Monday, 13 August 2012

Adventures in Lemon Meringue Pie

My husband brought home some lemons the other day from one of his colleague's tree's. (I should point out the lemons were given to him, he didn't scale their fence and nick them or anything).
And my reaction was naturally: Lemon Meringue Pie. 

I LOVE Lemon Meringue Pie.

It's all kinds of goodness, and I haven't made one in years, so Lemon Meringue Pie making has been well overdue for awhile. I actually made 5 in a day a few Christmases ago - one for each Christmas party.
Time consuming. And totally worth it.

Anyway, the recipe I use can be found here from exclusivelyfood.com.au.

A few things when adventuring in Lemon Meringue Pie making:
1) I find the recipe makes an excess of pastry, almost enough for 2 pies (just FYI).
2) Meringue can be a cruel temptress: make sure your mixing bowl is clean and cool, avoid plastic bowls, and make sure no remnants of egg yolk sneak through.
3) Make sure your filling has cooled a bit before adding the butter and eggs - you don't want your egg yolk to cook! I transfer my filling from the hot saucepan to a cool container to speed up this process.
4) Since meringue can be so temperamental, to avoid wastage break each egg into a different cup, so if yolk sneaks through you're only down 1 egg instead of 3.

Here's the end result from our adventure in Lemon Meringue Pie making:

And now here's the rest of the story...

It really must have been awhile since my last adventure in Lemon Meringue, because when my first meringue (that's right, first) failed to stiffen or really do anything more than make a silky sludge, I continued to harbour the misguided hope that it would thicken 'any moment now'.

For over half an hour.

Over half an hour of my husband and I (mainly my husband) whisking the egg whites and sugar by hand. Eventually we had to admit defeat and I googled the crap out of meringues and how to make the peaks 'peak' - or in my case, make peaks at all. That's when we discovered that a cool glass bowl should, for whatever reason, be infinitely more effective than a plastic one (like we were using). And oh yes, it was. I broke and separated 3 new eggs (in individual cups, of course) and whisked them for all of a minute in the glass bowl before they starting changing from transparent goo to white froth. Within 10 minutes the meringue was done - the pie was saved! - but what to do with our failed first attempt??

My husband had the solution: he was going to fry it up and eat it.

Now I'd like to point out here that I told him, in no uncertain terms, that this was a bad idea. Bad enough to fry up 3/4 cup of caster sugar and 3 egg whites - worse still when your husband insists on adding the 3 left-over egg yolks and a cup of soy milk.

But he insisted it would be tasty.

But even Rob in his delusional state thought of exactly the same thing I did when he started cooking. And that was this meme:

So much so that he donned his own pair of goggles to wear while he cooked:

(Note the beautiful looking Lemon Meringue Pie in the background. And ignore everything else).

His weird concoction of failed meringue, egg yolk and milk frothed and nearly exploded over the sides of the fry pan, only to shrink into a yellow, blobby mess, which he then ate with jam on bread...

And when the jam and bread ran out, he finished the rest off with tomato sauce.

And it wasn't until he'd eaten every last bit of this sugar drenched omelette monstrosity and banged his plate down that he said, 'Well. That was disgusting.'

Some days I really just don't get how my husband's mind works.

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