Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie (TWD)

Without Tuesdays With Dorie, my blog would not exist! Back in April 2008, I unexpectedly found TWD from doing a Google search on Dorie Greenspan and her cookbook, Baking: From My Home To Yours. I was only intent on buying the book, but after learning more about TWD, I thought that it would be a fantastic avenue to bake through the recipes.

At that time, I didn't have a blog and the group required one to participate. In fact, I had absolutely no clue what blogging was, so I was in for a quick education. Fast forward 18 months and 70+ TWD recipes, I can't believe that I've been able to keep up my blog and stick with it long enough to select a recipe! One unexpected surprise from this experience is the sense of community that has come with this group and the blogosphere, and I've appreciated getting to know some really terrific, talented bakers and cooks who are passionate about what they do.

One of the great things about this experience was expanding my baking horizons. Prior to joining TWD, if I were asked to select a recipe, I would have (without hesitation) picked a cake or brownie recipe. After completing a wide variety of recipes over the course of this past year, I've learned to really enjoy making things that are out of my comfort zone. For me, pies/tarts and yeasted doughs were definitely in that category.

With my new found love for pies & tart, I couldn't resist picking Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie for this week's TWD.The combination of lime and ginger flavors infused in the luscious, rich cream instantly sold me on this this recipe.
Dorie Greenspan's technique to make this velvety cream is definitely worth taking note. The instructions for the cream starts with a mixture of sugar, eggs, lime, ginger. As the mixture cooks over a bain marie, the liquid mixture thickens and transforms into a curd.

The left photo shows the mixture before heating. The right photo shows the thickened mixture just moments before I took it off the heat.
Now, this is the part where Dorie's recipe sets itself apart from other recipes. The mixture is cooled slightly, then strained into a blender or food processor. With the equipment on, you gradually add butter pieces. Once completed and chilled, you will be rewarded with the most velvety cream imaginable! The flavors of lime and ginger were fantastic, and I actually yearned for more of that zinginess from the ginger (note to self for next time). I slathered some of the leftover cream on a piece of toast and had it for breakfast --- totally decadent!

I prepared four 5 inch tartlet pans with a graham cracker crust. I didn't add any additional sugar to the crust, as I thought that there was enough sweetness in the cream.

For the meringue, I actually heated the egg whites and sugar slightly over a bain marie before whisking. As I was planning to torch the meringue (vs baking in the oven), I wanted to avoid undercooked egg whites.
How did we enjoy this pie? I think Siena expressed it the best:
Lip smacking delicious!!!

Thank you Laurie for all of your dedication and hard work to keep TWD going...I've enjoyed making the 70+ recipes that we've made to date, and look forward to at least that many more!

Please make sure to peruse the TWD blogroll, as I guarantee that you will see many scrumptious pies this week. Thanks everyone for baking along with me!

Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie
From Baking: From My Home To Yours By Dorie Greenspan (pp 337-339)
Makes 8 servings

Dorie's Notes: The look of this pie is sumptuous, its texture silky and its lime-ginger flavor big, bright and sassy. While I’m happy to have a lemon meringue pie any time of the year, I save this pie for summer because, as fresh as lime and ginger taste on their own, when they’re mixed together, they turn uber-zingy and so cool you’d think they’d been in the deep freeze. It may be an illusion, but one you’ll be happy to play along with on a sweltering day.

Serving: The pie is best served chilled and in generous wedges.

Storing: Meringue-topped pies are at their best the day they are made. Kept longer, the risk of weepy meringue gets higher.

1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 3 limes
4 large eggs, preferably at room temp
¾ cup fresh lime juice (from about 6 limes)
A 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 ½ sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces, at room temperature

Getting ready: Have an instant-read thermometer, a strainer and a blender (first choice) or food processor at hand.

Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.

Put the sugar and zest into a heatproof bowl that can be set over the pan of simmering water. Off the heat, rub the sugar and zest between your fingertips for a few minutes, until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of lime is strong.

Whisk in the eggs, then whisk in the juice, ginger and cornstarch.

Set the bowl over the pan and start stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture feels tepid to the touch. Cook the lime cream until it reaches 180 degrees F. As you whisk- you must whisk constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling – you’ll see that the cream will start out light and foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger, and then, as it gets closer to 180 degrees F, it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. Heads up at this point – the tracks mean the cream is almost ready. Don’t stop whisking or checking the temperature, and have patience – depending on how much heat you’re giving the cream, getting to temp can take as long as 10 minutes.

