Zest for life….

If you were to scour my site you would have a pretty hard time finding a pie recipe. I’m just not a pie girl. I’m not sure if it is because I didn’t really eat them growing up or what. We were more crisp or betty or grunt people. I much prefer the crumbly top of a crisp to that of pie dough. So I will admit some disappointment in the choice of Lemon Meringue Pie for the Daring Bakers Challenge this time around. Jen(The Canadian Baker) chose this pie, and for good reason, most people actually like Lemon Meringue Pie…I’m just not most people.
I chose to make  mini tarts. Which probably was not the best idea. They would have worked much better if they were just a tad larger than what I made them. Not much room for the filling. Many a Daring Baker complained about running lemon curd. I didn’t have that problem, I think because of the size of my tarts, they were easier to set up. The problem I did have was the meringue. For some bizarre reason mine would not get brown and so I had to bust out the blow torch to make them have color on top.
I halved the recipe and had no problems with that. I took one bite and it tasted like lemon meringue pie. I gave the rest to a friend and she liked them very much. Of course, she is one of the people who likes lemon meringue pie….so that worked out nicely. :)
To see many other Lemon Meringue Pies, head on over to the Daring Baker Blogroll.

Lemon Meringue Pie

(from “Wanda’s Pie in the Sky” by Wanda Beaver)

Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie or about 30 tartelettes

For the Crust:
3/4 cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces
2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
1/3 cup (80 mL) ice water

For the Filling:
2 cups (475 mL) water
1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 mL) cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
3/4 cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

For the Meringue:
5 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

To Make 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 1/8 inch (.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (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 inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). 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.

To Make 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 1 cup (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.

To Make the Meringue:
Preheat the oven to 375ºF (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.


  1. I think your meringue looks perfect. Mine is much too dark. I knew your LMP would be really cool!

  2. I agree that tiny tart shells don’t have enough room to hold a lot of filling. But I like that your lemon curd is just peaking out from under the pillow top of meringue. Very pretty.

  3. Like a souther bells hoop skirt! I think it’s just perfect Peabody!

  4. I suppose we can’t all be fans of the lemon meringue; I made a 3 year old cry be trying a bite after telling her she was in for a tasty treat. Still, looks lovely.

  5. cute – lovely – wonderful! i would have one any time!

  6. I agree the filling seemed better in the mini form and that they don’t hold much! I wound up making another pie crust to hold all the extra filling and topped it and gave it away…it seemed much more wobbly that the little ones. Nice job, your pictures are great!

    …and what is a grunt?

  7. It looks so cute! And I’m not a soft Meringue type too. ;-)

  8. I’m with you — not a lemon meringue pie lover. But that’s the fun of the DB challenges, I guess — to get you to make things you ordinarily would not. And I find when I bake something that I don’t love, there’s always someone around (often my husband) who’s more than willing to eat it.

  9. Great looking pie! Good job! I’m a pie person… At least, you made your friend happy!



  10. Awww…that is one cute little pie.

  11. Nobody would ever know you’re not a pie girl! They look wonderful!

  12. I struggled with this one too… but yours looks cute!

  13. That is so funny. I just posted mine and also talked about not being a pie person either. They just don’t do it for me.

    But yours does look fantastic.

  14. I love Lemon Meringue Pie – this tartlet looks good to me! Wished I could say my filling was as perfect as yours but I had no problem with the meringue.

  15. Each to their own…lemon meringue pie is one of my favourites!! You finshed yours in DB style!!

  16. Don’t worry I am not a pie person either. I had to bring my LMP into work for the vultures to eat. If I would not have brought it into work, I probably would have just scraped off all the meringue and filling and ate the crust by itself. :)

    Your tart looks wonderful!

  17. Peabody it looks lovely. Too bad I didn’t have a pie or tart pan and made it in a lasagna dish. Whoops!

  18. Pie,any pie, gimme,gimmme!!! Looks gorgeous!

  19. They look wonderful! I made the smaller tarts too, but I don’t think they were as small as the ones you made. I like the way yours turned out though.

  20. Always wonderful! I love how you piled your meringue!

  21. Peabody – You did a lovely job on your tarts. I hear you about not being a pie person, I’m not either. I’d much rather eat cookies, brownies or a luscious cake.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  22. I looked for you at midnight and you weren’t quite here yet! That’s a first. And what? No slumps, cobblers, or buckles? :)

    Cute tarts, Peabody. I can just picture you with that torch.

  23. Oh how cute, what a nice fat little tart! And what a great excuse to fire up the torch.

  24. Cute tartlettes! They look great! Way to go in spite of not being a “pie person”!

  25. I would have torched mine if I had a torch!! You did a wonderful job, especially considering you don’t like pies!

  26. Wow, I love the way it came out! Great images.

  27. Gorgeous lil tarts, Gracie! Glad you found a friend to take them off your hands. ;)


  28. That is a delectable photo Peabody.

  29. Could they be any cuter? I think not. Adorable!

  30. They look lovely and tempting, even after seeing cute a few LMPs today already, so that´s saying a lot!
    That´s too bad you don´t like lemon meringue pies, they truly are perfect for winter. Have you tried pierre herme´s creamy lemon tart included in Baking from my home to yours? That one doesn´t have meringue and the lemon cream has a completely different texture and flavor, you might like that one.

  31. I wasnt a LMP kind of girl but I am now.
    Yours look really pretty.

  32. Wow….. deliciously gorgeous pie, i adore it!

  33. Great job! Always love your pictures!

  34. I don’t love lemon meringue in huge quantities so I actually liked the amount of filling in the tart size. Beautiful pictures – the curd just glistens.

  35. You weren’t alone in the non-lemon fanclub. There seemed to be quite a few unhappy campers this month. I was pretty happy about it tho! Nannee nannee booboo.
    I actually like the way you swirled the meringue- weird that it didn’t brown tho~ however it is always nice to have an excuse to bring out the blowtorch and scare the hubby.

  36. I’m not a lemon meringue pie either, it’s my MIL’s specialty. That’s not awkward at all.

  37. You’re pies look great. I’m not a huge fan of LMP either

  38. Still a gorgeous pie, even if you didn’t enjoy the pie factor much!

  39. Your mini tarts look very cute! The crust looks really flaky too. Mine was a little singed around the edges.

  40. I don’t eat a lot of pie, but I have a soft spot for lemon meringue… I think it might be worth moving in next door to you! ^__^

    By the way – a crisp/betty/grunt? Is this a cross-Atlantic cultural difference? I have no idea what any of those are! Is a crisp presumeably the same as a crumble?

  41. If you have any left, I have plenty of takers in my family who would eat it for you. Your little pies look so good that I’m sure you too had a line up of people who wanted them.

  42. I made mini pies and had an overload of filling too – its yummy on toast! The blowtorch has given your meingue topping a great even colouring.

  43. Everything you make turns out beautiful, just like these! They’re so adorable! I just want to pop one in my mouth right now!! ;]

  44. growing up, i couldn’t stand pie–it was give me cake! now, i am a bit more all-inclusive, but not crazy about the LMP. your little ones are cute, tho.

  45. It was very DB of you to make something you don’t like to eat and don’t make often. Your tart turned out great!

  46. The lemon meringue pies were a roaring success then…No?

  47. Cute little pies! I wish I would have done the free form version. We’re not lemon pie fans either, but I did take a few bites.
    Love your pics!

  48. It was my first ever, and although I wasn’t too fond of the starchy filling I really liked how the components worked together.
    Very cute mini pie!

  49. I love the way you piped on your meringue–very pretty!

  50. Beautiful meringue! Such delicate piping!


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