Mini Deep Dish Lemon Meringue Pies


Mini Deep Dish Lemon Meringue Pie from www.chocolatemoosey.com @chocolatemoosey

Deep dish pie is something my dad has been trying to do for years. Every time we walk past pie plates, we would look to see if any were deep dish. None were, so we gave up looking. Fast forward to this past December, I was looking at recipes when I saw Bake or Break’s deep dish pecan pie, which she cleverly used a springform pan for the crust. Oh I have that! I made her pie for New Year’s Eve, which lead me to think about making these Mini Deep Dish Lemon Meringue Pies. Mini deep dish pies mean smaller portion sizes, and since the recipe makes two pies, it’d be perfect for date night.


Mini Deep Dish Lemon Meringue Pie from www.chocolatemoosey.com @chocolatemoosey

I chose Lemon Meringue Pie because custard pies are my nemesis and because lemon is one of my favorites. I have failed over and over again in having the filling not ooze out everywhere when cut. I figured if I failed with a mini deep dish pie, it wouldn’t be as devastating as a regular-sized pie. Fortunately, it all stayed together. Success!


Mini Deep Dish Lemon Meringue Pie from www.chocolatemoosey.com @chocolatemoosey

Several people asked me why my pies failed in the past. My guesses were I didn’t cook the filling long enough and/or I didn’t chill the pie long enough. I made sure I didn’t rush anything to ensure it would set up. The moment of truth came when I cut the pie. I never knew cutting pie could be so stressful.


Mini Deep Dish Lemon Meringue Pie from www.chocolatemoosey.com @chocolatemoosey

I have to give a nod to Kerrygold Butter. I used their Irish butter in the pie crust and filling. Usually I’m not a big fan of pie crusts, but I ate every last crumb. Several people commented on how good the crust was. I do need to learn how to roll dough into a circle. Patching pieces together in the pan works if you are rolling-impaired like I am.


Mini Deep Dish Lemon Meringue Pie from www.chocolatemoosey.com @chocolatemoosey

The cornstarch in the meringue is a little trick I learned from the recipe I used. It helps prevent it from shrinking or weeping.

Mini Deep Dish Lemon Meringue Pies
 
Author:
Serves: Two 4-inch pies
Ingredients
Crust
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese. softened
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
Lemon Filling
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
Meringue
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 egg white
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
For the crust:
  1. Wrap the outside of two 4-inch springform pans with aluminum foil to help prevent leaks.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Gradually beat in the flour, sugar, and salt. Divide and shape the dough into two flat disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Working with one disk at a time, roll the dough into a circle little bit bigger than one springform pan. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan (if the dough breaks, patch into pieces). Repeat with the remaining disk.
  4. Prick holes in the bottom of each pie with a fork. Press a piece of foil snugly into each pan to cover the bottom and sides. Fill with pie weights, rice, or dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and weights; bake for another 7-8 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.
For the lemon filling:
  1. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F degrees.
  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, lemon zest, water, cornstarch, and salt. Heat until boiling, whisking constantly. Boil for a few minutes or until the mixture is smooth and almost transparent. Remove the pan from the heat.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and lemon juice. Whisk some of the hot sugar mixture into the yolk mixture. Return the yolk mixture to the saucepan. Heat and bring to a boil. Boil for a few minutes or until thick. Remove from the heat and whisk in butter. Fill the cooled pie shells with hot filling. Set aside.
For the meringue:
  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Add water and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil for one minute. Remove from the heat.
  2. In a clean medium bowl, beat the egg white until foamy. Increase the speed, add salt, and beat until soft peaks form (when you pull the beaters straight up, the peaks will form but the tips will fall over). Pour the sugar mixture in a fine stream while beaters are running. Beat until stiff peaks form (when you pull the beaters straight up, the peaks won’t fall over).
  3. Top both pies with the meringue, making sure that the pie is completely sealed (if there are holes in the meringue, there will be a mess). Bake 10-15 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown. Cool completely before cutting.

Adapted from Luscious Lemon Desserts by Lori Longbotham

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Comments

  1. Eheheh I’m also a bit rolling-impaired – :D

    It looks wonderful!

  2. I’m rolling-impaired too! I can press out a pizza crust in seconds, because I do it multiple times every Friday for my family, but a pie crust? Hopeless.

    I’m off to work at the thrift shop today and I’m definitely keeping an eye out for small springform pans. Such a great idea.

    Thanks, Carla!

    • Well, worst case is you just press the dough into the pan and patch it back up ;) I found my pans at Target with their Easter stuff, but I’ve seen them at the kitchen specialty stores. Have fun at the thrift store!

  3. Wow! That is one gorgeous looking pie!!! I love that it is smaller but taller!!!

  4. Absolutely gorgeous little pies Carla. So bright and lovely. I’ll have to try your pie crust. The cream cheese in it really caught my eye. Mmmm….

  5. These are awesome! Now I wish I had 4 inch springform pans, but I have way too much bakeware as it is. I am pinning these.

    • I know what you mean! I have a drawer full of pans I have trouble shutting haha You can make it in a big springform pan, but I’m not sure of the ingredient ratio. I know with my one mini cheesecake recipe, I multiply by 3. Hope it applies to pie too. Thanks Carolyn!

  6. I have similar pans left from the quiches I baked for the cafe, which were sort of deep dish. This are perfect little lemon pies! I always, always use swiss meringue because it lasts longer but I´m so intrigued about the cornstarch addition which appears on so many vintage recipes. How was it the second day? If there were any left…

  7. I am pie pastry impaired. Granted, I’ve only attempted it a few times but I get so gosh darn discouraged when it doesn’t turn out. This crust looks perfect – so golden, crisp, and sturdy. These photos are beautiful, Carla. The yellow of the filling really pops – it must’ve tasted amazing. My husband would love these.

  8. Knowing your hatred of pie crusts, I have to say that when I woke up and saw these on my facebook feed, I clasped my hands together and squealed, disturbing Sleeping Beauty (aka Mars). Seriously seriously gorgeous and I like that you didn’t make one huge pie…clearly, you are helping me with portion control–instead of eating the entire pie in one meal, I can have one smaller pie for breakfast and one smaller pie for dinner ;)

  9. So adorable! I’d just eat the lemon curd all by itself it looks so good!

  10. I haven’t mastered making a pie crust yet, maybe I’ll give it another try with Kerrygold. Your filling looks deliciously yellow, I love lemon meringue!

  11. Mmm…I’ve been craving a lemony dessert, and this looks soo good!

  12. Wow Carla! This recipe is gorgeous and it completely POPS off the page with your new layout and side panels! L-o-v-e them! It looks great. Hoping you love it too.

  13. Okay, 1. You are a genius – deep dish????? 2. omg these are gorgeous!

  14. Thank you for making smaller portion pies! I am pie dough impaired but I find the pressed in doughs much easier to deal with. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

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