As soon as it reaches 180 degrees F, remove the cream from the heat and strain the cream into the container of the blender (or food processor); discard the rest.
Let it cool until it reaches 140 degrees F, about 10 minutes.

Turn the blender to high speed (or turn on the processor) and add the butter a few pieces at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed as you incorporate the butter. After all the butter is in, continue to blend the cream for another 3 minutes. If you find the machine is getting really hot, work in 1-minute intervals, giving the machine a little rest in between beats.

Pour the cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface and refrigerate the cream for at least 4 hours, or overnight. (The cream can be packed airtight and frozen for up to 2 months; thaw overnight in the refrigerator.)

FOR THE CRUST (2 options)

Graham Cracker Crust
makes a 9-inch crust

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

Butter a 9-inch pie plate.
Stir the crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. Turn the ingredients into the pan and use your fingers to pay an even layer of crumbs over the bottom of the pan. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven. (The crust can be covered and frozen for up to 2 months.)
Center a rack in the over, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool on a rack.

Good For Almost Everything Pie Dough
makes one 9-inch crust

1 1/2 cups all·purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) very cold (frozen is fine) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
2 1/2 tablespoons very cold (frozen is even better) vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces
About 1/4 cup ice water

Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don't overdo the mixing—what you're aiming for is to have some pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine on and off, gradually add about 3 tablespoons of water—all a little water and pulse once, add some more water, pulse again and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn't look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine. Scrape the dough out of the work bowl and onto a work surface.

Gather the dough into a ball, flatten the ball into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling. (If your ingredients were very cold and you worked quickly, though, you might be able to roll the dough immediately: the dough should be as cold as if it had just come out of the fridge.)

To Roll Out the Dough: Have a buttered 9-inch pie plate at hand. You can roll the dough out on a floured surface or between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap or in a rolling slipcover. (I usually roll this dough out on the floured counter.) If you're working on a counter, turn the dough over frequently and keep the counter floured. If you are rolling between paper, plastic or in a slipcover, make sure to turn the dough over often and to lift the paper, plastic or cover frequently so that it doesn't roll into the dough and form creases. If you've got time, slide the rolled-out dough into the fridge for about 20 minutes to firm up.

To Make the Crust: Fit the dough into the pie plate and, using a pair of scissors, but the excess dough to a 1/4- to 1/2 inch overhang. Fold the dough under itself, so that it hangs over the edge just a tad, and flute or pinch the crust to make a decorative edge. Alternatively, you can finish the crust by pressing it with the tines of a fork.

To Partially or Fully Bake the Crust: Refrigerate the crust while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil, fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust and fill with dried beans or rice or pie weights. Put the pit plate on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and wights and, if the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. For a partially baked crust, return the pie plate to the oven and bake for about 8 minutes more, or until the crust is very lightly colored. To fully bake the crust, bake until golden brown, about another 10 minutes. Transfer the pie plate to a rack and cool to room temperature before filling.

4 large egg whites, at room temperature
½ cup sugar

To finish the pie with the meringue: Preheat the broiler.

Whisk the cream to loosen it and spoon it into the pie shell. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet.

Working in a clean dry mixer bowl with the clean whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip the egg whites at medium speed until opaque. With the mixer running , add the sugar in a slow stream and continue to beat until the whites are glossy and form firm peaks.

Spread the meringue over the lime filling, swirling it if you’d like. Make sure the meringue comes all the way to the edges of the crust, because it will shrink when it bakes.

Run the pie under the broiler until the meringue is golden and the tips are dark brown (Or, if you’ve got a blowtorch, use it to brown the meringue.) Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for about 15 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Playing Around – Gingered Lime and Mango Meringue Pie
Peel a ripe mango, cut it into small cubes and sprinkle with a little lime juice. Spread about one third of the lime cream into the crust, top with the diced mango and cover with the remaining cream. Chill and finish with meringue as directed. Or omit the meringue and top the pie with long, elegant slices of mango and a gloss of quince or apple jelly: boil about ¼ cup jelly with ½ teaspoon water, then brush the glaze over the pie.


Snooky doodle said...

