Fall Recipe for Play - Lemon Meringue Pie Dough
We have been in the Thanksgiving mood. My boys aren't as into crafts as much as art and play, so I've been focusing on Thanksgiving sensory play. So far we have made Thanksgiving paints, playdough turkeys, cranberry dough, turkey absorption art, and yesterday we made lemon meringue pie dough. Much like the apple pie dough we made earlier this fall, this dough is the perfect fall recipe for play. On a side note, I had lunch with my mom today, and we discussed Thanksgiving dinner. She said she was only planning pumpkin pie for dessert instead of our usual pumpkin and lemon meringue pies. I might need to learn to make an actual lemon meringue pie this year and not just the dough!
How to Make Lemon Meringue Pie Dough for Sensory Play
Directions: When we made apple pie dough I mixed the dough together myself then set up an invitation to play pretend bake shop for my older boys, JZ (6) and J-Bug (4). Yesterday JZ asked if we could make apple pie dough again, and I suggested that this time we make lemon meringue pie dough since lemon meringue is my favorite. I showed him an image online, and he eagerly agreed.
Instead of mixing the dough myself, I measured the ingredients and set them out for JZ to make the dough himself.
I used 4 cups of flour, slightly less than 1 cup of oil, 1 cup of water, and three lemons. I blended the lemons, food coloring, and water in my Vitamix then poured the mixture into a small container. Lemon juice could easily be used in place of the lemons. We have a lemon tree, so we have more than we could ever use even when cooking and cleaning with them. I added more food coloring than I normally would since this dough recipe calls for quite a bit of flour. This dough recipe does not require sugar, but in the spirit of pretend baking I included 1/4 cup of sugar for JZ to add to the mixture.
I loved watching JZ make the lemon meringue pie dough. He worked slowly, adding a bit of this and a touch of that. He used his hands, and he used the utensils I provided.
He sampled his pie dough often as he worked.
Before long J-Bug woke up from his nap and came outside to play. He had a different system. He was much less methodical and preferred to just dump everything right into the bowl. Had he been awake when we started I would have split the ingredients in half and given each of them his own bowl.
I think his haphazard approached stressed JZ out a bit! It was cute watching them work together to come up with a compromise.
When mixed slowly, bit by bit, the dough requires quite a bit of kneading to form. I helped them when their little hands grew tired.
This is a very forgiving recipe for play. If it is too wet, add some flour. If it is too crumbly, add a bit of water and/or oil. There isn't really a right or wrong. Just keep mixing and kneading until a soft, stretchy dough is formed.
Once happy with the consistency of the dough, JZ and J-Bug got to work baking. They made me muffins, cake, and "dough balls".
When they were ready to make lemon meringue pie I pulled out the round cake pan.
We make a lot of play doughs, but this was one of my favorite. I think the bright, warm yellow combined with the zesty lemon smell won me over. Actually, it was a cinnamon lemon scent. When JZ first asked to make apple pie dough, and I suggested lemon meringue pie dough he said, "Okay, but can I still add the cinnamon?"
The finally step in our fall sensory pie baking was making meringue.
Shaving cream seemed like the obvious choice for the meringue topping. If making this dough with younger children who are likely to sample the pie, I suggest using whipped cream. Our apple pie dough lasted three weeks in an airtight container. So far the lemon meringue pie dough is still going strong, even with the shaving cream mixed in. I'm curious to see if this dough will last until Thanksgiving.
For more Thanksgiving sensory play follow me on Pinterest.
More ideas for Thanksgiving sensory play: