No familiar holiday celebration is finished without a to die for dessert. After you've washed the dishes from your Easter dinner, show-stop your guests with an extravagant lemon meringue pie. The sunny yellow curd filling and pillows of soft white meringue topping could be defined as spring on a plate. If you have yet to make a pie of these sorts, I suggest you make one to end your Easter dinner. Look at the recipe, and
For the pastry:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons cold lard or solid vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- Make the pastry: In a large bowl, combine the flour with the salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter and lard until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water as you toss the mixture with a fork. Gather the dough into a ball and knead 2 or 3 times until evenly moistened. Pat the dough into a 6-inch disk; wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the chilled pastry into a 12-inch round 1/8 inch thick. Fit the pastry into a 9-inch glass pie plate and trim the overhang to 1/2 inch; fold the overhang under and crimp decoratively. Line the pie shell with foil and fill with pie weights.
- Set the pie shell on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the edge has set. Carefully remove the foil and weights and bake the shell for 15 minutes longer, or until the bottom is firm and light golden; tap the bottom with a spoon if it bubbles up. If the crust begins to brown too quickly, loosely cover the edge with foil. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
- Make the filling: Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of the sugar with the cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, the egg yolks and lemon juice. Whisk in the cold water and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest and butter, stirring until the butter is melted. Pour the filling into the pie shell, cover with wax paper and let cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350° and position a rack in the upper third.
- In a large stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and beat until stiff and glossy peaks form.
- Remove the wax paper from the filling. Scrape the meringue onto the pie and gently spread it over the filling all the way to the crimped edge of the pie crust. Make decorative swirls with the back of a spoon.
- Bake the pie for about 7 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 3 hours.
- Cut the pie with a sharp knife dipped into hot water and serve.
Makes 1 pie.
Make ahead: the recipe can be made through Step 4 and refrigerated overnight. Top with the meringue and bake, then let cool before serving.
What is your favorite Easter dessert? Tell me below and be sure to check back all week for this party as there is lots more to do: drinks, the look, and music.