Introduction: Zingy Lemon Meringue Pie
Growing up, my mom made alot of pies and cakes from scratch. I always thought it was solely because she worked part-time as a baker at a resturant and liked to bake all the time. Now that I'm an adult I know it was mostly because we didn't have alot of money. My father worked for an Italian couple who treated us 3 kids like their own. They had chickens amoung other farm animals and a great big lemon tree. I use to love being lifted onto my dads shoulders to collect the lemons and gather up eggs while my dad chased the rooster away to protect me. At home my mom would make an amazing pie with those eggs and lemons. Lemon Meringue pie is easy to make and has a wonderful explosion of flavour in your mouth. Whenever i make it, it brings me back to childhood, summer and those simpler times as a kid. Let's make it!
Step 1: Ingrediants Needed for Crust, Pie and Meringue
cream of tartar
Step 2: Making of the Crust
Pre-Heat oven for 450 degrees ( for baking the pie crust before filling)
I used my mixer but you don't have to. Good old fashin hand mixing works just as well.
In mixer combine the ingrediants below. Using a spatula to scrap sides and makes sure it's all incorporated.
2/3 Cup Chilled shortening cut into slices ( I use Crisco butter flavour sticks)
2 Tablespoon Chilled butter cut into slices
2 Cups unbleached flour
pinch of salt ( i like to use coarse Kosher salt)
Step 3: Continued Crust
When mixed throughly ( small pea sizes)
Add: 4 Tabelspoons chilled water slowly to the mixer ( I always put it in the freezer for 10 min to make sure it is really chilled.)
Bring dough to a large flat surfaced area and hand mix just enough to form a dough ball.
(I Love using my Wilton Fondant mat. It works great for pie dough as well and is pretty inexpensive)
Cut ball in half. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and store in fridge for another day
Make sure to add a little flour to the surface before rolling out
Step 4: Rolling Out Crust/ Adding It to Pie Pan
*I am not a perfectionist when it come to pie crust. I like my non-perfect pie crust. I think it screams out " I'm home-made". So do not fret if your pie crust does not look like Martha Stewart made it.
Roll out pie crust large enough to fit whatever pie pan you will be using.( I like to lay my pie pan over the crust to make sure it will be large enough)
Place pie crust in pie pan and crimp edges.
Place in pre-heated oven 450degrees for 12min
Remove from oven and allow to completely cool before filling. Lower oven temp to 325 degrees
Step 5: Lemon Pie Filling
Zingy Lemon Filling:
1 & 3/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup cold water
2/3 Cup fresh squeezed lemon juice ( I used 2 1/2 large lemons)
zest of 1 large lemon ( I find zesting is easier to do before you squeeze all the juice from the lemon
3 well-beaten egg yolks ( save the whites for the merigue)
2 tablespoons butter
1&1/2 cups boiling water
In a medium sized saucepot add:
1 & 3/4 Cup granulated sugar
7 tablespoons cornstarch
Step 7: Cooking the Lemon Filling
Slowly stir in:
2/3Cup lemon juice
1/2 cold water
Mix thouroughly until smooth and no lumps remain
turn the stove on and start heating the mix on medium heat
Add to mixture:
2 tablespoons butter and 3 well beaten egg yolk making sure really mix everything together
( my yolks are really RICH & bright because they are from my chickens not store bought)
Slowly mix in the 1&1/2 Cups boiling water
Continue heating on medium heat until filling starts to thicken stiring constantly. Once the filling starts to look like thinner pudding, remove from heat.
Step 8: Continued Lemon Pie Filling
While filling is cooling, add the lemon zest and mix in well. Continue to let filling cool while you make the meringue and have a cup of coffee : )
Step 9: Making of the Meringue
Meringue is a fancy egg white topping but it is super easy to make.
3 eggs white ( from when you separated the eggs earlier)
* for more a big meringue topping, add more egg whites ( I used 4 eggwhites in the recipe)
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
*Use a mixer or hand mixer as you literally will break your hand trying to make meringue by hand
In mixer add your egg whites and turn on mixer to highest speed( you might even have a setting labelled "egg whites")
Add 1/4tsp. of cream of tartar
When mixture starts to thicken, add 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Use a spatula to scrap down the sides to incorporate it all.
Step 10: Putting It All Together
Add the filling to the pie crust
Using a spatula add the meringue topping to the pie smoothing and spreading it out.
Bake pie in pre-heated oven at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes
then turn oven to 350 degrees and bake for 3-5 minutes to further brown the meringue topping
Allow the pie to cool on a baking rack for several hours
* if making for a party or bringing it as a dish to a pot luck, use a small thin slice of lemon and add to the top. This way everyone will be sure to know what kind of pie it is.
Step 11: Enjoy!
A pie this old fashioned and good needs to be served on a vintage plate with a cup of joe. Enjoy!