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. Peabody! You make a good showing for someone who doesn’t like LMP. I’m all for the blow torch – keeps things lively. Way to rock it, woman.

  2. wow they look amazing… as was to be expected from you! i haven’t tried the blow torch yet, but it seems like a sensible idea, even though my meringue turned out well. great job!

  3. If it takes a small tart to hold the filling together, I should have done that! Yours look really cute…and if I ever need lessons on how to use a blowtorch, I now know where to come!

  4. They still look pretty awesome, Peabody!

  5. Hey, you know I noticed the same thing with my meringue. It took awhile for it to turn a golden colour. And I agree, small tarts was not the way to go with this one.

    Still it looks adorable! I’d eat it …

  6. Looks good to me! i would have been your guinea pig!!

  7. For having not done a good job, your pie sure does luk so cute and amazing! The swirls and the filling luks fab!

  8. I am so with you about the pie…in general. I am just not a pie person. Your look beautiful! I am also impressed with the use of a blow torch…I mean when all else fails…use the torch!

  9. It doesn’t matter whether or not the torch is needed, it should always be used! Cause it’s fun…

  10. Pity you don’t like them, yours looks wonderful with that oozy curd coming out and the cripsy meringue. Mmm.

  11. you? not a pie girl? could have fooled me with the superb job you did on this lemon meringue pie!! so elegant and delicate-looking, Peabody!!

  12. I’m not a pie girl, either, but LMP is one type I’ve always liked.

    I love your tarts, especially the toasted marshallow look of your meringue — terrific!

  13. I understand the whole not that into pie thing. I’m totally not a lemon girl. But with that said, they still look wonderful!

  14. Nice swirl on that meringue! Looks great.

  15. I also had a hard time getting my meringue to brown so only the tips got any color and so it didn’t quite have the crisp topping I would have liked. Must get blowtorch. Great job!

  16. The lemon meringue tarts look good! For me the meringue browned really quickly. In fact if I hadn’t been watching the oven they would have been completely burnt by minimum time.

  17. LMP is not my thing either! I love pies but I’d take a lattice crust or a crumb top any day! Good learning experience though.

  18. i don’t care what you say, it’s so cute! i’m not much of a pie person either…except for apple crumb pie!

  19. Your Lemon Meringue Tart is absolutely beautiful! and Adorable! I just read someone else’s blog that used a mini torch for their meringue and now I am intrigued. I never thought of using my mini torch in this way. Ingenious! =D

  20. I completely understand about not being terribly excited about the challenge, I am a pie person… just not a Lemon Meringue Pie person and so, I also decided to make tartlets and I must admit, I actually enjoyed them more than I would have a PIE, I can’t wait for next month’s challenge and see what amazing things you do, you are always so creative ^_^ thanks for inspiration

  21. As I read through this month’s posts, it’s interesting to see where people fall along the LMP continuum. Most people seem to have strong feelings — they either love it or they hate it. Relatively few of us occupy the neutral zone.

    For someone leaning toward the hate it camp, you did a great job with this one.

  22. Another lovley Peabody creation.

  23. Wonderful pies. I love the pictures. Also the way you swirled your meringue.

  24. Such a shame you don’t like LMP! The tartlets do look amazingly cute though.

  25. My comment is # 74 (!! not even in my wildest dreams could I have that many comments!), but I hope you will read it : well, what can I say, just like the others : amazingly beautiful !!

  26. LMP isn’t my favorite, but I’m a huge fan of lemon curd. I wonder how the recipe would change with other fruits… I started to list some but then thought of apple curd, with the texture of this recipe and started thinking maybe this is not the best idea.

  27. Sorry lemon meringue pie is not your thing. But what can you do, your a Daring Baker ;)
    They look really wonderful. Good think you had the blow torch, wish I had one :)

  28. I’m not a lemon meringue pie person either…so I don’t think I made a very good judge of how this pie turned out — tasted like lemon meringue pir to me too! :)

    Whatever the case, your mini-tart looks lovely!

  29. I am a pie person :) These are pretty :)

  30. Just beautiful!

  31. Looks good to me! I’m going to have to sign up for the Daring Baker’s group. I think I’m up for it!


  32. Odd that you’re meringue didn’t brown! They tarts are cute. I’m definitely more of a pie person than a crisp or betty person.

  33. A bit size lemon meringue sounds like the perfect size! (that makes it diet food).

  34. Your meringue reminds me of campfire marshmallows! YUM!!!

  35. That is one cute, plump tart! The blow torch effect is great!

  36. look delish! i have to learn how to take those close-up pics. Mine always out like I have been hittin’ the bottle! :)

  37. Yummmm!!!! Tartlets rock! The blow torch effect looks great!

  38. Just beautiful & I love LMP!

  39. I really like the concentric whorls of meringue…and the middle piccie with the little bit of filling peeking out..


  40. Great job on the LMP!! Your tarts are so stout and cute!

  41. BEAUTIFUL, as always! :O) And love that you busted out the blow torch!! I am not a lover of LMP either- but it looks delicious~

  42. They’re adorable! I’m just not a fan of meringue… bleh.

  43. Such a cute pie and you got to use the blowtorch, so it wasn’t a total bust, right? Besides your friend had probably never had such a nice LMP.

  44. Oohhh yummy. That oozing lemon curd is making me hungry

  45. I want a blow torch too!! Great job Peabody and your mini pies / tarteletts look just fantastic. I’m not a great LMP lover either but it was still a fun challenge!

  46. I’m with you on the pie front…but yours still look very cute! Nice job with the blowtorch, too.

  47. They do look beautifully excecuted for someone that claims to not be a pie girl! :) Great job. I chose to make the tarts too – for lack of equipment, really.

  48. I’m so happy I’m not the only non-pie person! They look good anyway.

  49. They certainly are pretty little pies!

  50. Am I number 100??? Well, I think they look lovely, but everything you make always does.


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