In this lemon pie, from pastry chef Dolester Miles, egg yolks add richness to the filling and crust. For the Swiss meringue on top, the egg whites are cooked in a double boiler with sugar, then whipped into a puffy cloud that maintains its rise, even when blown with a kitchen blowtorch.
Creator: Miles Dolester
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Total time: 45 minutes, plus chilling and freezing
For the pie:
1 1/2 cups/191 grams all-purpose flour
2/3 cup/82 grams powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup/113 grams cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cubed
2 egg yolks
For the filling and the meringue:
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups/252 grams granulated sugar
Zest from 2 lemons
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup/113 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into large chunks
4 ounces of white chocolate, finely chopped
1. In the bowl of a food processor, square flour, powdered sugar and salt, and stir quickly to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, then add the egg yolks and pulse until the dough comes together. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Heat 350 degree oven.
3. Roll Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness, then transfer to 9 1/2 inch pie pan with removable bottom. Press the dough evenly onto the bottom and sides of the pan, then cut it by rolling your rolling pin over the top edge of the pie pan. Prick the crust all over with a fork and freeze for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer, place the pie pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove pie from baking sheet and let pan cool slightly on wire rack.
4. Meanwhile, to prepare the filling: Separate the eggs, keeping 3 of the whites for the meringue. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup/101 grams sugar, lemon zest and juice, and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until heated through. Stir in the butter and continue to cook, whisking to avoid burning, for about 7 to 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the white chocolate until it melts into the mixture.
5. To pay lemon mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl and use a spatula to press down until only the solids remain. Discard the solids. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and refrigerate for 4 hours.
6. Do the meringue: Prepare a bain-marie and bring the water in the bottom pot to a boil over medium-high heat. Combine the 3 egg whites with 3/4 cup/151 grams of sugar in the top of the double boiler and whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot.
7. Pour meringue mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, then increase the speed to high and whisk for about 4-6 more minutes or until the mixture is stiff. Place the meringue on the pie and spread with an offset spatula.
8. Using a kitchen torch, brown meringue lightly, holding torch about 2 inches from pie. Alternatively, place the pie under a preheated broiler with the oven rack positioned 8 inches from the heat source. Grill for 30 to 45 seconds, watching carefully so that the meringue is golden brown and does not burn. Remove the pie ring and serve immediately.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.