Mile-High Meringue Pie
I've made many Lemon Meringue Pie recipes, but this King Arthur Flour recipe ranks at the top of the list. NOTE: I did use KAF ClearJel for the filling and KAF Meringue Powder for the topping. The filling was perfectly set, and the addition of lime juice really made the lemon flavor pop-- just the right amount of tartness. The topping is the crowning glory. Billowy and just the right amount of sweet, marshmallow fluff is the not-so-secret ingredient. This is much better than tradition egg white meringue.
- PIE CRUST:
- 1 single 9-inch pie crust, baked (recommended recipe is King Artur Flour Single Classic Pie Crust below)
- 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Pastry Flour Blend
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons shortening
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup Instant ClearJel or cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup lime juice, optional (don't skip this part!)
- 3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) butter
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 1/2 cup water
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup Baker's Special Sugar or granulated sugar*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup Marshmallow Fluff or marshmallow creme
- NOTE: I put granulated sugar into my VitaMix and gave it a quick whir. Worked great!
Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 168mins
Adapted from kingarthurflour.com
Whisk together the flour and salt.
Add the shortening, working it in until the mixture is evenly crumbly.
Add the butter to the flour mixture, and work it in roughly with your fingers, a pastry cutter, or a mixer. Don't be too thorough; the mixture should be very uneven, with big chunks of butter in among the smaller ones.
Add 2 tablespoons of water, and toss to combine. Toss with enough additional water to make a chunky mixture. It should barely hold together when you squeeze a handful, though the remainder may look quite dry.
Scoop the mixture out onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper, and flatten it out a bit. Take a spray bottle of water, and spritz the dry parts with the water.
Using the parchment or waxed paper, fold the dough over on itself — first from one side, then from the other. You'll find that the dry crumbs are becoming incorporated with the cohesive dough. If there are still dry areas, spritz them with additional water, and fold the dough in on itself again. Keep folding and gathering until just a few dry crumbs remain unincorporated; this should only take a few folds. For a visual demonstration of this technique, see Pie, Any Way You Slice It.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Instead of doing the spray bottle thing (too much hassle, as I've tried it before) I used my food processor by adding the shortening and pulsing until crumbly. I then added the butter (cut into small chunks) and the ice water and pulse a few times until the dough was "shaggy". I dumped the dough onto plastic wrap and molded into a round disk and refrigerated for at least 30 minutes.
When you're "ready to roll," remove the dough from the fridge. If the dough has been refrigerated longer than 30 minutes, let it rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling, to allow the butter to soften up a bit.
Roll the dough to the size needed (about 12" for a 9" pie). Place it in a pie pan, and refrigerate it while you prepare your filling. Fill and bake as directed in your recipe.
Blind bake the pie crust:
To bake an unfilled pie crust, preheat the oven to 400°F. Line the chilled crust with foil or parchment paper, and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust for 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and gently remove foil or parchment with the weights or beans. Return the crust to the oven for 10 to 20 more minutes, until it's golden brown all over. If the edges of the crust start becoming too brown, cover them with a pie shield, or strips of aluminum foil. Remove the crust from the oven and cool completely before adding the filling.
To make the filling:
Mix the sugar, Instant ClearJel (or cornstarch), and salt together in a saucepan.
Add the eggs and whisk well, then whisk in the juice.
Heat the mixture over medium heat until it's very hot; it may come to a boil, or it may just "seethe" a bit, like it's trying to boil and not quite making it. Let it boil or seethe for 30 seconds.
Stir in the butter, stirring until it melts, then pour the mixture into the baked pie shell.
Rub a piece of butter over the surface to prevent a skin from forming (I didn't find this necessary. I gently pressed plastic wrap over the filling). Cover with plastic wrap, and chill for several hours before topping with the meringue.
To make the meringue:
Preheat your oven to 375°F with the oven rack in the lowest position.
Whisk the meringue powder and water together, then beat until foamy.
Add the salt, sugar and vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until the meringue is thick and shiny.
Beat in the marshmallow.
To finish the pie:
Remove the pie from the refrigerator.
Top it with the meringue, using a spatula to form peaks.
Bake the pie for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the meringue has browned.
Remove it from the oven, cool it, and refrigerate until serving.
Store the pie, loosely covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days.