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Lemon meringue pie from scratch

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This recipe is one that really brings back a part of my childhood.  When I was young my grandmother would always make lemon meringue pie.  When I was old enough to help out, she taught me the tricks to making a great pie. 

lemon meringue pie

lemon meringue pie

There are three  main components to making a great lemon meringue pie: great crust, delicious lemon curd filling and light and airy meringue.  Once you master all three, your pie will become legendary.

Starting with the crust, it needs to be perfectly flaky and crispy to hold up to lemon curd filling.  That brings us to the filling, the lemon curd be the perfect mix of sweet and tart and should not be too wet or too dry. Lastly the meringue needs to be light and fluffy and able to hold its shape when used to top the pie.  I find that using our Kitchen Aid Mixer saves a lot of hassle when whipping the egg whites for the meringue.

Lemon meringue pie tips and tricks:

Preparation is key when making lemon meringue pie.  Be sure to have all of your ingredients handy and you will have no trouble putting together this delicious pie.  A couple of tips:  zest and squeeze the juice from your lemons and separate the eggs before you start.  I have more than once forgotten the lemon juice and had it mix it into the pie when it was in the crust.  The pies ended up being good, but it was not the same as cooking the lemon juice into the curd as instructed.  Like I said, be prepared.  The recipe is not difficult, just follow the directions and it will turn out great.

Lemon meringue pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Crust:
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 sticks of butter cut into ½" cubes
  • 6 tbsp very cold water
  • Filling:
  • 4 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
  • ⅓ cup corn starch
  • 1½ cup water
  • 1⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup lemon juice (about two large lemons)
  • Zest from two lemons microplaned or fine grated
  • Meringue:
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Crust:
  3. Add dry ingredients to bowl of a stand mixer and combine well
  4. Add cubed butter to bowl and mix with your hands to coat butter cubes with flour mixture
  5. Mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment until the butter and flour are mixed and butter chunks are about the size of peas.
  6. Slowly add water a little bit at a time until the dough starts to come together. Dough should still be loose until pressed together.
  7. Pour dough mixture out onto the counter and press together to form a disc.
  8. Wrap disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  9. Divide dough in half and roll out to fit into a 9 inch pie plate
  10. Press dough into pie plate and poke bottom with a fork and cover with parchment paper filled with beans, rice or pie weights and blind bake for 15 minutes
  11. Filling:
  12. Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs and place in separate bowls
  13. Use a microplane or small grater to remove the zest from two lemons
  14. Cut the lemons in half and juice them - you will need ½ cup - set aside
  15. Add sugar, corn starch, salt and water to a saucepan and cook on medium heat, bring to a boil and cook for one minute once boiling
  16. Add cooked sugar mixture to eggs about 1 tsp at a time and wisk. Repeat until about half of the sugar mixture is mixed into the eggs and then add the egg mixture to sugar mixture and whisk until completely mixed.
  17. Bring to a boil and cook for one minute and remove from the heat
  18. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and butter into the egg and sugar mixture and whisk until combined.
  19. Add to the pie crust and start the meringue
  20. Meringue:
  21. Add egg whites and cream of tartar to bowl of stand mixer and mix on medium-high until soft peaks form
  22. Gradually add sugar to egg whites until all have been incorporated
  23. Continue mixing until stiff peaks form
  24. Cover the filling with the meringue - be sure to get it all the way to the crust leaving no gaps.
  25. Form meringue into your desired appearance - commonly pulled into peaks or smooth
  26. Bake for 10-15 minutes to brown the meringue. Keep a close eye on it to ensure it doesn't burn.
  27. Allow 2-3 hours for the pie to completely cool before cutting

 

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