IT’S PI DAY! 3.1415, 3.14.15
~ Let’s Celebrate with Gluten Free Lemon Meringue Pie
Gluten Free Mama along with Mama’s gluten free blogging friends are excited to celebrate Pi day! Will you celebrate with us? Today is the one day we get to celebrate eating infinite amounts of pie; Chocolate Cream Pie, Strawberry Pie, Apple Pie, Coconut Cream Pie, Blueberry Pie, Huckleberry Pie, Mixed Berry Pie, Minced Meat Pie, Boston Cream Pie, Grasshopper Pie or you could try Mama’s new pie, Lemon Meringue. Don’t like sweet pies? No problem, we could do savory pies; Taco Pie, Shepherds Pie, Chicken Pot Pie or Mama’s favorite Hamburger Pie. How about breakfast pies, also known as quiches but so similar that we couldn’t leave those out; Quiche Lorraine, Mushroom Leek, Ham & Cheese, or Mama’s new Bacon, Tomato and Green Onion Quiche (pie). How about Pizza Pies? Flavors like Pepperoni, Ham & Pineapple, Vegetable, Meat Lovers, Margarita or Mama’s Heirloom Tomato Pizza Pie. There are infinite possibilities to Pi day!
This day is EPIC and will only happen once in century, 3.141592653, March 14, 2015 at 9:26:53 am. You could also wait to eat your pie at 3.14159 (1:59 pm). Enjoy 3.14 pieces or 3.14 bites, we don’t care, just enjoy a piece of pi and celebrate.
Don’t forget to celebrate some famous birthdays; Albert Einsteen, Gene Cernan, The commander of Apollo 8, Frank Barman. We can’t forget Billy Crystal, Michael Caine and Anne of Green Gables actress, Megan Follows.
Shall we move onto the sweet stuff? Mama’s Gluten Free Lemon Meringue Pie? When a bunch of bloggers and I decided to do this group Pi Day celebration, I thought about what new pie I wanted to make. It was a tough decision as I have a list of choices on my “To Bake List”. It’s been a beautiful week in western Montana. The sun has been shining bright, the amazing blue sky that Montana is famous for is so clear and stretches miles beyond miles, and the Missions Mountains are a grand as ever. Don’t forget the crisp spring air and cool breeze that has been coming through my wide open windows. I know spring is still 9 days away, but with the anticipation of spring and the hope of spring coming soon for all those in the south and northeast, I thought a “springy” pie was in order. You can’t get more spring that Lemon Meringue.
What you need for this pie is:
Mama’s Pie Crust Mix (or you can make my single pie crust recipe below)
Pie Pan (for a higher meringue, use the shorter sides on pie pan, for a level meringue the ceramic pie pans work great)
Wax Paper and or Parchment Paper
Dried beans for blind baking or rice will work, too.
2 lemons, cornstarch, gluten free flour (Preferably Mama’s of course!) 4 eggs and cream of tartar. (Please don’t ask me what to substitute for eggs, this is just one of those recipes that needs eggs, sorry!)
When I travel and talk with gluten free followers and customers, they always tell me they are afraid to make gluten free pies, so they just don’t eat pie anymore. I promise you, you CAN make pie. Gluten Free Pies are quite easy to make, and Mama helps make it easier with my Gluten Free Pie Guide, Click Here. You can also find it in the gluten free baking lessons tab at the top of the page. I also have an online video baking lesson that you can watch that was filmed at one of my speaking events. With this pie, we are going to pre-bake our crust, so we will be “Blind Baking” the crust. Just like you would with regular pies, roll out your crust and place in pie pan, flute the edges. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork several times. One little trick is to baste the edges of the pie crust with egg white to keep them from burning. Cut out a 10 inch circle of wax paper or parchment paper and cut 1 inch slits all around the top of the parchment paper. Place it gently inside your pie. Fill the pie with a layer of dried beans. They are the cheapest and you can use them over and over when you make pie. I didn’t have any dried beans today, so I improvised and use rice. Don’t fill it too full, just about a ½ inch layer.
Place your pie in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Very gently pull up three sides of the wax paper and lift up, and dump the beans in a bowl. The bottom may be a little moist still, but that is okay as we will be baking the pie a little longer in a bit. If you are not baking your pie, then you would want to place back in oven for about 3 minutes to dry out. I recommend to keep the crust from cracking that you turn the oven off, and just place the pie in the oven with the door slightly cracked, and just allow the bottom to cook for just a few minute until not moist to the touch. Allow the crust to cool.
