My father came to visit last week. And since I haven’t been posting anything of consequence, I would like to take this opportunity to blame my blog’s dry spell on my Dad. You see, had I not been touring contemporary art museums, imbibing tequila shots (yes, with my father), and generally being the best tour guide known to man, I would probably have been sitting alone in my apartment, writing useful content.
Instead, all I have to show for my lack of posting is this pie. This lemon meringue pie, which tastes of love and summer, that I specifically prepared for the arrival of my father and the remains of which have been heartily consumed by my boyfriend since the departure of said father. People, I whipped this meringue by hand. With a whisk. That’s love. Don’t tell me it’s not until you’ve reached minute forty-five of meringue whipping. It should probably be noted that I don’t own any manner of electric beaters, but that makes no difference. By hand! By hand!
You should make a pie for someone that you love. People love pie. People love the fact that you baked them something. People love you. (Are my daddy issues showing? Just kidding. Kind of.) Either way, here’s what happened.
Day 1: I made the pie crust. I used a genius recipe for Vegan Flaky Pie Crust from VeganBaking.net, and it worked perfectly. If you follow the instructions exactly, you really do end up with a light, flaky crust. When they say chill your bowls & water prior to mixing your dough, do so. And especially make sure to chill the final, rolled out crust in the fridge right before putting it in the oven. Apparently a cool pie crust needs to hit a very hot oven to create the right type of chemistry. Either way, it’s delicious.
Day 2: I made the lemon curd and meringue, using my all-time favourite Canadian Living recipe. I’ve been using the same recipe, out of my Mom’s big, old, navy-blue, falling-apart book for years. The curd is perfect, and the meringue is not overly complicated.
For the Pie Crust:
Flaky Vegan Pie Crust (via VeganBaking.net)
Makes 2 crusts – I halved this recipe since lemon meringue pie only needs one crust!**
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) cold margarine, cut into ¼ inch cubes
½ cup (1 stick) cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
6-8 Tbsp cold water
Through my baking endeavours, I’ve learned it’s best if everything is cool: your bowl, your ingredients, your hands. So I chilled my water and my bowl in the fridge for about 1/2 an hour before starting. This is my chilled bowl, with the flour, sugar and salt mixture.
This is the texture you’re looking for once you’ve cut in the shortening and margarine: coarse clumps? Sloppy and far from perfect. Perfect!
Add the water, mix with your cool hands (run under cold water for a minute or so) and then form a patty, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill for an hour or so.
Now, I took no photos of the rolling out of the dough, because I do not have that level of skill. Me rolling out pastry is an awful endeavor, complete with expletives, hands that are simultaneously greasy and floury, and a generally unpleasant “first rolling”. I had to package it back up, chill it, and try a second time. That’s how bad I am. Don’t be like me.
Once you’ve successfully gotten the crust in the plate: patch holes, flute edges, prick a bunch of holes with a fork, and then chill the crust for about 1/2 an hour. Preheat your oven to 425. Once the crust is chilled, set it on a cookie sheet, put your pie weights (I used uncooked rice) in tinfoil and place the tinfoil inside the crust. You should bake for 15 minutes, remove the foil, and then bake another 5-10 minutes. (For potentially clearer instructions, please see the original recipe!)
It should look something like this:
For the curd + meringue:
I think it’s probably better if I leave you with the recipe in it’s purest form: the Canadian Living recipe is pretty perfect. Head on over to their site to see their instructions, but here are a couple pictures of my “making-of”.
Unfortunately, I was running out the door to meet my dad right as I finished the pie, so I don’t have a beautiful shot of the whole, perfect thing. This will probably go down in history as the pie-that-got-away. I had to take photos of the least-ugly slices a few days later. Sorry!
Have you made any pies this summer? Anything memorable? Any tricks for rolling out the perfect pie crust? Let me know your favourite type of pie! Tell me a joke! Send a tip my way!
Always happy to hear from you,