Mile High Lemon Meringue Pie with Cactus
Chef Stephan Pyles, Star Canyon, Dallas,
Adapted by StarChefs
Tablespoons ice water
beans or rice for weighting (blind-baking)
cups hot tap water
cup lemon juice
Tablespoon lemon zest
Tablespoons unsalted butter
cream of tartar
the pie crust, preheat the oven to 425°F. In a mixing bowl, combine
the flour and salt. Add the shortening and incorporate with your
fingertips until the mixture resembles very coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle
3 to 4 tablespoons of the water over the flour mixture in tablespoon
increments while stirring with a fork. Form the dough into a ball
and let rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle
to 1/8-inch thickness. Place the dough in a 9-inch pie pan; trim
and crimp the edges. Place the shell in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Remove the shell and prick the bottom and sides with a fork. Press
foil snuggly over the bottom and sides of the crust. Pour rice
or dried beans over the foil and bake in the oven for about 6
minutes. Whisk together egg white and remaining tablespoon of
water in a bowl. Remove the foil from the pan and brush the sides
and bottom of the crust with the egg wash. Return to the oven
and bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool before adding
the pie filling.
For the pie filling, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in
a large saucepan and add the water while whisking to make a smooth
paste. Place pan over medium heat and slowly bring to a boil,
while stirring. Cook and stir until thickened, about one minute.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks while gradually adding about
half the hot sugar mixture. Slowly pour the egg mixture back into
the yolks and continue to whisk until smooth. Stir in the lemon
juice, the lemon zest and butter and return the pan to the heat.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil to thicken for
one minute. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
For the meringue, preheat oven to 375°. In a large mixing bowl
whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks; slowly incorporate
the sugar and vanilla while whisking until the meringue is glossy
and forms stiff peaks.
Fill the cooled pie shell with the lemon filling and spread out
evenly. Place the reserved lemon slices on top of the custard
and spread the meringue evenly on top, piling it as high as possible
and making sure it touches the crust all the way around to prevent
shrinking. Create decorative peaks and valleys with a spatula.
Place in the oven for approximately 10 minutes. Check to make
sure meringue does not burn. Serve pie with the cactus pear glaze.
Cactus Pear Glaze
Yield: 4-6 servings
cactus pears*, peeled and chopped
of 3 limes
all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce
to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain
to remove seeds. Chill and serve.
*Cactus Pears come from several varieties of cactus and are extremely
popular in Mexico and Central and South America. They are also
sometimes called Prickly Pears or Indian Figs. Cactus pears are
available at most supermarkets.