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Lemon Meringue Pie

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Convection Bake Mode

Professional bakers use convection ovens because the circulating heated air cooks food evenly, ensuring outstanding results. Because convection cooks from the edge to the center, this recipe reduces the baking temperature by 25 degrees.

There are three elements in a lemon meringue pie: the crust, the lemon curd filling, and the fluffy meringue. To ensure each one bakes perfectly, use the same tools as a professional baker and choose the Convection Bake mode in your oven. 

Convection-bake Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie

Be sure to let the eggs come to room temperature and separate them carefully. Ensuring the whites have no traces of yolk makes all the difference in achieving those perfect peaks. Using superfine or Bakers sugar is also recommended when making meringue.

lemon meringue pie filling ingredients plus the dough for the crust.
Recipe ingredients

For the Crust

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp salt

4 oz cold, unsalted butter cut into small cubes

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup ice-cold water

Combine the flour, salt, butter, and sugar in a food processor bowl and pulse to combine. With the motor running slowly, add the water and mix until a ball forms. Scrape the mixture onto a lightly dusted rolling mat and press into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. When ready to continue, let the pastry sit outside the refrigerator for 20 minutes to soften slightly.

Roll the pastry to a 12" circle on a lightly flour-dusted pastry mat and place it in a 9" pie pan.

Trim the overhang, crimp the edges, and place the prepared pan in the freezer. Meanwhile, arrange the oven racks so you can bake on the lowest rack (for gas ovens, I recommend rack position two) and the upper racks, leaving plenty of room for baking with the meringue topping.

Heat the oven in the Convection Bake mode to 350 F.

Line the prepared pan with parchment and pastry baking weights and bake for 20 minutes until the crust is lightly golden. Set aside to cool before removing the pastry weights.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F and move on to making the filling.

For the Filling

1 1/3 cups water

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp lemon zest

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

5 large egg yolks, beaten

2 tbsp unsalted butter

Combine all the ingredients except the egg yolks and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and cook until the mixture thickens and bubbles. When the mixture has thickened, reduce the heat to low.

Whisk the egg yolks and very slowly add a few spoons of the liquid from the pan to the eggs, then very slowly whisk this mixture into the pan. Increase the heat to medium and cook the mixture for another 4 - 5 minutes until it is very thick and large bubbles burst to the surface. Remove from the heat, whisk in the butter, and spread the filling into the prepared pie shell.

For the Meringue

5 large egg whites

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 cup superfine or Bakers sugar

1/8 tsp salt

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed for a minute. Increase to high speed and whisk for approximately 4 minutes until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and salt and continue beating for another 2 minutes until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.

Spread the meringue over the filling to the edge of the crust so the filling is completely covered, and swirl the meringue into a decorative pattern with the back of a spoon.

Slide the pie into the oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned.

Cool the pie on a cooling rack for at least an hour before serving, or chill it once cooled for 2 - 4 hours before serving.

This pie is best served the day it is baked; however, my "extra" slices were still very good after two days in the refrigerator.

Makes eight slices

Note: Compostable plastic wrap is available at Whole Foods.

Lemon Meringue Pie
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