Meanwhile let’s, prepare the lemon curd. Lemon curd is quite easy to make, but it does take about 7-9 minutes, so plan accordingly. You want to prepare your ingredients before starting. Using a microplane zester or other type of zester, zest both lemons. You will only use the zest of one lemon, but we don’t like to waste zest. You store the remaining zest in a freezer safe Ziploc for another recipe at another time. Freeze up to 6 months. Juice the lemons, you will need ½ cup lemon juice, so about 2 lemons. Please use fresh lemons, not the store bought lemon juice Separate 4 eggs, putting yolks in one bowl and whites in another bowl. The easiest way to separate eggs is to crack the egg in half. Then using the bottom portion of the cracked egg, gently slide the egg shell under the yolk, being careful not to break the yolk and allowing the egg white to drop into your bowl. Get all the egg white, by going side to side until all of the egg white is removed. Then place egg yolk in its bowl.
In a liquid measuring cup measure out 1 ½ cups cold water. Measure out 4 Tablespoons of cornstarch and add to water, then add your 2 Tbsp. of gluten free flour. Mix well with fork until all lumps are gone. Pour into your medium saucepan. Add 1 ¼ cup sugar to the water. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. It is best to use a wire whisk to stir. Don’t walk away from this, or it will curdle or burn. Stir constantly until it reaches thick pudding like consistency. Now this is my trick for best results. Turn the heat down to medium low. Slide the pan off of the burner to another burner that is not heated. Add the lemon zest and salt and mix well. Then slowly pour in the lemon juice, mixing well until well combined. Add one egg yolk at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Put the pan back on the burner, remember medium low heat! Add the butter, I used dairy free butter, Nucoa brand, but you can use real butter or spectrum buttery sticks or dairy free margarine of your choice. The butter or margarine will give the curd its nice color and shiny consistency. Stir constantly for about 5-6 more minutes until curd becomes thick again, about pudding like thickness. Be patient and allow it to get thick, and don’t walk away from the burner. You don’t want it to burn, separate or curdle. Just keep stirring, just keep stirring.Pour the curd into your cooled pie shell. Allow to rest and cool for about 15 minutes.
Next, it’s time to prepare your meringue. For meringue the rule of thumb, according to Chef Alton Brown is to use 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar per egg. We are using 4 eggs so we will need ½ tsp. cream of tartar. Now if you would like your meringue to be more grand and tall, you could add an extra two egg whites. If you do that then, add ¼ tsp. extra cream of tartar. Add egg whites to mixer, beat on high speed until foamy, then add 1 Tbsp. at a time of sugar. Then continue to mix on high speed until stiff peaks form. Now this part is pretty simple, but you do want to watch your eggs and make sure not to over beat them, or under beat them. You are looking for stiff peaks, meaning you should be able to run your rubber scraper through the meringue easily but when you pull up on the meringue the peaks stay formed and don’t collapse. The egg mixture will be shiny and just looks beautiful.
I made the pie earlier this week and way overbeat my eggs, so I couldn’t make the cute little peaks with my spoon. Also when it came out of the oven it was all golden brown, not as pretty, and it deflated shortly after removing from oven. I was so sad. Lesson learned! Spread egg whites over your lemon curd, being sure to go all the way to the edges of the crust. Then use the back of your spoon or rubber scraper and make cute little peaks. I am not that talented when coming to make the meringue super pretty, I think it comes with practice, so just do the best you can. Or maybe you are already a pro! Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until the peaks are nice golden brown. Don’t open the oven! Use the oven light, if needed.
I am sorry, you can’t eat this pie for at least 3.14 hours…seriously. You need to allow it to cool on the counter for 1 hour and then chill in the refrigerator for the remaining 2.14 hours. This will allow the lemon curd to completely set.
Then after 3.14 hours it’s time to officially celebrate Pi day and enjoy 3.14 slices or 3.14 bites of this delicious Gluten Free Lemon Meringue Pie!
Oh…it’s okay to enjoy this pie all year round. It isn’t just for Pi day, nor is it just for spring. Lemon Meringue Pie is good anytime and anywhere! In fact, doesn’t matter what pie you make there are infinite amount of reasons to make pie!
Single Pie Crust ~ Gluten & Dairy Free
Recipe Type: Pies, Crisps & Cobblers
Single Pie Crust. This particular crust is going to be blind baked for Lemon Meringue Pie. If you ar e making a regular pie, like Apple Pie, then there is no need to blind bake.
- 1 ½ cups Mama’s Almond or Coconut Blend Flour
- ½ tsp. xanthan gum
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. organic sugar
- ½ cup Spectrum Shortening (Butter or dairy free margarine, partially melted, is okay too)
- 1 egg white
- 3-4 Tbsp. cold water (If needed add 1 Tbsp. at a time extra water until you form a moist dough ball)
- Preheat oven to 350°.