Dining Down Under

           SPORTS DEED: On Sunday, August 11, Murray's Steak House is proud to host the WCCO Sports Huddle Show with Sid Hartman and Dave Mona. The doors open at 9 a.m. and breakfast will be served during the show, which airs until noon. Hear the hosts blast away as you devour pieces of pastry dunked in summer fruit compote, eggs strata, O'Brien potatoes, and sausage, all washed down with juice and coffee. This experience must be paid for in advance by credit card, $35 a ticket. Call 333-2507 during business hours for reservations. During the show, one lucky caller and one paid guest will receive a Silver Butter Knife gift certificate, compliments of Murray's. Proceeds of the event will benefit Kids Cafe, a program of the Boys and Girls Club of Minneapolis and Perspectives Family Center of St. Louis Park. This program serves between 80-100 disadvantaged kids a hot balanced meal four nights a week.

           WHY PIE RULES: Reading a juvenile detective story aloud to my niece the other day, we came across a longsection about a pie sitting out on the window ledge to cool. (The pie would not long remain there, the disappearance being the main impetus behind the detective's lengthy caper.) I stopped reading and we both stared off into space for a time, thinking about fresh pie cooling on a window ledge. When was the last time you saw a sight like that? My own encounters with pies remain limited to looking at the ones on sale in the damaged/stale food cart in the local grocery. Still too expensive. But the next day, a recipe book from the Edgewood Restaurant and Motel appeared in my mailbox, and there on the first page...a recipe for lemon meringue pie. Apparently there had been an actual lemon meringue pie that arrived with the booklet, but something so delicate and alluring does not have much staying power in an office full of hungry people. Here, then, is Marie Hemke's recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie, the crown jewel of the Edgewood Restaurant:

           Pie Crust Ingredients:

* 1 1/2 cups flour

* 1/2 cup lard

* pinch of salt

* iced water

           Mix all the dry ingredients with the lard until crumbly. Then, little by little, add the iced water and mix the dough until it holds together well. Roll out and place in a 9'' pie tin. Bake at 325° F until light brown.

           Lemon Filling Ingredients:

* 1 1/2 cups sugar

* 1/3 cup corn starch

* pinch of salt

* 1/2 Tbsp. butter

* 1/2 cup lemon juice

* yolks of 4 eggs

* 1 1/2 cups water

* grated rind of one lemon

           Blend the dry ingredients in a double boiler or heavy sauce pan. Add the water and cook the mixture until it is thick and shiny. Stir frequently. Separate the eggs and set aside the whites. Mix the egg yolks, lemon juice and lemon rind together. Pour into the cooked mixture and cook again until boiling. Stir frequently. Pour into the baked pie shell.

           Meringue Ingredients:

* whites of 4 eggs

* 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

* 1 Tbsp. water

* 1/2 cup sugar

           Put the egg whites, cream of tartar, and water in a mixing bowl. Beat until frothy. Slowly add the sugar with the mixer on low speed. Whip at high speed until meringue is stiff and shiny. Spread on top of the lemon pie, attaching the meringue to the pie crust, making peaks with a spatula. Then bake at 350° F until meringue peaks are golden brown.

           ADD SOME DISTINCTION: Used to gulping wine dispensed from a foil pouch inside a cardboard box? See how the other end of wine drinkers operate, and learn something about distinguishing between inexpensive wines and wines of good value. Wine expert Daniel Johnnes, author of Daniel Johnnes's Top 200 Wines will be signing his book at Baxter's Books (608 Second Ave. S., Mpls.; 339-4922) from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7.

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