Last week was Tony's birthday, so the tradition of making a cake or pie fell on me. Lately, it has been Tony who bakes all the goodies and they've been really, really good. I was excited to exercise my baking muscle again, plus being creative outside the studio is always welcome.
I was thumbing through our notebook of favorite recipes and stopped on this. It's still hot and something lemony sounded good. I hadn't attempted meringue since an ill-fated key lime disaster and I wanted a second chance. I was hoping the meringue gods were smiling.
Well, everything turned out just right. The pie is ridiculously easy to make and the meringue gods were indeed smiling. In truth, I was incredibly proud of myself. Oh, and Tony thought it was pretty awesome.
AHP's tapas plates are fantastic for desserts! I'm telling you, they are a perfect size for small dishes, desserts, snacks for the wee ones, stack easily - so many reasons to have a set! In fact, I'm making a set just for us to use (instead of borrowing them from the studio when we have guests).
Lemon Icebox Pie
(based on Dan's Extreme Lemon Icebox Pie recipe)
2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c butter
2 cans of sweetened condensed milk
1 c fresh lemon juice
1/2 t lemon zest
4 eggs, separated
4 T sugar (for the meringue)
Preheat oven to 325º. Crush graham crackers in a ziploc bag or food processor. Add sugar and butter to the crushed graham crackers and mix together. Press mixture evenly on the bottom and sides of a 9" glass pie plate. Bake for 5-7 minutes to lightly brown the crust. Remove from the oven and cool, leaving the oven turned on.
While the crust bakes, combine sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and egg yolks in a large bowl, beating until smooth. Pour mixture in the cooled crust.
Make meringue by whipping egg whites and remaining sugar with a mixer on high for several minutes, until the egg whites form stiff peaks (add 1/2 t cream of tartar for stiffer meringue). Mound meringue on the pie filling and place on the top shelf of the oven for 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Watch it closely so it doesn't burn.