up the speed of your beaters all the way, a nice low speed is enough to whip the eggs nicely. Here are a few other tips I learned along the way:
Tips For Amazing Meringue
- Use room temperature egg whites. They peak more and faster. Be sure there is no hint of the yolk because they will also hinder peaking
- Use freshly cleaned beaters and a glass bowl. This is where I messed up. My bowl was clean, but there was some fat residue left from my last baking excursion. Fat prevents eggs from peaking and you will end up with a soupy mess.
- Add in 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar for a stiffer, higher peak.This will also help give you a light, crisp shell that will really set your lemon meringue pie apart from the rest.
- Older eggs work better than fresh eggs. Older eggs have a runnier albumen (egg white) which is easier to whip compared to the thicker whites of fresh eggs.
- 3 lemons
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ cup superfine sugar
- 1¼ cups cold water
- 2oz or 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- pie crust
- 6 egg whites
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1½ cups superfine sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line your pie pan with pie crust. You can choose premade or homemade, depending on your preference. Prick the bottom of the crust. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with uncooked rice or dried beans to weigh the crust down. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove the beans and parchment paper and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
- Zest the lemons and put aside in a small bowl. Juice the lemons and put in a separate small bowl.
- Put the cornstarch, sugar and lemon zest in a pan as well as ¼ of the cold water. Mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a paste. Add the rest of the water as well as the lemon juice.
- Stir the mixture continuously at a medium heat until it reaches a boil. Bring down the temperature and allow it to simmer for about one minute without stirring.
- Gently mix the egg yolk in a bowl and slowly add 4 -5 tablespoons of the lemon mixture to the egg yolk a spoonful at a time to raise the temperature of the yolk without cooking it. Add the yolk mixture to the lemon mixture.
- Mix in the butter.
- Place the pot in ice cold water to bring down the temperature of the curd. Fill the pie crust with the curd.
- Begin to beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add in the cream of tartar.
- Slowly add in the sugar spoonfuls at a time.
- Whip the meringues until light and fluffy, but not too dried out.
- Add the meringue to the top of the pie.
- Bake the pie for 20 - 30 minutes. The meringue should have a light, crispy golden brown shell, but still very soft inside.
- Wet your knife with water or cover in butter to easily slice through the meringue.