Monday, June 13, 2011

Martha Monday: Strawberry-Lemonade Icebox Pie

Even though summer won't officially be here for another week, it's been hotter than hot recently here in DC and that calls for chilled desserts that don't require too much prep work in a hot kitchen--plus, what could be more summery than strawberry lemonade?  I came across this recipe in last month's Martha Stewart Living and knew it would be a perfect and not-too-sweet compliment to a sticky DC summer day.      
While this pie isn't strictly "icebox" and does require a little bit of baking to set the filling, the result is still an quick and easy cool summer dessert perfect for backyard BBQs.  You can cut down even more on bake time if you substitute a pre-made graham crust, which I often find to be easier for transport and clean up when you're bringing dessert for a party anyways.   

Strawberry-Lemonade Icebox Pie
9 to 10 graham crackers, broken into pieces
1/4 cup sugar
Coarse salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup strained fresh lemon juice (from 4 lemons)
2 large egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue), plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Coarse salt

12 ounces strawberries, sliced (2 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 large egg whites, room temperature (2 reserved from filling)

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the crust: Coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Pulse crackers in a food processor until finely ground; measure 1 1/3 cups, and discard excess. Pulse cracker crumbs, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in food processor to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture is moist and holds together when pressed between 2 fingers.

2.  Press crust evenly into bottom and up sides of pie plate using the bottom of a dry measuring cup. (Make sure the sides and rim of the crust are firmly pressed so they don't crumble when pie gets cut.) Freeze for 30 minutes.

3.  Bake crust until firm and turning darker around edges, 10 to 11 minutes. Remove from oven, and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

4.  Meanwhile, make the filling: Whisk together condensed milk, lemon juice, egg yolks and egg, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

5.  Pour filling into warm piecrust. Bake until center is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

6.  Make the topping: Sprinkle berries with 2 tablespoons sugar and the lemon juice. Let stand for 30 minutes.

7.  Meanwhile, heat egg whites and remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in the heatproof bowl of a mixer set over a pan of simmering water until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to mixer, and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form, 8 to 9 minutes.

8.  Spoon berries over pie. Spoon meringue over top. Place pie under broiler, with rack in lowest position, until meringue is just browned. Alternatively, use a kitchen torch to brown the top.

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