Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Serves 8

Source: Adapted from Cooks Illustrated (11/94)

Wonderfully lemony, with a contrast of tart and sweet, Lemon Meringue Pie is an American favorite. This one is especially flavorful and has a meringue that tends not to weep, due to the addition of a little cornstarch. You can use the usual Flaky Pie Crust ( recipe, prebaked) or use this easy, press-in crust (no rolling required!) that my grandmother used with her lemon meringue pie. This crust is very easy and always crumbly-tender. The sesame seeds add a nice nuttiness.

Crust:

1

cube

butter

4

ounces

115

grams

1

cup

flour

4

ounces

115

grams

1

tsp

sugar

 

 

5

ml

tsp

salt

 

 

2.5

ml

4

Tbs

sesame seeds

 

 

60

ml

Lemon Filling:

1

cups

sugar

11

ounces

300

grams

cup

cornstarch

 

 

95

ml

tsp

salt

 

 

 

 

2

cups

cold water

18

fl. ounces

565

ml

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

large

egg yolks, lightly beaten

 

 

 

 

1

Tbs

lemon zest

 

 

22

ml

cup

lemon juice

6

fl. ounces

190

ml

3

Tbs

unsalted butter

 

 

45

ml

Meringue:

1

Tbs

cornstarch

 

 

22

ml

cup

water

4

fl. ounces

125

ml

tsp

cream of tartar

 

 

 

 

cup

sugar

5.5

ounces

150

grams

5

large

egg whites

 

 

 

 

tsp

vanilla

 

 

3

ml

Crust:

Preheat oven to 350F [175C].

Mix the dry ingredients together.
Cut in the butter until the mixture is mealy.
Press evenly into a 9” [23 cm] deep-dish pie pan, covering the bottom and sides up to the lip of the pan.
Prick the crust all over the bottom and sides with a fork.
Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Lemon Filling:

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a large, non-reactive pan (do not use aluminum).
Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally at the beginning of the process and more frequently as the mixture begins to thicken.
When the mixture starts to simmer and turn translucent, add a bit of the mixture to the beaten egg yolks.
Mix the egg yolk mixture back into the pan to continue cooking.
Whisk in the zest, then the lemon juice and finally the butter.

Bring the mixture to a good simmer, whisking constantly.
Remove from heat, place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling to keep it hot and prevent a skin from forming.

Meringue Topping:

Mix the cornstarch with the water in a small saucepan.
Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally in the beginning and more frequently as the mixture thickens.
When the mixture starts to simmer and turn translucent, remove from heat.
Let cool (do not refrigerate) while beating egg whites.

Preheat oven to 325F [165C].

Mix the cream of tartar (not absolutely necessary) and the sugar together.
Beat the egg whites and vanilla until frothy.
Beat in sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, until sugar is incorporated and mixture forms soft peaks.
Add the cooled cornstarch mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly.
Continue to beat the meringue until stiff peaks form.

Construction:

Remove the plastic wrap from the filling and pour the filling into the baked pie crust.
Carefully spoon the meringue over the filling, covering as much of the filling as evenly as possible.
With a knife or spatula, spread the meringue fully over the filling.
Make sure the meringue comes to the crust edge, completely sealing the filling.
Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until the meringue is a golden-brown.

Cool for at least 2 hours (4 is better) to allow the filling to set before cutting. If refrigerated, the meringue tends to weep (gets small droplets of water on the surface), so try to avoid needing to refrigerate it to cool it down.
Lemon Meringue Pie

Notes:

If you are making only a regular 9” pie (about an inch deep) you only need 2/3 the recipe for the filling and meringue.

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