I made this pie this weekend. It's adapted from The Perfect Recipe cookbook by Pam Anderson. Wow, we agreed it was the best lemon meringue pie recipe we'd ever had. The filling is very lemony sweet/tart and fluffy. The meringue is tall and fluffy/light. Prep times are estimated. It takes a little time, but is well worth it. Lemon meringue pie was first invented in Philadelphia. This recipe represents the Mid-Atlantic U.S. region.
Graham Cracker Coated Pie Shell
- 1 1⁄4 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and frozen
- 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, frozen
- 3 -5 tablespoons ice water, as needed
- 1⁄2 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup cornstarch
- 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1⁄2 cup lemon juice (fresh from 2 - 3 lemons)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1⁄3 cup water
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make pie shell: Mix flour, sugar and salt in a food processor, by pulsing a few times.
- Scatter the frozen butter pieces over flour mixture.
- Pulse in 1-second pulses about 5 times to mix in butter.
- Add frozen shortening; pulsing in 1-second pulses until mixture resembles cornmeal with pieces about the size of peas.
- Slowly add ice water through the processor feed tube, with motor running, one tbsp at a time.
- When dough forms a ball, stop processing.
- It should take about 2 or 3 tbsp of ice water to reach this stage.
- Shape dough into a ball in your flour coated hands, and then flatten into a 4 inch wide disk.
- Flour disk and wrap in plastic.
- Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
- Generously coat your work surface or pastry sheet with a little flour and about 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs.
- Place dough on floured surface, coat with some flour and graham cracker crumbs, and roll into a 9-inch disk.
- Lift, coat surface with more graham and flour, turn dough, add more graham and flour on top, and roll out to a 13 inch disk.
- Place into a 9 inch pie pan, and finish edges.
- Refrigerate crust until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Prick dough with a fork to prevent bubbling up in the oven.
- While the oven is pre-heating to 375, put pie crust in freezer.
- Bake at 375 for 20- 25 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure it's browning evenly and not bubbling up.
- Lemon Filling: Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a large, nonreactive saucepan.
- Add egg yolks, then immediately but gradually whisk in 1 1/2 cups water.
- Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking regularly, 8- 10 minutes, until thickened.
- Remove from heat, whisk in zest, then juice, and finally butter.
- Keep warm until meringue is made.
- Meringue topping: Mix cornstarch and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan.
- Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally until thickened.
- Remove from heat when translucent and thickened.
- Preheat oven to 325.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix cream of tartar and sugar together.
- Beat egg whites with whip attachment of mixer until frothy. Add vanilla.
- Beat in sugar mixture, 1 tbsp at a time.
- Then drop in cornstarch mixture, 1 tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form.
- Pour warm lemon filling into pie crust.
- Distribute meringue evenly over the top, starting with the edges, and then the middle.
- Make sure it attaches to the crust.
- Lifting with the back of the spoon, create peaks in the meringue.
- Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Cool completely before serving.