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Home Cooking 254

What are you baking these days? April 2012 [old]

buttertart | Apr 1, 201206:32 AM

Hello April, glad you stopped by! Are you going to be as wacky as March? Please don't be Summer yet. We need some more cool weather to bake up a storm in...

I baked Rose Levy Beranbaum's lemon meringue pie last evening (using the all-butter CI crust that I especially like for its crispness -- did have to add a tb of vodka to get it to come together, however, despite weighing the ingredients and following the recipe slavishly).

The pie filling is stellar, about the best I ever made. You boil up the cornstarch, sugar, and water until thick and translucent, stir some into the egg yolks, then add the lemon juice and rind, butter, and salt. I added the butter before the juice because I had of course forgotten to take it out of the freezer until I was up to my waist in the recipe. She doesn't call for any furher cooking other than to set and brown the meringue, but I put it back on the heat just to come back to just under the boil because of egg safety nervousness.

It's an italian meringue, which means you have to futz around with bringing a sugar syrup to soft ball temp and beating it into beaten egg whites. At least in my hands it made a firmer meringue than usual and I couldn't coax it into dramatic Martha meringue swirls, so ended up with a sort of spackled effect.

Never mind the looks, here's the pie, pussycats -- divine, lemony/creamy, and the meringue marshmallowy and plush. Barely warm, mindbending, fridge cold, killer.

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