A spectacular pie to say goodbye.

31 May

Last but certainly not least, I share with you a final recipe – prepared from my cookbooks – 150 recipes from 150 different cookbooks in 150 days! I launched this blog on January 1st – in part to prove to my daughter-in-law that yes, I’ve used every cookbook in my extensive collection. And in part to give me something to do in the midst of a pandemic. Much to my surprise, I relished leafing through cookbook after cookbook to find just the right recipe. Early on, I admit I picked easier recipes. As time went on, I started to challenge myself to make unfamiliar and difficult recipes for foods I craved but had never taken the time to prepare from scratch. The end result? I expanded my culinary skills, discovered a couple dozen “keeper” and “repeater” recipes, enjoyed five months of eating fabulous food – and ultimately gained 6 pounds.  All worth it. And probably most importantly, a “recipe a day” definitely helped to keep my sanity during challenging times.

While I’ve come to the end of my cookbooks….I’ll still be cooking and I will now turn to the stacks of recipes I’ve torn from magazines, copied from friends or printed off the internet for more than 30 years (probably longer) to find new recipes to prepare and share right here. Not sure if it will be an everyday thing this go-around – but I will plan to share often and hope you will share with me any recipes you think I should try. This was a challenge I gave myself – but please know how much I appreciated your comments and questions along the way. I only forgot one ingredient one single time!!!!!

I wanted to end this chapter of my blog with something spectacular. Today’s final cookbook recipe comes from yet another one of those Better Homes and Gardens Encyclopedia of Cooking (1971) books, volume 9. What’s important to note here is that I have never made a lemon meringue pie. For those of you following my blog – you know I’m not fond of baking – but my baking confidence has soared these past months and I wasn’t the least bit nervous about tackling this recipe. And hey, it turned out picture perfect – and was deliciously creamy and tart inside with a just about perfect (could have been higher) meringue.

Lemon Meringue Pie

1½ cups sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons flour

Dash salt

1½ cups hot water

3 slightly beaten egg yolks

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

½ teaspoon grated lemon peel

⅓ cup lemon juice

1 9-inch baked pastry shell, cooled*

Meringue:

3 egg whites

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

6 tablespoons sugar

In a saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt. Gradually add hot water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over high heat until mixture comes to boiling. Reduce heat; cook and stir mixture 2 minutes (or longer if mixture isn’t smooth). Remove from heat. Stir small amount hot mixture into egg yolks, then return to hot mixture. Bring to boiling again and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly (again, okay to stir longer to make sure mixture is smooth and thick). Add butter and lemon peel. Slowly add lemon juice, mixing well. Pour into pastry shell. Spread meringue over filling, seal to edge. Bake at 350 degrees till meringue is golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool pie on rack before cutting.

Meringue: Beat 3 egg whites with vanilla and cream of tartar till soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat mixture till stiff and glossy peaks form and all of the sugar is dissolved. Spoon meringue over hot lemon filling.

*Cook’s note: use a premade pie crust like Pillsbury or make your own. I make my own and am happy to share that recipe if requested! Don’t worry if that crust isn’t perfect – meringue will cover most of it up!

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