This was my first attempt at making a lemon meringue pie. When I read over the directions a few days ago, I got all scared about making it. It appeared to me that heating a liquid and then adding said hot liquid into egg yolks would result in, well, scrambled egg yolk liquid! Not true, but that is what I thought. I procrastinated for days about making this pie.
I looked at several recipes, but settled on Alton Brown's Lemon Meringue Pie - mostly because he said to use a prepared pie shell! I suck at pie crust - my friend Mary Grace laughed aloud when she saw me roll out a pie crust. And she doesn't even have a sense of humor. My pie crust making abilities are THAT poor. And even though her laughter still echoes in my head almost 30 years later, I still have not gotten over the humiliation that is pie crust.
In other words: There was no way I was going to make a pie crust AND prepare this pie and live to tell about it. Of this I was certain. So Alton's recipe won, just for allowing me to skate on the pie shell issue.
Since I was so nervous about this whole egg yolk/hot stuff issue, The Mister was kind enough to put the unbaked pie crust into the pie pan and he prepared the meringue for me. He's so cute when he's helpful.
The finished pie didn't turn out perfectly - the filling was a wee bit runny, but it is delicious! I suppose I'll try this one again!
Lemon Meringue Pie
- 4 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie shell (YES!)
- 1 recipe Meringue, recipe follows
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Whisk egg yolks in medium size mixing bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Turn heat on medium and, stirring frequently, bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually, 1 whisk-full at a time, add hot mixture to egg yolks and stir until you have added at least half of the mixture.This is where the magic happens!
Return egg mixture to saucepan, turn heat down to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and gently stir in butter, lemon juice, and zest until well combined. Pour mixture into 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 for 10 to 12 minutes or until meringue is golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Make sure pie is cooled completely before slicing.
- 4 egg whites
- 1 pinch cream of tartar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Place egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Use to top lemon filling.
Yield: topping for 1 (9-inch) pie