This post by Jennifer Flaten
Feeling especially adventurous, I chose a recipe with instruction to make the filling from scratch. When I was little my grandfather loved Lemon Meringue Pie, so my grandma made it often, but she always used a cook and serve lemon pudding for the filling and that is how I usually made my Lemon Meringue pie, but today, I decided, it was time to make that filling from scratch.
Wisely, I chose to use a store made crust.
Following the instructions, I placed the filling over a double boiler to cook and thicken. I stood there stirring, stirring, stirring for what felt like forever and the filling still wasn’t thick.
While the filling languished on the stove, I put the piecrust in the oven to pre-bake. At the appointed time, I took the crust out of the oven and discovered a portion of it slumped over. Honestly, who messes up a store bought crust?
Great now I have misshaped pie crust. This doesn’t bode well.
Still, I was determined to put a pie on the table…well, actually I kinda had to, I’d been talking the pie up to the family and they were expecting a culinary masterpiece or at least something that would go good with a glass of icy cold milk.
I decided to go ahead with the unusually shaped crust. Hey, it will still taste good right?
I put the eggs on to whip. At this point, I should mention that up to this point, I’ve never made a satisfactory meringue, but really by now the meringue was the last of my worries.
Checking the filling one last time I saw it still looked more like lemon aide and less like pudding. Even though I knew better, I poured it into the crust and let it sit for a minute-while saying a quick prayer to the pie gods that it magically set up while I wasn’t looking.
Meanwhile my egg whites had whipped up into the most beautiful meringue I’ve ever seen. I just HAD to make this pie.
I glanced at my pie and gave it a jiggle, lemon filling sloshed over the sides. Not set at all. Time to throw in the towel-or pie in this case.
As my hand hovered over the garbage can within inches of scraping the whole sorry mess into the garbage can, I thought WWTDC–What Would They do on Chopped. Deconstructed! That’s right they would salvage this wreck of a pie and turn it into a deconstructed (which is fancy cooking talk for I made a boo-boo) dessert.
I scooped the filling out of the pie dumped it back into the pan and tossed the soggy crust into the garbage. I set the pot of filling on the stove, cranked up the heat and stirred within a few minutes I had a lovely thick filling.
I dropped spoonfuls of meringue on a cookie sheet and popped them in the oven. A few minutes later, I had beautifully browned meringue. I poured the filling in dessert dishes, plopped a meringue on top and voila a deconstructed lemon meringue pie.
My family loved the pie, but next time I think I will stick with the lemon pudding filling.