Hey ya’ll! (Even though I only spent two weeks down south, I still feel like saying that. And hey, I live in Indiana, a place where everyone thinks they’re from the south and talk in a southern accent anyway, so It’s ok.)
When I was in North Carolina my lovely hosts asked me to make a lemon meringue pie for them. I use the word lovely sarcastically because we are not on the best of terms. : / But this was before that all happened, and I was more than happy to do it. The thing was, they didn’t’ have a pie dish. So I made mini pies, or tartlettes as I like to call them. My spell check is telling me I’m spelling it wrong and that it’s tartlet, but I think the two t’s make it more feminine. I’m weird. I know.
At first I was afraid that the crusts wouldn’t come out of the cupcake tin, but I sprayed them and they came out just fine. I may have rolled the pie dough just a little thicker than usual though, just to be sure. Anywho, here’s the recipe:
1 cup self rising flour (This was all I had. But most pie crusts don’t have leaveners in them, so I’m sure just regular ap flour would work just fine as well)
1/3 cup crisco
3-6 tablespoons ice cold water
1/4 t salt
Mix the flour and the salt. Using a pastry cutter or fork, or heck, even your hands will work, cut the shortening into the flour until there are pea sized clumps. Then, add a tablespoon of the water at a time, just until the dough is brought together. You don’t’ want it too sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (or pop it in the freezer for about 10)
Then, on a well floured surface, roll it out to about 1/8 thickness maybe? you want it a little thicker than normal pie crust, where you want to be able to see through it. You don’t want to see your counter through this crust.
Take a cupcake tin and spray it. Take a round cutter, you want it to be just slightly bigger than the bottom of your cupcake tin, and cut circles out of the dough. Gently press them into the tin. You only want the dough to go about halfway up the sides of the tin, so make sure the cutter your using is small enough. Poke the bottom and sides with a fork. This will prevent the dough from poofing up too much.
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
I got the curd recipe here, but made a small adjustment to make it dairy free.
6 Tablespoons Earth Balance
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (For the zest and juice, I used about 3 lemons)
1/2 cup sugar
Heat the butter (futter) with the zest, juice, and sugar over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl. Once the sugar has dissolved, slowly pour the hot mixture into the eggs while whisking. This tempers the eggs. If you don’t do this, you’ll get scrambled eggs, and no one wants that in a pie filling.
Pour the mixture back into the pan, and using a spoon, stir constantly until it just begins to simmer. You’ll notice it getting thicker. If you feel the need to, pour through a strainer to remove an possible scrambled eggies. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.
2 egg whites (Make sure no yolks get in them, or they won’t whip up!)
1/2 cup sugar
Beat the egg whites. You want them to be very foamy before you start adding the sugar. Slowly start adding the sugar. I use my fingers, and sprinkle some in very slowly. If you add to much at a time, they won’t whip up as nicely. Whip until you get stiff peaks.
Take the cooled tart shells out of the cupcake tins. Spoon some lemon curd into them. Then, either spoon or pipe the meringue on top. I piped mine with a star tip. It just looks prettier to me, but if you’re going for a more rustic look a spoonful of meringue is beautiful as well. Put the pies on a cookie sheet, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until the meringue is starting to turn a light brown. Make sure you watch them, they could easily burn!
This recipe makes about 15 tartlettes, but I obviously ate 3 before I took any pictures. They are delicious right out of the oven, or you can refrigerate them for a day or two. The crust is flaky, and goes with the tart creamy lemon curd so well. And the meringue, uuugghhh amazing. I just love lemon meringue pies. And in mini form they’re so cute!
Do you like meringue? What is your favorite kind of pie?