My oldest daughter was here for Sunday dinner and I asked her to choose what dessert I should make.  As usual when she has a choice, it was lemon meringue pie.

I make my lemon filling a little different from what the cookbooks say but I think it’s easier and it always turns out great.  Rather than trying to mix egg yolks into hot filling, I make a slurry with the eggs using cold water, then adding hot water,  and I’ve never had a problem with lumps or cooked egg in the filling.

LEMON MERINGUE PIE

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 Tblsp. cornstarch
  • 3 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
  • Dash of salt
  • 3 slightly beaten egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 Tblsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 baked 9″ pastry shell*
  • Meringue using 3 egg whites (see below)

In a medium saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, flour, salt.  Add egg yolks and then gradually add cold water, whisking until smooth.  Whisk in hot water and place over medium high heat.  Cook and stir to bring to a boil.  Cook two minutes longer, whisking constantly.  Remove from heat and add butter and lemon peel.  Gradually add lemon juice, whisking well.  Allow to set in sauce pan while making meringue:

THREE-EGG-WHITE MERINGUE

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 6 Tblsp. granulated sugar

In an electric mixer bowl, place egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar.  Beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and all sugar is dissolved (be careful not to get it stiff to the point of dryness).

Stir and pour hot pie filling into baked pie shell.  Immediately top with meringue, sealing to the edge of the pastry shell.  Bake @ 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes until meringue is golden.

Cool on a wire rack.  Allow time for pie to cool completely before serving.

*Here is my favorite recipe for pie crust.  I use half of the recipe for a 9″ shell and freeze the remainder for another time.  After the pastry is in the pan, prick generously on the bottom and sides of crust.

Place a piece of foil in the bottom of the pan and fill with dry beans.

Bake @ 410 degrees for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and take out the foil and beans.  Return to oven and bake for 8-10 minutes longer until crust is golden brown.  Place on a rack to cool.

Note from my recipe binder:  “From cookbook, “Better Homes & Gardens Pies & Cakes”.  Made 7/95 for Sunday dinner.  David declared it the best lemon pie I ever made.”

Update: To answer a question about the beans – they are used to keep the crust from “bubbling up”.  I keep dry beans in a quart jar and use them over and over again.