L’Alliance Française de Maurice in collaboration with the bakery Pains et Moulins de Grand Baie are organizing a baking competition on Wednesday 3rd of June 2015. Open to amateur bakers residing in Port Louis, the challenge is to bake a classic French pastry, the Tarte au Citron Meringuée/Lemon Meringue Pie. The winner will be chosen by a panel of professional pastry chefs based on presentation, taste and originality of the final product and will be awarded an apprenticeship by Pains et Moulins to master the art of making macarons. The deadline for submission of entries is on Friday 29th May and should be made through the form available on the Alliance Française website.
Though not participating in the competition, I went ahead and made some homemade mini Lemon Meringue pies for the weekend inspired by Jen of The Canadian Baker from the Daring Bakers January 2008 Challenge. The recipe makes more lemon curd than I needed to fill my tartlets but I guess it gives me a rather good excuse to make Lemon Meringue pies once more. Wishing everyone good luck with the competition et que le meilleur gagne!
LEMON MERINGUE PIE
For the Crust
3/4 cup (180 ml) cold butter
2 cups (475 ml) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon (1.2 ml) salt
1/3 cup (80 ml) ice water
For the Filling
2 cups (475 ml) water
1 cup (240 ml) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 cup (60 ml) butter
3/4 cup (180 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon zest
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
For the Meringue
5 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon (1.2 ml) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180 ml) granulated sugar
- For the crust make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Use either a food processor or pastry cutter.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- It should begin to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then process it very briefly.
- The dough will start to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a work surface.
- Press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes. Remove from refrigerator.
- Allow dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. Lightly flour the work surface.
- Roll the disk to a thickness of 1/8 inch(0.3cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate.
- Transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling onto the rolling pin. Turn pastry under.
- Leave an edge that hangs over the plate about 1/2 inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes till golden.
- Cool completely before filling. For the filling, bring water to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Remove from heat.
- Let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water.
- Whisk until completely incorporated. Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly.
- Cook until mixture comes to a boil and is very thick; add about 1 cup of hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks.
- Whisk until smooth and vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stir constantly.
- Cook until mixture comes to a boil. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated.
- Stir in lemon juice, zest and vanilla. Pour into crust. Cover with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature.
- For the meringue topping, preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites.
- Add cream of tartar, salt and vanilla until soft peaks form. Add sugar, beat until it forms stiff, glossy peaks.
- Pile the meringue onto the cooled pie bringing it all the way over to the edges to seal the filling completely.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack and serve within 6 hours. Makes one 10-inch pie.