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It's the audition recipe that bagged Mary Berg a spot on MasterChef Canada season three. And even though her lemon meringue pie has winning qualities, it's also one with a lot of family history.

In the clip above, Mary shares the story behind this special pie recipe and reveals the secret to achieving the perfect pie crust and how to master the filling.

lemon-meringuepie-og-feat-(1).jpg

Lemon Meringue Pie

Makes 1 pie

WHAT YOU NEED:

For the crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pats
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons cold milk

For the filling

  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup lemon juice

For the meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup superfine sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. For the crust, combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and quickly cut in the cold butter pats.  In a small bowl, beat the egg and milk together.  Pour this over the flour mixture and, using a wooden spoon, mix until evenly combined and the dough holds together when you squeeze some in your hand.  If needed, use your hands to knead the dough a few times to bring it all together.  Transfer the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and form it into a flat disk, wrapping well, and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to two days.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400F.  Remove the pie dough from the fridge and allow it to sit for a few minutes before rolling.  Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to about ¼-inch thick then transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate and crimp the edges.  Chill the crust for about 10–15 minutes then dock the bottom by piercing it about a dozen times with a fork.  Line the chilled and docked crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dries beans.  Blind bake the crust for 20¬–25 minutes, remove the foil or parchment and pie weights and continue to bake the crust for 8–12 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow the pie shell to cool to room temperature.
  3. For the filling, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium saucepan.  Slowly whisk in the water and turn the heat on to medium.  Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently, until it is thick and glossy, about 3¬¬–5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, separate 4 eggs and place the yolks in a heatproof bowl, saving the whites for the meringue.  When the sugar mixture is thick, use the whisk to slowly incorporate about 1 cup of the mixture to the egg yolks being careful not to allow the eggs to curdle.  Transfer this into the pot with the remaining sugar mixture and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly.  Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the butter, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Pour the filling immediately into the cooled crust and cover the surface of the filling with plastic wrap.  Immediately prepare the meringue.
  5. For the meringue, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy.  In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch.  When the egg whites are foamy, turn the speed up to high and gradually pour the sugar mixture into the whites followed by the vanilla.  Continue to whip just until the egg whites hold medium peaks.
  6. With the oven still at 400F, remove the plastic from the filled piecrust.  Dollop about half of the meringue on top of the filling and spread it into an even layer so that it reaches the crust.  Using a butter knife or bamboo skewer, swirl through the meringue and filling to further affix the two together.  Dollop the remaining meringue onto the pie and swirl it about to make a lovely peaked top.  Bake the pie for 5¬–7 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.  Allow the pie to cool completely to room temperature before chilling in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.