Lindsay Ann Bakes: Individual Mini Lemon Meringue Pies {Small Batch - Yield 6 mini pies}

Monday, March 4, 2013

Individual Mini Lemon Meringue Pies {Small Batch - Yield 6 mini pies}

Pin It

After my miniature fruit pies took Pinterest by storm, I knew I just had to re create my festive mini pies in a summertime flavor. These individual portions of smooth lemony filling in a tender flaky crust are finished with a delicate cloud of meringue topping. They are so incredibly delicious and gourmet tasting yet actually pretty simple to make. The adorable mini size makes not only an impressive presentation but yet another way to indulge in moderation using my small batch recipe for this classic dessert. The best part is there's no messy cutting with filling oozing out because each pie is perfectly portioned for a single serving treat.

I wanted to create a festive summer themed pie crust, so I made little flower crust cups for my filling, but you can leave off the flower tops for a more simple alternative.

To make the individual crusts, first cut out circles of your rolled out pie dough crust. I used a tupperware to get large enough circles. I only made 4 mini pies and used the rest of the pie filling/topping to make a bowl of Lemon Meringue Pie Dip to indulge in the next day!


Press pie crust dough into the wells of a muffin/cupcake pan.


I used a flower cookie cutter to create a flower shaped edge for my crust cups.




Prick pie crust dough with a fork and bake for about 10 minutes until lightly browned.



I sprinkled some graham cracker crumbs over the bottom of the pie crust to ensure a crisp crust that doesn't get soggy.


Next, make the meringue topping... be sure not to turn the flame too high or your egg white will cook! Yuck... we are looking for a fluffy cloud of meringue topping, not scrambled eggs here.

FAIL:

Round two of meringue topping... looking much better.


Perfect, white fluffy clouds.


Finally, on to the lemon filling. You could definitely buy a jar of lemon curd from the store, or whip up a batch of lemon pudding, but this lemon filling is definitely worth the extra step! It is smooth and creamy with a perfect sweet tang.

The first step of the filling is to cook the sugar, cornstarch, salt, water and milk into a thick translucent/white gel, over the stovetop. I use a little milk to give the filling a custard feel and the rest water to keep the nice gel-like, classic curd filling consistency.


Next, slowly whisk in the yolks and cook until it begins to thicken.


Lastly, remove from heat and add the butter, lemon juice and zest. To get the most juice from your lemon, roll it around on your countertop, slice in half and juice either by hand or with a juicing tool.


And there you have a beautiful, creamy batch of homemade lemon curd filling in just 3 easy steps!


Pour the filling evenly between the pie crusts (about 3 heaping tablespoons each).


For the finishing touch, pipe or spread your meringue over the hot lemon curd. Make sure to spread it all the way to the edges to seal in filling (this will also cook the bottom of the meringue so it will not liquify and become wet and soggy).



Bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees F, until tops are slightly golden brown. Here are my 4 little pies and Lemon Meringue Pie Dip baking up nice and perfect.


Cool 1 hour on a wire rack and transfer, uncovered, to the refrigerator to set up before serving.


Enjoy! Notice the layers of yumminess; flaky crust, graham cracker crunch, smooth lemon filling topped with a light fluffy meringue. YUM!



Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

Yield: 6 single serving mini pies

Ingredients

Pie Crust:
  • 9 inch pie crust (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
Meringue Topping:
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature (reserve yolks for the lemon curd)
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Lemon Curd Filling:
(may sub store bought lemon curd in a jar)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 1/4 cup milk, whole or 2%
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (2 large lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (outer skin of the lemon, avoiding bitter white layer), about 2 lemons
  
Directions

Prepare pie crusts:
Roll out homemade or store bought pie crust on floured surface. Cut out 6 large circles and press into the wells of a muffin/cupcake pan. Prick pie crust dough with a fork and bake for about 10 minutes until lightly browned. Sprinkle the ground graham cracker crumbs over the bottom of the pie crust if desired to ensure a crisp crust that doesn't get soggy.  


Prepare Meringue:
Bring about 1 inch of water to a simmer in a large pot. In the meantime, in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg whites until frothy. Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking for about 5 seconds after each addition. Reduce the heat to low and place bowl on top of the pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk constantly to keep the whites moving so they don’t cook, yet gently enough as to not incorporate air into the mixture. Keep whisking until the whites are warm to the touch (115°F to 120°F on an instant-read thermometer) and the sugar is  dissolved, so when you rub the whites between your fingertips it is smooth and not gritty, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove from heat. Whisk in the the vanilla and cream of tartar on low speed. Very gradually increase the speed to medium high until the egg whites form thick, glossy, medium peaks, holding their shape with a slight curl at the tip, 2 to 4 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to top pies.

Prepare Lemon Curd Filling:
In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, water and milk until smooth. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until mixture comes to a boil and becomes a thick translucent/white gel, 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook 1 minute more, stirring continuously (no longer or the cornstarch will loose its thickening power). Remove from heat and set aside. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks and very slowly whisk them into the pot of gel. Over medium-low heat, gently stir the filling until it begins to boil and the mixture thickens and starts to clump, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the butter, stirring until melted. Gently whisk in the lemon juice and zest. Pour the filling evenly between the pie crusts (3 1/2 tablespoons each).

Assemble & Bake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer meringue to a decorating bag if desired and pipe or spread meringue over hot lemon curd all the way to the edges to seal in filling (this will also cook the bottom of the meringue so it will not liquify and become wet and soggy). Bake for 10-15 minutes until tops are golden brown. Cool 1 hour on a wire rack and transfer, uncovered, to the refrigerator to set up before serving.

Lemon meringue pie is best eaten the day it’s made, but leftovers will keep, loosely tented with aluminum foil and refrigerated, for up to 3 days. Do not cover with plastic wrap or condensation will form under the wrap and create a wet layer on your pies.
  
Pin It

ShareThis