Prep 1 hr
Cook 20 mins
The classic, tart lemon meringue pie. I've included techniques for assuring a crisp bottom crust and techniques to prevent the meringue from weeping. They work, and they'll also work with a store crust if you prefer to use one. Lemon meringue is hubby's favorite pie so I've been working on getting it right for a long time.
- 1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut in pieces
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled and cut in pieces
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fine graham cracker crumbs
- 1⁄3 cup cornstarch
- 1⁄3 cup sifted cake flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄4 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1⁄2 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh lemon rind
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in pieces
- 1⁄3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 5 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1⁄3 cup sugar (or to taste)
- Pie Crust: Preheat oven to 425°; in a food processor pulse the flour, sugar and salt just to mix; add the butter and shortening and pulse just until coarse crumbs form; add the lemon juice and water and pulse just until moist crumbs form.
- Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form a disk; wrap tightly and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll chilled dough out to a 12"-13" diameter circle; fold dough in half and gently lift it, transferring it to a 9" pie plate; gently fit the dough into the plate and trim the edge with a 1/4" overhang.
- Gently fold the overhang under and crimp the new edge all way'round; prick the dough, including the sides and corner, with a fork to prevent the crust from bubbling while baking; refrigerate 15 minutes or until crust is rechilled.
- Bake 10-13 minutes or until bottom of crust is lightly browned; cool on wire rack; when cool, sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs.
- Filling: Combine cornstarch, cake flour, salt and sugar in a saucepan; over medium heat, gradually add water, stirring; continue to cook and stir until mixture boils, about 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and temper egg yolks by gradually adding small amounts of cooked mixture; when eggs are thoroughly warmed, add back to cooked mixture; cook, stirring, another 5 minutes over low heat.
- Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, lemon rind and butter; stir until well combined and smooth; lay plastic wrap on surface and set aside while making meringue.
- Meringue: Preheat oven to 325°; in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring water and cornstarch to a boil, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and turns clear; set aside and let cool.
- With an electric mixer, break up egg whites on low speed; when bubbly increase speed and beat until they begin to turn white; beat in cream of tartar and vanilla; add sugar gradually and beat to soft peaks; add reserved cornstarch mixture a bit at a time; beat just to stiff peaks.
- Finish: Pour warm filling into cooled crust (sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs), and top with room temperature meringue; completely seal filling with meringue, making sure meringue touches the crust all the way'round; pile meringue to a high mound in center of pie; bake for 20 minutes, until meringue is evenly golden brown; cool completely on wire rack before cutting.
This was delishimo... I made it for Christmas dinner dessert, and it was even well received by a dutch family unaccostomed to pies like this... DH of course complained that the lemons were too sour, but he's not a lemon lover at all so I totally discounted his opinion:) Mine did weep just a little, definiately not the fault of the recipe, just me and beginners stupidity as I was a bit slow getting everything together due to the rush of making a huge dinner and trimmings on the same morning. The meringue was lovely too and I will definiately keep this in my cookbook for future decadent desserts with guests...The one and only reason that I didn't give this five stars was due to the difficulty of working with the crumbs for the base, they were very dry indeed and I could hardly get them lined around the pan, but not having graham cracker crumbs available here I subbed a dutch biscuit called "Maria's" and I also subbed butter for vegetable shortening for the same reason. I can guess that I could really perfect this recipe once I have made it a few times and worked on getting the base just right. It's just small glitch that a little practice on my part could solve. The taste is wonderful, so please see my rating system, a well deserved 4 stars ! Thanks :)
This was the best pie I ever had. A+