Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
As you read the ingredients, your mouth starts to water. Can't you just taste it! My favorite pie! What's yours?
- 1 1⁄3 cups graham cracker crumbs (from 1 sleeve, or 9 large crackers)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄3 cup cornstarch
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
- 1 lemon, zest of, grated
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
For the meringue
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- To make the crust:.
- Break up the graham crackers and place in a food processor. Process the crackers with the sugar for about 20 seconds, or until the crackers become fine crumbs.
- Add the melted butter and pulse about 10 times, just until incorporated. (If you do not have a food processor, you can crush the crackers in a zip-lock bag with a rolling pin, whisk in the sugar, then stir in the melted butter.).
- Using your fingers, press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan and up the sides. Be sure to press the bottom thoroughly so that the crumbs are evenly distributed. Set aside.
- For the filling:.
- In a medium nonreactive saucepan, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt until well combined.
- Whisk in water and juice. Scrape the corners to incorporate all the dry ingredients.
- Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for about 7 minutes, or until the mixture comes to a boil.
- Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, until mixture thickens and generously coats a spoon. Remove from the heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks well. Temper the yolks by whisking in about 1/2 cup of the hot lemon pudding.
- Scrape the warm yolks into the hot pudding, whisking to blend in the yolk mixture before the eggs overcook.
- Return the lemon pudding to the stove over the lowest heat and stir constantly for about 4 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add the butter, zest, and vanilla. Stir until the butter is completely melted.
- Set the filling aside to cool for 30 minutes before spooning it into the graham cracker crust.
- Make the meringue:.
- While the filling is cooling, Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they hold stiff peaks.
- Beat in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat until very stiff but not dry.
- Spoon the lemon filling into the graham cracker crust. Smooth with a small spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Cover the filling with the meringue, creating peaks and swirls with the back of a spoon. Make sure that the meringue touches the edge of the pie shell all the way around.
- Bake until the meringue is golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Allow the pie to cool at room temperature for 1 hour, and then refrigerate until completely cold.
- To loosen the crust from the pan, carefully dip into a pan of warm water. The butter on the outside of the crust will start to melt, and the slices will come out intact.