Wow this looks perfect ! I just wish I had a piece. I tried some lemon meringue never got it right though. Siena us so cute and the photo is perfect. Made me laugh :)
Visit my new blog at http://snookysrecipedoodles.blogspot.com/

natalia said...

Ciao Linda ! I thank you so much for your wonderful choice !!! We enjoied at least as much as Siena !!

Jennifer said...

Your tarts look delicious!!!!!!!

That meringue is PERFECT!

Isabelle Lambert said...

Merci Linda pour le choix de cette recette, elle est tout simplement fantastique ! j'ai adoré !!
Tes photos sont magnifiques !

Romaine of www.salad-in-a-jar.com said...

Beautiful post. Very nice storyboards. To me, this was a challenging recipe. You made it seem worth the trouble.

chocolatechic said...


Absolutely beautiful.

The Food Librarian said...

Beautiful!!! And Siena is getting big! Thanks for this pick...I'm heading to the kitchen now to finish up...my cream went wild on me and I hope I can salvage things! - mary

Amanda said...

Thank you for hosting this week, wow yours came out just gorgeous! Love the picture of your dog too :)

Lynne Daley said...

Beautiful, Linda. Your pie could win 1st prize in any contest. After seeing yours, I'll have to make mine again hopefully, being successful next time. Great choice!

Mary Ann said...

Absolutely beautiful pictures! Great pick for this week. We loved it.

Stephanie said...

You made an amazing selection for this week and your pictures show how perfect it was. Thank you!

vibi said...

I cannot thank you enough, Linda... for picking this recipe for us this week!

If he could, I'm sure my bobie would also leave you a comment, and even ring your doorbell to hug and kiss you! LOL

This was fantastic! Although mine didn't look nearly as nice as yours...

April said...

Beautiful pie! Thank you for such a great selection, the lime cream is to die for.

Sherri Murphy said...

I was licking my own lips when the dog photo appeared!

Looks absolutely Delicious.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

That is my favorite post of yours thus far. Loved all your magnificent photos! If the baking thing doesn't work out you could certainly fall back on the photography!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

beautiful little tarts, piled high with meringue! thanks for a yummy pick this week. and perfect shot of pretty siena--too funny!

Charli said...

Lip smacking delicious indeed! Great choice and I absolutely love the presentation!

Jacque said...

Good pick! Yours looks picture perfect!

Amy of Sing For Your Supper said...

It's just beautiful! I was sorry I had to miss out on this week...this truly looks delicious! Great pick!!


Soy*Baby said...

Your mini pies are gorgeous. Love all the pictures especially of the pup.

Megan said...

Excellent choice, Linda - this one's a keeper for sure.

Love the dog pic - she is too cute!

Anne said...

This recipe was a fun choice and I love TWD for all the same reasons you do. Beautiful photos, by the way!

betty geek said...

Dearest Linda!

Of course you did not disappoint me with your beautiful photos! You totally conquered this challenge! Everything looks SUPER fantastical!

I love the tart graham cracker crust! Awesome, awesome, awesome!

Keep up the good work with this blog; definitely one of my favorites!

Anonymous said...

Your baby pie photos looks gorgeous, but the one of the pup is my favorite!

Justin said...

this looks so great. i liked reading about how you got started with blogging. congrats on such a success.

Angela [YourEverydayMama] said...

Great pick Linda, the pie is amazing. Love your pictures too!!

Joy said...

Your pie is gorgeous! The meringue is just beautiful. Thanks for the great pick - we loved it!

Jeannette said...

absolutely beautiful!!! i am awe inspired at your amazing photos and your beautiful little pies!

i hope to still be running my new blog a year from now :)

mike said...

Looks absolutely wonderful! Love the step-by-step, maybe that will help me next time! Graham crust looks phenomenal, nice and thick! Thanks for choosing such a great "learning" recipe - I learned a lot this week!

Anonymous said...

I adored this and have been waiting for someone to choose it. Yours look great!

isa said...

Your tarts look gorgeous!
Thanks so much for choosing this recipe.

Jessica said...

I think the dog's face says it all! The pie looks exquisite!

Erin said...

Your tart looks beautiful! I love that meringue piled so high! Thanks for a great pick; it was delicious!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great pick. This was an unexpected hit at my house - like you said, trying new things is a great thing about being in the group!

Your dog photo is too cute!

