The Wisdom of a Lemon Pie

As said before, I hope that with the years going by, if nothing else, we get to be a little bit wiser along the way. Like in the kitchen, sometimes while reading a recipe, you know that's not the result you want to have, that this way of cooking this or that ingredient will give you a different result. A steamed potato is not a roasted one!

I choose to make a lemon pie for this week end, after browsing thru one of my baking book, the picture got my intention. But than reading the recipe, with a crust that was baked with the cream inside, it just didn't sound right to me... I like my crust to be crunchy.

So I turned to one of my favorit website when it comes to food, the one from chef simon, who is a blogger but mostly a teacher, and that's exactly what his website is about: teaching. From the easiest step to the more advanced one, everything is explained and pictured. And the fact that is a fan of Rock music, brings him bonus points in my opinion.

This is obviously not my first lemon pie, I've tried different ways to come to my favorit combination: a crust with ground almonds, a lemon cream that you cook on the stove, close to a lemon curd and a french meringue on top. Like every classical recipe, there are so many version, that you have got to choose your own way to do it, I guess that's also a part of wisdom.

Lemon Pie

For one big pie and 4 little ones

For the crust:
200gr of Flour
150gr of Butter
50gr of Icing Sugar
50gr of Ground Almond
1 Egg

For the Lemon Cream:
80gr of Butter
25cl of Lemon Juice
25cl of Water
3 Eggs + 3 Egg Yolks
200gr of Sugar
50gr of Corn Starch

For the Meringue:
4 Egg Whites
200gr of Sugar

Let's start with the crust, in your standmixer give in the butter and, at a slow speed, soften it before giving in the sugar and ground almond. When well combined add the egg, mix again, and than add the flour and a pinch of salt. Always at a slow speed, give a few turns, but don't over work it, it should almost be like a crumble. Bring it into a ball with your hand, and let it rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Roll out your pie crust on a floured surface, to about 3 or 4 millimeters thick. Place it into your pie dish, carefully press it down around the rim and cut the extra pie crust of. Get it back to the fridge for about 15 minutes.
Cut a baking sheet to the size of your pie dish and lay it on the crust, add some weight (like dried beans) on it to put it in the oven for about 10 minutes. Check the border of the pie, when they start to have a golden color, take the pie out of the oven, remove the backing sheet and the beans, and place it back into the oven for an other 10 minutes, or until it's a nice golden color. Leave it to cool.

Now to the cream: in a big sauce pan, give in all the ingredients and place it on a medium flame. It takes a lot of stiring to come to a nice creamy result, but it's all it takes. Count about 10 minutes of non stop stiring, when it reached the wished consistency, step aside to cool.

Fill your pie crust with the lemon cream. Start with the meringue, put the egg white in the mixer with a pinch of salt. Increase the speed of the mixer as you go and when they are close to a soft peak, add the sugar slowly and increase the speed again until they are shiny and with firm peaks.

Preheat your oven to 170°C.

Using a piping bag or just with a spoon, top your pie with the meringue, and put it in the oven for 10 more minutes, if it doesn't color enough for your taste, use the grill of your oven in the end, but stay close, it changes very fast. Serve it when it's cooled down.

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