Lemon Meringue Pie

My grandmother was a baked good goddess and luckily she shared all her recipes with me before she passed away. As a result, I can make all of the favorites which she made for family events. Some are regulars at my house like baklava and apple pie. However, others I don’t often make because I’m the only one who appreciates them. One of these is Lemon Meringue Pie. I love the tartness of it and have been yearning to make it for a while. But who can possibly eat a whole pie by themselves?

This week I caught a breakthough because I discovered that one of my friends whom I’m visiting also likes Lemon Meringue Pie. Which means I can make one and not feel guilty. My grandmother’s recipe was a very simple bastardization of the real thing. She used a lemon cook and serve pudding mix for the filling rather than make it from scratch. I wanted to impress so I decide to make it one from scratch and use a recipe from All Recipes with a couple tweaks

Lemon Meringue Pie

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked – store bought crust will work if you can’t make your own
  • 5 egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar

For the filling, combine 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt in a sturdy sauce pan. Add water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter. Whisk 1/2 cup or more of the hot sugar mixture into the egg yolks. Whisk throughly so that you don’t curdle the eggs. Add the whisked eggs yolk mix back into sauce pan and bring to a boil. Make sure to whisk thorough so as to not burn or curdle the eggs. This pretty much means you have to stir it constantly until it is thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.

For meringue whip egg whites until foamy and soft peaks form. Then gradually add sugar and whip until you have stiff peaks. Spread the meringue over pie and bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until brown. Make sure you keep and eye on the meringue because it will go from brown to burnt if you aren’t careful.

The final product is a very tart and smart pie. My only complaint was that the pie was weepy. This is a pretty common problem that people have when making lemon meringue pie. There is a Cook’s Illustrated recipe that is supposed to make a non-weepy Lemon Meringue Pie. In my case I think the problem was that I didn’t add and cook the meringue when the lemon filling was still hot, which also may have been why my meringue didn’t brown easily. Chowhound has some tips on how to keep the pie from weeping. Overall, the pie was a success though. Not a bite is left which is probably the best measure of quality.

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