Monday, January 28, 2008

Daring Baker's Challenge #1 - Lemon Meringue Pie

I would definitely call this Daring Baker's Challenge a challenge in the gluten-free and sugar-free baking world!

I joined Daring Baker's in December, but the month was so crazy, I didn't get a chance to Daringly Bake until now!

So the challenge this month was to make a Lemon Meringue Pie. To be honest, as much as I love lemons... I'm not a big fan of lemon meringue pies! They are too tart for my taste and they always seem to get soggy! I don't like soggy pies!

The biggest challenge for me was that I was trying to make this pie sugar free! Gluten free was no problem! I converted the pastry recipe and it turned out an amazing crust! I'll actually share that recipe with you today... BUT the lemon filling just threw up once cut!

I thoughtfully pondered over what sweetener to use for the lemon filling. I did not want to use Splenda, as I don't like the after-taste, and I really think it is a migraine inducer. I also didn't want to use any other artificial sweeteners for the same reason. I thought about honey, but I was afraid the honey flavor might overpower the lemon. I thought about agave nectar, but I was afraid I would have to use a very large amount to attain the sweetness I desired.

I finally settled on using brown rice syrup. I had not used it before, but it's a great natural sweetener... for most things! The only thing I didn't like about the brown rice syrup was that it actually has over double the amount of calories of regular granulated sugar (and still highly affects blood sugar levels), so I knew it would significantly impact the overall calorie count, which I really didn't want to do... But I decided to try it to see what would happen with the pie overall.

Well, my friends... brown rice syrup just didn't do the trick. While the pie filling tasted pretty good, it threw up all over the place once cut! It simply didn't set. The pie was also quite tart for my taste.

BUT despite my mis-adventures in this pie making experience... my curiosity has overwhelmed me! Once Michael and I finish up this sugar free month, I really want to experiment with a homemade Chocolate Meringue pie!

Here is my dear friend Kristin, who miraculously enjoyed this un-pretty pie!
She ate every bite!


Ginger-Lemon Pastry/Tart/Pie Crust:

Dry Ingredients:
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Wet Ingredients:
3/4 cup frozen butter, grated
1/2 tsp. agave nectar
1 egg yolk
2-4 Tbsp. ice water
1 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest

Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. In another mix grated butter with egg yolk. Add dry ingredients a little at a time to egg yolk and butter. Mix vinegar with ice water. Add 2-4 Tbsp. ice water mixture to pastry mixture, just until dough begins to stick together and you can form a ball. Wrap ball in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes before using. Roll out at you would a normal pastry crust between two pieces of plastic wrap that have been dusted in sweet rice flour. Makes 1, 9" crust for a pie.

For a printer friendly version, click here.

**Sheltie Girl, over at Gluten Free A Go Go, did a fabulous job with her tart, and it is so creative! Check out her version of a Lemon Meringue Tart, complete with a gluten free recipe!

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