Mary Jo said...

your photos are beautiful!!! especially of siena, she has gotten so big :) i had to join in on the fun this week for you. great pick! and i agree, i'll be adding more ginger next time as well. i'm loving the tartlets!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a great pick this week. It is perfect for summer and lime anything is always a winner with me. Love the picture of your dog. :)

CB said...

Thanks for hosting this week, Linda! I totally agree that I've learned so much from TWD and the friendships have been my favorite part of blogging. This pie was so FRIGGIN fantastic. (I'm doing the 8-clap right now!) PS. Give Sienna a little pet for me. She's too cute!
Clara @ iheartfood4thought

Jaime said...

I LOVED this! great pick!

Bella Baker said...

I love your story of how you stumbled upon TWD! I have a similar story and started my bvlog because I wanted to bake with the group as well!! Your pie looks absolutely amazing! And over 70 Dorie recipes...that is incredible!! You are AMAZING! Thanks for the great pick this week!

Rebecca said...

Siena! Hilarious.

Your crust and those spikes of meringue look awesome.

Great pick for the end of the summer!

margot said...

Your pie looks fantastic, excellent choice. It's funny, when I started my blog and joined TWD last fall I assumed everyone else had been blogging for years. And Siena is just stunning.

Gala said...

Love the pictures!

Mom, what's for dinner? said...

You pie looks amazing. This was a good recipe and everyone here loved the flavor. Only part I didn't like was waiting for the cream to come to temperature.

Mary said...

Great pick...thanks...I really enjoyed this one.

Cecille Ericta said...

Love the story..very inspiring.. touched me to the core! It's like reading my own story... our only difference is I waited 18 months too late to start blogging and baking along with everyone else.

This is my 4th TWD, and this recipe is the most challenging just yet. Thanks for helping change my perspective on Lime Pies.

And oh, when you finally decided to open that Pastry Shop in LA, ask me to come work with you.

Keep Baking!!

And oh.. the phots as always are amazing.

snicketmom said...

Wow. Amazing. Yours are the most beautiful tartlets I have ever seen!

Katrina said...

Thanks for picking something I, too, probably wouldn't make. That IS the same reason I joined TWD. Branching out! Your pie looks GREAT, love your meringue and LOVE you lip-smacking dog!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks for choosing this - I am with Siena - it was lip-smacking delicious.

Mini Baker said...

Your desserts look insanely delicious. And that meringue... I don't think I've ever see it so TALL! :)
Love your blog also, one of my new favorites!
Happy Baking,
Mini Baker :)

Liz said...

I can't believe you've only been doing this for a year! Your photos are always gorgeous, and I really enjoy your blog. Well done!

Jules Someone said...

I'm so sorry now that I was out of town for this one! Yours is gorgeous.

Kayte said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog, I meant to get over here sooner to thank you for your pick, but I'm a bit behind in the blog commenting this weekend, trying to get caught up from being out of town. Your post was a fun read about the origin of your blog, etc. Your pictures are gorgeous, and so if your pie. This is our number two favorite so far, right behind the French Lemon Tart. Yep, right behind that one! So good!

Leslie said...

Beautiful photos of a perfect tart! This was a real winner. Thanks for picking it for us!

BAKE-EN said...

Thank you for choosing this recipe! Loved it.

Sihan said...

wow.. yours look so good. sorry mine took so long. haha. But it was all good. The lime cream was gorgeous! thanks for picking girl!

Eliana said...

Your tart looks magnificent. Almost too good to eat. Great job!

Carol Peterman/TableFare said...

I made the pie, loved the pie, just never was able to post about the pie. I completely fell off the TWD wagon, but have finally caught up with my posts. The pie was much loved in my house as it looks like it was in yours. I agree with Sierra’s summary!

Judy said...

This was such a terrific choice! Limes have always been my favorite citrus, and I'm lucky to have a big lime tree in my yard. That's heaven, and the pie just made it even better.

Katie said...

That looks absolutely delicious! I prefer lime tarts to lemon tarts, but they are both tasty.

Unknown said...

Wow, could I be any later getting over here to comment on your TWD selection? :) Thanks so much for hosting last week and choosing this lime cream meringue pie. I loved it! The lime cream was dangerously good - I ended up giving most of the pie away because I knew I wouldn't be able to resist temptation. Your tart and photos are gorgeous!

Smitten Sugar said...

Oh wow! Those pictures are amazing. They made me want to make this ASAP!

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