A few weeks back, somewhere in the depths of Summer, (though it seems like a never-ending Summer here in So Cal) I was attending a small invite BBQ at a neighbor's house. I had just finished making a Chocolate Cream Pie, and Double Chocolate Brownies, so the invitation provided an opportunity to share the sweets. Now, everyone knows that chocolate is generally the way to a woman's heart (okay, chocolate and a man doing housework), so the hostess was prepared to dig into the treats before we'd even plated dinner. Her fiance, on the other hand, was not so easily impressed, "I don't really care for chocolate desserts, I like Lemon Pie," he said with his Southern drawl. I blinked twice, taking a slow, deep breath; I know I didn't just hear him put down chocolate! I bit my lip and turned back towards my friend, who was already plating a heaping wedge of pie in between muffled brownie chews. That was the day I resolved to make a Lemon Meringue Pie.
I'm not gonna lie. Growing up, Momma was more of a boxed bake-stress than a Betty Crocker; but boy, could she whip up a mean box. I have countless memories of me peering over the kitchen counters, fingers crossed this was an 'add water only' mix that would allow me to lick the bowl, spatula, and well anything residual batter would rest on. And I don't blame her one bit. Over the past year I've been working with my niece, Sabrina (10) to teach good cooking and baking skills and it has been a rocky ride. Mastering basic safe-handling skills in the kitchen is hard enough, without having to practice liquid and solid measurements, or how to separate an egg. But we soldier on so long as I remember to always be a supportive and understanding teacher.
And, just because I might watch a little too much Gordon Ramsay, I decided to 'elevate' the recipe a smidgen with a simple Blackberry Compote, perfect to roll this traditionally Summer dish into the Fall.
***Click here for printable Blackberry Compote recipe.
* 3/4 C Orange Juice
* 2.5 TSP Cornstarch
* 1.5 C Blackberries (Stems Removed and Washed)
* 1/2 C Granulated Sugar
* Pinch of Cinnamon
1.) In a small bowl, combine 2 TBS of orange juice with the cornstarch.
2.) Place the blackberries in a small saucepan with the sugar, remaining orange juice, and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer over low heat and allow to simmer 1 MIN.
3.) Stir the cornstarch mixture and add it to the compote. Simmer, stirring until thickened, approximately 3 MINS. Serve warm, or at room temperature (if topping).
In all, my Blackberry-Lemon Meringue Pie turned out delicious (I can't speak for the fluffier, second one). Jay was raving all afternoon yesterday, and a few of my culinary professional friends complimented me on the texture of my Meringue. There may not be heaping wisps of it atop my pie, but I rather like the ratio of meringue to filling, myself. So, when those little hiccups arise in your kitchen, never give up, and always see a recipe through- you never know what new favorite you'll find!
What Daughter Says: Make Lemon Meringue Pie!
Lemon Meringue Pie (Blackberry Compote Recipe Above)
*** Click here for printable Lemon Meringue Pie recipe.
* 1 C White Granulated Sugar
* 2 TBS Flour
* 3 TBS Cornstarch
* 1/4 TSP Salt
* 1.5 C Water
* 2 Lemons, Juiced and Zested
*1 TBS Butter
* 4 Egg Yolks, Beaten
* 4 Egg Whites
* 1 (9 Inch) Pie Crust
* 6 TBS White Sugar
Preheat Oven to 350F
1.) In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 C sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until mixture comes to a boil.
2.) Stir in butter.
3.) Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 C of hot sugar mixture.
4.) Whisk egg yolk mixture back into sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook, while stirring constantly, until thick. Remove from heat and pour into ready crust.
1.) In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy.
2.) Add sugar gradually, and continue to whip until soft peaks form.
3.) Spread meringue over filled pie, covering to edges of the crust in meringue.
4.) Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate. Serve chilled. Top slices with Blackberry Compote prior to serving.