Sometimes you just gotta have a perfect piece of lemon pie. Nice and tart, there’s just nothing like it. Each of my girls came to me within a day of each other asking for lemon meringue pie. It seems the app for their ipods where they make virtual pies left their mouths watering.
This, after I literally dreamed about making and eating one.
It was time.
It’s a really quick and easy pie. No berries to pick or wash. Just bright, lemony custard baked under a fluffy meringue sure to knock socks off.
First things first, bake a pie crust. Use a fork and poke holes all over in it to let the steam escape and bake it until it’s nice and golden brown. I use the amounts from this recipe for a single pie crust from marthastewart.com and follow these directions to prebake it.
While that guy is in the oven, Get out two smallish bowls and separate 4 eggs. Whites in one bowl, yolks in the other. Set aside for later. If you want extra meringue (which I usually do, add two more egg whites to the egg white bowl, totaling four.
Next, get out a medium saucepan and add in 1 c. sugar,
2 T Flour,
3 T cornstarch
and 1/4 tsp. salt.
Whisk these dry ingredients together and when combined, add 1 1/2 c. water and the juice of two lemons–equaling 1/2 cup. Real lemons are the key to a great pie. Don’t substitute.
Whisk all ingredients together and add some medium heat. You’ll want to whisk almost constantly until the mixture starts to thicken.
Add 2 T butter, no substitutes.
At the boiling point, your thickened mixture will need to be tempered. This is an easy technique that prevents you from ruining your pie by cooking your eggs. Scrambled eggs and lemon meringue are NOT a good mix.
All you do is slowly pour 1/2 cup of your boiling mixture into your bowl of egg yolks, stir and then quickly add it all back into the pot to thicken back up. It shouldn’t take long so whisk it and when thick, remove from heat.
Carefully, pour this mixture into your baked pie crust.
Reset the oven to 350 degrees for the meringue.
Now, we are ready for the best part. The meringue! Mmmmmmm….
Remember those egg whites you have sitting in a dish? By now, they are about room temperature. This will help them whip. Throw those puppies in a mixer bowl and whisk away. I us my stand mixer with the whisk attachment, and as soon as they are foamy start adding 6 T sugar one tablespoonful at a time. Whisk on high until they thicken up nicely. They are done when you pull the whisk out and the whites stick up in peaks.
Now, this part is important. Oh, so gently, spread the meringue onto the filling sealing all edges, making sure no filling is exposed.
Gently tuck this pretty thing into the oven at 350 degrees for around ten minutes. Watch out! Your looking for golden brown meringue and it browns up pretty quickly. When it looks gorgeous it’s ready to sit for a bit if you can stand to let it cool. Chill in the refrigerator.
And there you go. Pie Perfection.
- 1 pre-baked pie crust--ingredients here
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 T flour
- 3 T cornstarch
- 1½ cups water
- 2 lemons, juiced
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 4 eggs, separated (plus two more egg whites for extra meringue)
- 2 T butter
- 6 T sugar
- Separate 4 egg whites from the yolks.
- In a medium saucepan, add the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk them together an when combined, add the water and lemon juice. Whisk all together and heat over medium heat to almost boiling when the mixture starts to thicken.
- Add butter.
- Slowly pour ½ c. of the boiling mixture into the egg yolks, stir, then add the eggs to the pot. Whisk it in and remove from heat.
- Pour the filling into the pre-baked crust.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Whip room temperature egg whites with the whisk attachment in a mixer until they are foamy. Add in the sugar one tablespoonful at a time. Continue to whisk until the whites stand up in peaks when the mixer is lifted.
- Spread the meringue carefully over the pie filling making sure to cover and seal all the way to the edges.
- Bake for about 10 minutes watching closely so as not to burn the meringue.
- Remove from the oven and let it sit to cool. Chill in the refrigerator until serving time.