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Lemon Meringue Pie

(adapted from Alton Brown's recipe, my meringue and crust recipes)

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks reserve whites for meringue, plus extra white for meringue
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1/3 c. cornstarch
  • 1 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 9 " prebaked pie shell recipe below
  • 1 recipe meringue see recipe below

Instructions

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Whisk egg yolks in medium size mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, water, sugar and salt. Whisk to combine. Turn the heat on medium and, stirring frequently, bring mixture to a 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.
  4. 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 baked pie shell and top with meringue while fillings still hot. Make sure meringue completely covers filling and that it goes right up to the edge of the crust. Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes or until meringue is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Make sure pie is cooled completely before slicing.
  5. Meringue
  6. 5 egg whites, room temperature
  7. 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  8. 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  9. Put the room temperature egg whites and cream of tartar in a grease-free metal or glass bowl (not plastic) and beat with mixer until soft peaks form. Very slowly sprinkle in the 3/4 c. sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat or you will not be able to make the meringue peak.
  10. My favorite pie crust:
  11. 2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  12. pinch salt
  13. 3/4 c. Crisco shortening
  14. 7 Tbsp. ice water
  15. Put the Crisco, salt and shortening in your food processor and pulse 5-6 times. With the processor running, pour in the 7 tablespoons of ice water and continue to run the processor until the dough comes together in a nice ball. This will take less than 15 seconds.
  16. Flatten the ball and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes.
  17. To roll out, flour your counter or cutting board with a little flour, flour your rolling pin and start rolling and turning your crust as you roll until you have a nice round circle about 1/8" thick. I usually turn the pie plate upside down over the crust to judge the size. I cut the crust 1" bigger than the pie plate.
  18. Fold the pie crust gently in half and lift this up and align with the center of the pie plate. Ease the crust up the sides and fold under any extra crust. Then you can do your edge.

Recipe Notes

Notes:

When you put the meringue on top of the hot filling it starts cooking the meringue from the bottom up and you don't end up with only top of the meringue browned.

Also, I baked the meringue at a lower temperature than most recipes call for. I like it nice and brown without having the burnt meringue peaks.