Rockets lose to Suns - Recipe Time

Lemon Meringue Pie - Better than a Rockets loss.

Recipe Recap, because I just can't write another losing recap that's just like every other losing recap.  But one thing - 38FT to 15 for the Rockets?  Really?  Really?  

60% of the vote in favor of a recipe recap (thanks to Canis Hoopus for the idea) is clearly a mandate for change.  

I also had a unanimous request for a dessert.  I thought we'd start with something that's easy and a crowd favorite.

So, it's Thanksgiving, and you're making the meal, or you've got to bring something, or you'd like something better than Hungry Man dinner for One.  How about pie?  Everyone loves pie.  This pie is a favorite, and it is EASY.  Really. (It looks longish because I editorialize (of course) and also try to explicate everything.  A cookbook recipe would be one paragraph.)

Jump for pie.  Lemon Meringue Pie.

Now I'll do something you see in finer cookbooks everywhere

Mise en place (that's French for put in place, more or less, it's easier to make stuff when you have everything you need ready.  Not really necessary for easy recipes, but good discipline for tougher ones.).

Pre-heat your oven to 325f. Do it now.

1. 1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust from The Store.  Yes you can make your own, and yes, it's marginally better.  But we're going for easy here. You don't even need to have a pie baking dish, as the aluminum one that comes with the crust is fine.

 (You know what?  It's just as easy to make two of these.  Buy two crusts, double everything else, fill two pie shells instead of one.  Two pies are better than one.)

2. 1 Can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk.

3. Six or so lemons, squeezed to make between 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of fresh lemon juice

4. 3 Eggs, divided into Yolks and Whites (and kept in separate bowls yo)

5. 1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar (aka tartaric acid)  available on the aisle with spices and baking stuff

6. 1/4 cup sugar

Crust - First bake your pre-made pie crust at 325 for about 12 minutes to make it taste nicely toasted - take out to cool.  You're just baking the crust here, nothing else, particularly not the plastic cover. The aluminum plate that holds the crust is fine to bake, of course.  Don't turn the oven off.

Filling - In a bowl, combine lemon juice (I like mine more tart so I use 3/4 of a cup of lemon juice) with sweetened condensed milk.  Then gradually blend in the 3 egg yolks.  Use a whisk, or a fork, or an electric mixer I guess.  Blend/beat this together, but not overmuch, just until the yolks are well integrated.  

The juice and the egg yolks will turn the filling light yellow.  This is why you should mistrust bright yellow "lemon" or bright green "key lime" pies - they've been tinkered with.  Fresh, natural, juice isn't bright industrial green or yellow. 

Wait until the pie crust has cooled to around room temperature.

Meringue - In a large mixing bowl add in 3 egg whites, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar.  Beat with an electric mixer or hand mixer or even use the bowl of a kitchen aid stand mixer with whisk attachment until soft peaks begin forming.  This means that you can make little peaks in the white stuff that more or less hold their shapes.  It may take some time to form what is a somewhat stiff foam.

Pour the lemon mixture into the cooled pie crust.  It will settle into a smooth surface.  Try not to get any on the outside top edge of the crust as this will cook down to a dark brown and won't look so good.

Put the meringue on top of the filling, like in the picture, or if this is all just too easy for you, go for something more complicated as seen at French bakeries and so forth (lots of little peaks, meringue piped from a pastry bag with a neato tip and so forth).

Bake until the peaks and some of the meringue are a golden brown. 10-15 minutes at 325.  I don't like the whole thing to be brown, just the meringue tips.  You have to watch this after about 8 minutes, as it can go bad quickly.

Take out to cool.  After it has cooled, put it in the fridge if you like it colder.  

That's it.  The crowd pleasing Lemon Meringue Pie.  

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