Perfect Lemon Meringue Pie

Recipe by adhoc
READY IN: 2hrs 15mins
YIELD: 1 pie




  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Mix flour, vegetable shortening, and salt together in a bowl using a wired pastry cutter. The dough should form into small clumps that don't feel greasy.
  • Using a tablespoon, put the ice cold water in one tablespoon at a time, mixing as you go. I usually start with about four - six tablespoons and work my way up from there. The dough will eventually form into a ball. The dough should not feel wet on the outside, just slightly moist and if you break it in 1/2, it should not feel soggy on the inside. If you put in a little too much water, you can always add a bit more flour.
  • If you like, you can wrap the dough and place it in the refrigerator for awhile at this stage. Using the ice water, though, removes the need to refrigerate if you don't want to.
  • When you're ready to roll, dust your work surface (I use taped-down wax paper for this), your hands, your rolling pin, and your dough with flour. Roll out the dough on your work surface starting in the middle and working outward. Try to keep it in circle form, but it isn't a huge deal. Roll it until it is about 1/4" thick all over.
  • Lift up the dough and place it in your pie dish.
  • Poke the dough at the bottom of the pie dish with a fork all over. Take the teaspoon or so of sugar and sprinkle it all along the bottom, covering the fork holes. This prevents the bottom of the crust from getting soggy your filling to leaking.
  • Around the top rim of your pie dish, pinch the dough so that it forms a small peak all around the rim. I do this by placing my index finger of my left hand on the top of the rim and the thumb from my left hand on the bottom. I then do the same with my right hand about one inch to the right. I slide my right hand (still gripping the dough) toward my left hand, allowing the dough on top of the rim to peak.
  • Once this is done, dip two fingers in water, place around one of the peaks and pull your fingers back and down onto the rim of the pie dish to seal the "valleys" of your dough to the pie dish. This prevents them from coming up when baking.
  • For the lemon meringue pie, you need to pre-bake your pie crust a bit. The fork wholes at the bottom should prevent it from bubbling up. If you want, you can line the crust with parchment paper and put in some dry beans while baking it to help keep the shape.
  • Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until it starts turning brown. You'll be baking it for about another 10 minutes later, so you don't want it to get too brown.
  • Allow the pie crust to cool while making the filling and meringue.
  • Reduce the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium (3 quart) saucepan.
  • Blend water and egg yolks together.
  • Turn heat on medium and gradually add water and egg yolks to the mixture.
  • Continue to heat on medium, allowing the mixture to simmer, stirring constantly until thickened.
  • Remove from heat, gently stir in juice and zest and then stir in butter until it melts.
  • Put aside while preparing meringue, but don't allow mixture to cool.
  • In a small saucepan, mix cornstarch, water, and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until thickened and clear. Remove from heat.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy.
  • Beat in vanilla extract.
  • Beat in 1/2 cup of sugar, a little at a time.
  • Finally beat in cornstarch mixture a little at a time and continue beating until all the sugar has dissolved and the meringue forms a soft peak.
  • Pour the warm lemon filling into the pie crust and smooth it until it is even.
  • Top the pie with meringue, pushing the edges of the pie crust - ensuring that it makes a good seal with the crust. I like to use the back of a spoon to form little peaks in the meringue.
  • Heat at 375 for 10-15 minutes until meringue turns a soft golden brown.
  • Allow to cool completely before serving.