Do you want to make a delicious dessert for your family but NOT break the bank?? Are you wanting to try to make a yummy lemon meringue pie on your own??? Well, as a bargain warrior surprising tip that I learned on my own today – making a lemon meringue pie for the very first time – that A LOT of pretty great recipes can be found on the containers of products!!! So instead of buying a yummy meringue pie, I made one!!! And there aren’t that many ingredients – ding ding!!!
Just as a starter – I want to tell you that the pie to the right is unfortunately NOT the one I made today (It is what I aspire to make one day – I found the image and another recipe on lilbitof.blogspot.com) but baby steps…
Today I was making dinner – I LOVE taking my time and cooking on weekends. I LOVE to cook, but during the week, with work, long hours, cooking during the week is NOT as enjoyable. Mostly because I want to make a good, quick, healthy meal but I’m tired from the day. So the HUNGER instinct just takes over saying EAT EAT EAT!!!! HURRY! HURRY!!!
But weekend cooking is different. On Saturday and Sunday, I can chop my food slowly (I need my fingers), I can savor the smell of the food bubbling in the pot, and I can even experiment a little!
Tonight’s dinner was a delicious mixture of tofu, veggies, and turkey meat bubbling in yummy broth. Like most asian broths/sauces – to make the sauce thick, cornstarch is added.
On the top of the cornstarch lid, of all places, I noticed a recipe for “Classic Lemon Meringue Pie” (courtesy of Argo or Kingsford’s Corn Starch). And I looked at the ingredients, and thought – WOW I want to try this! I’ve NEVER made lemon meringue pie on my own – it looked complicated. But – I learned today it isn’t complicated at all!!! Let me share with you what the original recipe is and then I’ll tell you what I ended up doing.
Recipe:Classic Lemon Meringue Pie
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1.5 cups cold water
3 egg yolks (separated from 3 egg whites – egg whites placed in a separate bolw)
grated peel of 1 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tablesppon butter or margarine
1 baked (9-inch) pie crust
1/3 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Combine 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup cornstarch into medium saucepan. Gradually stir in water until smooth. Stir in the egg yolks.
Bring this mixture to a boil over medium heat and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat
Stir in the lemon peel, lemon juice, and butter. Spoon hot filling into pie crust
Beat the egg whites in small bowl with mixer until foamy. Beat remaining 1/3 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over hot filling, sealing to edge of crust.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire rack at room temperature for 30 minutes, refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.
Now: what did I do?
I didn’t have a premade pie crust and I thought I was going to go to the movies later so making pie crust from scratch was out of the question. I took instead cinnamon covered graham crackers, asked my husband to crush them into crumbs in a bag, and placed and spread the crumbs as evenly as possible at the bottom of the 9-inch dish. (Sometimes you can melt a little butter and add it to the crumbs to make it stick together but I wanted to try a lighter crumb crust instead).
I did do as the recipe suggested and mixed the: 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup corn starch in a medium saucepan and gradually stirred in the water and whisked egg yolks. I boiled this mixture as suggested for about a minute.
Then I removed the pan from the heat. I stuck the lemon in the microwave for 10 seconds, then grated the lemon of all it’s lemon zest, then cut the lemon in half and used the juice of that lemon and squeezed it (be careful of seeds) into the warm mixture. Then I spooned the mixture into the crumb crust I made.
For the meringue, I did use a mixer, but I didn’t add the extra 1/3 cup sugar as they suggested (too much sugar I thought – not that it is a bad thing but we celebrated my husband’s grandmother’s 95th birthday this weekend and had ice cream cake…sugar…again…) – BUT since I didn’t have the sugar, my meringue wasn’t able to do the REALLY stiff little peaks as seen in the ideal picture above. But, less sugar – so yay!
I placed the meringue on top, making a nice meringue-y bed on top of the filling. And popped it in the oven at 350 degrees F for 17 minutes.
We cooled it for 30 minutes while we were eating dinner, and then put it in the fridge. We were supposed to wait 3 hours to eat it, per the recipe instructions, but I made that pie 2 hours ago, and there are already 2 slices missing. It was SO YUMMY!!!!
I was so pleasantly surprised!!! My husband LOVED it!!!
I also found a great website: The Reluctant Gourmet (http://www.reluctantgourmet.com)that has some great cooking videos, recipes, and techniques worth taking a look at!!! So try it out and don’t be afraid to experiment and try some of the recipes on the cans or the containers of some products!!!! HAPPY BAKING!!!!!