Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Lemon Meringue Skillet Dip

Lemon meringue pie was always my grandfather’s favorite pie, but the only version I ever remember having was from Marie Calendar. Very few people make homemade lemon meringue pie anymore, and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that it seems like such a daunting task.

So in honor of my grandpa and Lemon Meringue Pie Day, I came up with a recipe that you can whip together in no time at all. There are just two easy steps to this Lemon Meringue Skillet Dip, and the ingredients are minimal.

The first thing I want to address are the eggs. With this recipe, and with most all meringue pie recipes, you will need to separate the egg yolks and the egg whites. Eggs separate most easily when they are cold, but egg whites whip best for the meringue when they are room temperature. So before you do anything else, I recommend first separating the egg yolks and whites so the whites can sit out at room temperature while you prepare everything else.

As you can see in the ingredient list below, there are very few ingredients in the filling. And it comes together just with a whisk. Which is good because you’ll need to save your muscles for the meringue.

So the way the meringue comes together is basically magic. Well, technically it’s science. You see, egg whites are 90% water and 10% protein. When you beat them together, air bubbles are distributed and the proteins cluster together causing it to foam. But the meringue is very delicate and at risk of deflating. So an acid like cream of tartar steps in to help stabilize the meringue by keeping the air bubbles in place. Even though you add just a small amount of cream of tartar, it’s very important for the structure of the meringue.

I’ve said this before (just a few sentences ago, in fact) and I’ll say this again — the meringue is very delicate! When it’s time to add the sugar, it’s important to only add it one tablespoon at a time so you don't knock the air out of the meringue. The meringue is done when you lift the beaters and the tip stands straight up. This is called a stiff peak.

For my last meringue tip, I want to talk about giving the meringue texture. Rarely do you see meringue spread smoothly on a pie. One of the things that makes it so beautiful is the texture, or curled peaks. You can create the curled peaks by using the bottom of a spoon to create an indent in the pie and then lift up. The meringue should lift up with the back of the spoon and curl up.

My intention for this recipe was that it would be eaten like a dip, but after trying it I realized it’s with something as delicious as this, there’s no shame in grabbing a spoon and digging in.

Lemon Meringue Skillet Dip
For the filling
  • 28 ounces sweetened condensed milk 
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
For the meringue
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 8 Tablespoons of sugar
For the filling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mix together sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, egg yolks, and lemon zest; set aside
For the meringue
  1. Combine egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat at medium speed until soft peaks form
  3. Switch mixer to high speed and add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time
  4. Continue beating until sugar dissolves and stiff peaks form
  1. Spread filling into bottom of 10-inch prepared cast iron skillet
  2. Spread meringue on top of filling; use back of spoon to form peaks
  3. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the meringue peaks start to turn brown
  4. Serve immediately with graham crackers 

1 comment:

  1. These versatile kitchen appliances come in different shapes and sizes. large electric skillet


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