Friday, May 27, 2011

Lovely Lemon Meringue Pie

Growing up I had a neighbor who lived across the street named Eleanor Platt. She was from the midwest and had a overflowing lemon tree in her backyard. She taught me how to make real pies from scratch. Her pie crust was perfectly flaky and tasty! Although I must admit I just buy pre-made crust now but I concentrate on making the fillings fabulous!

Lovely Lemon Meringue Pie


Lemon Filling:

* 4 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
* 1/3 cup cornstarch
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 1 cup sugar (add more if you like it really sweet)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1/2 cup fresh squeezed Meyers lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
* 1 (9-inch) par-baked pie shell (I like Mrs Smith)
Meringue Topping (see below)

Preheat oven to 400ยบ F.

Bake pie shell for half the time the instructions suggest and set aside. Whisk egg yolks in medium size mixing bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Place saucepan on medium heat and add water, lemon juice, and zest. Whisk until well combined and stir constantly bringing mixture to a boil. Boil for a couple minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and gradually add hot mixture to egg yolks and stir until you have added at least half of the mixture.

Return egg mixture to saucepan and butter, turn heat down to medium and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute. Pour mixture into par-baked pie shell and top with meringue while filling is still hot. Make sure meringue completely covers filling and that it goes right up to the edge of the crust. Bake on cookie sheet for 10 to 12 minutes or until meringue is golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Make sure pie is cool and set completely before slicing.

Meringue Topping:
* 4 egg whites
* 1 pinch salt
* 1/2 cup sugar

Place egg whites and salt in bowl and beat with mixer until peaks form. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Use to top lemon filling.

Make one 9" pie

Make sure to not get a speck of yolk in your egg whites before beating or it will not rise.

I prefer Meyers lemons for flavor. They taste like a cross between a citrus lemon and a sweet mandarin orange. If you can't get Meyers lemons substitute a little orange juice

You can add up to 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar to the Lemon filling if you prefer your pies really sweet.

Roll lemon across counter before juicing to extract maximum juices.

Use Baker's sugar for a smoother filling

Sprinkle sliced almonds on top of meringue prior to baking for an extra crunch.

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