Isn’t that a pretty picture? I have to give credit to Paul for that one, he’s such a natural.
Lemon, lemon and more lemons. I love lemon… anything. Lemon in my Sweet Tea is a must! My Mother is also a lemon lover, must be in my genes then. This recipe came from her cookbook called ‘Food Lovers Collection’ by Rita Dover McMahan, which I have worn the pages from. In fact, I had to get another book from her because mine was falling apart! In her book it’s called ‘Perfect Lemon Meringue Pie’. And That, it is… Perfect. She also has a super easy and fabulous Pie Crust that I’ve posted. I’ve had many compliments on it. I not only use it for dessert pies, I also use it for my Chicken Pot Pie. It’s so versatile!
For my Mother’s birthday, I made this Lemon Meringue Pie along with a Key Lime Pie, another one of her favorites. They were both hits! It made her happy, which makes me happy. Come to think of it, I also made the Chicken Pot Pie and Pepper Steak for her birthday dinner. If we have 20 plus people over for a dinner, I tend to fix two main dishes. To keep it simple, I made the Chicken Pot Pie the day before. Then, about 30 minutes before it needs to go into the oven, I just bring it out of the refrigerator to bring to room temperature and bake. The Pepper Steak goes into the slow cooker the morning of the dinner. This just keeps things stress free when you have other things to get done for a party.
Here’s how I make it.
Lemon Meringue Pie
Let’s get started with the pie crust. For a lemon meringue pie, you’ll want to bake the crust before filling it with the lemon pie filling. Here I used a thawed ready made pie crust and put it into my own pie plate. Using a fork, prick the crust all over including the sides. This will help minimize the bubbling of the crust.
Then place a piece of parchment paper on top of the crust and form it as best as you can before filling it with a pound of dried pinto beans. This will also keep the pie crust from bubbling up and shrinking. Yep, been there, done that.
Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until the edges and bottom are a golden brown. I use a glass pie plate and can see the bottom. If you’re using a ceramic, just go by the edge of the crust when you lift the parchment paper. Let the crust cool to room temperature.
If you don’t have a ready made pie crust handy, check out my Mom’s famous easy Pie Crust recipe! It makes enough for two pies, so divide the dough, use one and freeze the other!
Tip: After using a pound of dried pinto beans in the oven for your pie crust, allow them to cool and put them in a zip top baggie. You can reuse these over and over for this purpose. Do not cook the pinto beans to eat.
There are many gadgets for juicing lemons and I have several of them. Here are a couple that I use. The one on the left is convenient because you don’t have to worry about catching the seeds. This one came from my grandmother. Another way I’ll do it is with a cute small mesh strainer. It has hooks on the right side (that you can’t see for my hand) that lays on the lip of the bowl. It catches the seeds and allows the juice to flow on through. I use it to relieve tension from a stressful day.
You’ll need 1/3 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Yes, I do have a pet peeve for the bottled lemon juice. It’s just not the same. But before you squeeze the juice out of these babies, be sure to zest them. So, how many lemons in 1/3 cup? That’s a hard call because you can’t predict how juicy they’re going to be. I usually start with 2 large ones with another one on standby. Since I keep lemons by the bag in my refrigerator, it’s usually not a problem for me. You understand… Sweet Tea with Lemon… I live on this stuff.
Separate your eggs putting the egg whites in a large bowl for making the meringue later on. Cover and put back in the refrigerator.
In a large pot stir together the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt.
Over medium heat, pour the hot water into the dry mixture, whisking as you go. I typically just heat the water in a pot until I see little bubbles form.
Continue to cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the pie filling comes to a low boil and thickens. You’ll notice that as it thickens, it will become translucent and glossy. This will take about 2-3 minutes after it starts bubbling.
Now you need to temper the egg yolks. ( or warm up the egg yolks) If you add the cold egg yolks to the hot mixture, you will end up with scrambled eggs in the pie. Nah, that’s not what we want. So, add a spoon full or two of the hot pie filling mixture into the egg yolks and stir with a fork or small whisk. This will bring the egg yolks to a warmer temperature.
While you’re whisking, slowly pour in the egg yolk mixture into the pie filling. Cook for 2 minutes, continuing to whisk. Turn off the burner.
Whisk in the lemon juice until it’s well incorporated.
Whisk in the butter…
…and lemon zest. I love love lemon zest! It really brings out the lemony flavor in any dish, especially in lemon pies.
Pour the filling into your pre-baked pie crust.
To make the meringue: Take the egg whites from the refrigerator. With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they are frothy, about 1 minute, and add 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Spread over lemon pie filling. Get as creative as you’d like making it pretty. I usually just lightly slap the top with my rubber spatula to make little peaks on top. Yeah, really artsy…
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes until the meringue turns golden brown. Be sure to keep an eye on this as it will go from a little tan to black in no time flat.
Oh, I could just sink my teeth into that.
Oh wait, I did sink my teeth into that pie and it was nothing less than fabulous!
Here’s a few other pies on my blog that you may be interested in.
You can either click on the pictures above or the links below. Enjoy!
Thank you, Mom, not only for fixing this for us as we were growing up, but for sharing this recipe! Love you!
What is your favorite pie?
Here’s the printer friendly recipe.