Madison, WI

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Ralph from Madison, WI

Ralph participated in Week 6: Botanical, and attempted the Citrus Meringue Pie Challenge. Let's see how they did!

How do you rate your baking performance?

Pleasantly satisfied.

Give your botanical creation a clever name — and tell us about your recipe.

Fizzy Lizzy’s Gin Meringue Pie. My idea was to make a Gin Fizz in pie form. It’s summer, it’s hot, and a little fizz is fun. So, I pretty much followed Mary Berry’s recipe for crust and curd except for reducing the lemon juice and water by 2oz and adding gin instead. I had no recipe to guide me, so, I simply thought this would be a good amount of gin without becoming too overpowering. It worked. And, maybe one thing, when Mary Berry makes the Meringue, she adds the sugar right at the end of the whipping process. You get much better results when you add the sugar after maybe a minute of beating when the first bubbles have formed. When you add the sugar later, it might not dissolve properly.

Any disasters? Did you take any risks? Proudest moment? Lessons learned the hard way? Tell us about it.

Before German children learn their ABCs, they learn the ratio of sugar, butter and flour in a short crust—it’s 1-2-3. Mary Berry’s recipe adds much more butter to the ratio. I know, more butter is better. Against my upbringing, I followed the recipe and ended up with a dough that was a bit too gooey for my taste. I added more flour (30g) to get a firmer consistency … and ended up with a crust that could have been more flaky. I just should have followed the recipe.

How did you add a Wisconsin twist to your flavors or decoration?

I heard good things about Wisconsin gins and then shopped around a bit. In the end, I used Wollersheim Garden Gate Gin for the lemon filling. Excellent! The gin is distilled with Wisconsin grown wheat, chamomile, rosemary, lemongrass and lavender. What a wonderful botanical note it adds to the bite of the lemon curd.

Watch Ralph tackle this challenge below: