Saturday, March 15, 2014

Happy Belated Pi Day!

Yesterday was Pi Day (March 14 aka 3/14 which, of course is the first three digits of the mathematical Pi 3.14159 . . . ).  I did not have time to do any baking yesterday, so I did my Pi day baking earlier today. 
As our produce delivery box recently came with a beautiful looking lemon, it was easy to decide on baking a lemon meringue pie.

I used this recipe from Canadian Living as my basis - I did not alter it too much.  I used a premade Tenderflake pie crust instead of making my own, I zested one entire lemon instead of only zesting a tablespoon of rind, icing sugar in the meringue instead of fruit sugar, and I added a splash of vanilla to the meringue.  I think it came out pretty well.

All the ingredients, ready to go

 The yellow bowl contains the lemon zest & cubed butter, the measuring cup is the fresh squeezed lemon juice, and the black bowl contains the egg yolks.

Here is my prepared pie crust, ready & waiting for the lemon curd.

This part of the process is a little tiring.  The below is the water, cornstarch, salt & sugar mixture.  You need to bring it to a boil, while continuously whisking.  If you stop whisking, you end up with a blob of burnt cornstarch & sugar at the bottom of your saucepan, instead of a thickened gel-like substance.  Then you temper the eggs by pouring a little bit of this into the yolks (while whisking, of course) and then pouring the whole kit-and-caboodle back into the saucepan for a little more cooking.  If you don't temper the eggs, you end up with scrambled egg yolks instead of curd.  It isn't as hard as it sounds, but your arms sure get tired!

Ah, here is my completed lemon curd, cooling down on the kitchen table.  I put plastic wrap over it so that it wouldn't form a skin while it cooled.

Here is my beautiful curd, resting in the pie shell.

Meringue time!  I like making meringue - for some reason, watching the booger-y egg whites turn into delicious sugary topping is weirdly appealing to me.

Here we have finished meringue, with lovely stiff peaks.

So much meringue on top of this pie!  I admit, I got lazy and didn't feel like busting out the piping bags, and just blobbed it on with a spoon, but I don't think it is a terrible aesthetic.

Finished pie!  At this point, I had just taken it out of the oven, and partner was desperate to cut into it.  I'm mean and made him wait until after supper.

So, partner cut the pie, and butchered it a little bit (he insisted that he could do it neatly with just the pie lifter and no knife.  I think we can all see how that turned out).  However, I think this clearly shows the lovely, yellow lemon curd layer beneath the giant heaping layer of meringue.  

Please ignore the fact that we are weak in the face of pie and ate half of it in the first go.
Have you made a pie in celebration of Pi Day? 


  1. Great looking Pie! Finishing half a pie in one go is perfectly respectable (we definitely do it too). I didn't know that some bakers pipe on the meringue, my mom always spooned it on too, and that is how I learned. I think I have to make a lemon pie now that I've seen this post!

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who uses a spoon for the meringue! The lemony freshness has been reminding me of spring - which I hope comes soon!

  2. I didn't make a pie, because no one in my house eats it except me. (I know. These people are crazy.) But Husband did bring home a little one for me. :) This one looks delicious... no one other than me is keen on lemons either. I may need a new family. :\

    1. For next pie day, remember that savory pie counts too, if they'll eat something like a chicken pot pie. If not, I vote that you get all the pie you want for yourself :D