Hell. That's what my pie looks like--hell! You think I'm exaggerating, but stay with me. The picture above is just an illusion.
I was delighted when I saw that the very talented Jen at The Canadian Baker chose lemon meringue pie for the January Daring Baker's challenge. I saw it as a way to salute my Grandma Bessie, famous for making majestic lemon meringue pies whenever she had people over for dinner. She easily turned out several pies a week with great ease. And according to my mom, Grandma often beat her egg whites on a flat plate, using a dinner fork. None of that fancy cream of tartar and electric mixer business for her. She used a PLATE and a FORK--and the meringue was perfect. Her recipe came from the back of a cornstarch box, and to my knowledge, she never produced weepy meringue, or tough crust, and the pies were always quite pretty.
As you see above, my pie looked somewhat presentable when it came out of the oven. But, proceed with caution if you have ugly food phobia. That said, click below and be prepared to view lemon meringue hell.
Creepy? But I assure you, it was delicious. The meringue was very good, the curd intensely lemony, and the crust was one of the best I've ever eaten. Everyone raved over the taste. Unfortunately, it all went horribly pear shaped when I tried to cut a slice.
It was a foreshadowing of things to come, an omen if you will, when I couldn't find my rolling pin to roll out the crust. So, I used this bottle of dessert wine instead.
The lemon curd was quite easy to make, and fabulous. I toyed with the idea of abandoning the pie altogether, in favor of eating all the curd with a spoon, right out of the pot.
Here's the pie, with a cloud of delicious meringue on top, ready to go into the oven. I was feeling pretty smug, sure that making superb lemon meringue pie was a genetic trait in my family.
Oh well. I make great bagels.
Now, if you want to see gorgeous looking pies, just peruse the Daring Baker Blogroll. We have amazing talent in our group, and they always dazzle with their creativity. Don't let my messy pie dissuade you from making this recipe, which can be found on Jen's blog. And thank you Jen. Making this pie was a gift from you to me. I remembered my grandmother, gone now for many years, so clearly as I stumbled through the recipe. Food can provide a link from the past to the present.
And thanks for the love in every pie, Grandma.