Michael Chiarello would be proud…

Allow me to introduce my sooper sekrit special ingredient…

Meyer lemons! (I forgot to take a picture of mine, so I had to steal one from Purdue’s horticulture website.) I was at the market the other day to pick up some normal lemons and there they were, happily sitting in the next bin as though they’d always been there. Having never even seen a Meyer lemon before, I literally gasped outloud and promptly bought a bag without knowing exactly what I’d use them for.

I just had to have them.

So I thought. What to make with these lemons, these treasures, these rare beauties? Martha Stewart has a recipe for a very pretty cake filled and decorated with lemon curd, but I was afraid the cake would overpower the lemons which needed to be the star of the dish. The label had a recipe for a white chocolate, Meyer lemon tart which sounded nice and I can have white chocolate, since it’s not actually chocolate. But I was still afraid the lemon flavor would be too subtle. Lemon bars? No, those are things that, like the shortbread cookies and the blueberry cake, I always think sound nice, but once I make them, I realise that I don’t actually like them and am completely baffled by what must have possessed me to make them.

And then it hit me. Lemon meringue pie. Of course!

But not just any lemon meringue pie. Mini lemon meringue pies. Brilliant!

But it was not all brilliant. There was a brief disaster involving the first batch of pie dough. I don’t know what happened – I rather pride myself on my pie-crust-making abilities. But this was terrible – all crumbly and horrible. I tried to salvage it by adding a little more water, but this only seemed to render the dough indestructible. Seriously. I tried to divide it into two pieces to put it back in the fridge…and I couldn’t.

So I tried again.

Looks like it turned out all right, though! (The flour and butter in the bowl is actually the disastrous first batch, but I didn’t take a photo of the second one, so it’ll have to do.)

Martha made 6 4 1/2-inch pies. I made 12 muffin-sized pies and 12 mini-muffin-sized pies. I wasn’t sure how much of the lemon mixture the recipe would make, but since the pie crusts are a bit on the thick side, it filled them all perfectly.

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