Introduction: Lemon Meringue Pie
Almost everyone I know loves Lemon meringue pie, but thinking about baking one (or two) can be intimidating.
Making a delicious lemon meringue pie is a time consuming endeavor but lately I've had some free time on my hands.
There are several steps to making a lemon meringue pie, but if you plan ahead and make sure that you have all the ingredients you'll need before you get started and also allow yourself enough time, it's not really that difficult.
It's not much more work to make 2 pies than it is to make one, also, the pie shells come in a box of 2.
Read through the directions before you begin.
Let's get started!
You will need 2 glass deep-dish pie pans, a stand or hand mixer, a large saucepan and a small saucepan, Large mixing spoons and small bowls, a whisk and measuring cups and spoons.
You will also need parchment paper and dried beans or uncooked rice.
Also a grater for making the lemon zest and a lemon juicer. (I used a lime juicer)
You may want to use an egg separator if you haven't perfected the art of egg separating.
Step 1: Ingredients
2-1/4 cup Granulated sugar for filling, 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar for meringue
1-1/4 cup Corn starch for filling, 2 Tablespoons Corn starch for meringue
1/2 teaspoon salt for filling, 1/2 teaspoon salt for meringue
4-3/4 cups Water for filling, 1 cup water for meringue
9 lemons for filling 1 teaspoon vanilla for meringue
6 Tablespoons Butter for filling 8 Large egg whites for meringue
8 Large Egg yolks for filling
Step 2: Bake Pie Shells
I like to use the pre-made pie crust that is rolled up and sold in the refrigerated section near the canned biscuits.
You can make your own pie crust of course if you have a recipe that you like.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Unroll the pie crusts in the glass pie pans and flute the edges. Poke holes in each pie crust with a fork.
Cut 2 circles of parchment paper about 14" and place these over each pie shell.
Pour 2 cups of dried beans or uncooked rice over the parchment paper. This will keep the pastry from puffing up during the baking process.
Bake for 10 or 12 minutes, until the crust starts to brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
Remove the dried beans or rice and the paper.
Set the pie shells aside while you make the pie filling.
Step 3: Lemons
You'll need 8 lemons for 2 pies.
Make the lemon zest by grating the peel of each lemon but only the yellow part, do not grate the white part of the peel because it can be very bitter.
When you are done with the lemon zest, set it aside and juice all of the lemons.
Cut them in half and squeeze into a strainer so that you catch all of the seeds.
You will need a total of 1-1/4 cup lemon juice for the pie filling.
Step 4: Pie Filling
Separate the 8 eggs into 2 bowls (egg whites and egg yolks) and set aside.
In a large saucepan, place:
2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1-1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
4-3/4 cups water
Cook on medium heat and Stir with a whisk. After about 15 or 20 minutes the mixture will start to bubble and thicken, then you will add the 1-1/4 cup of lemon juice. Stir with the whisk until the ingredients are combined.
Cut the 6 tablespoons of butter into slices and stir into the hot lemon mixture. Stir until the butter is completely melted.
Take the small bowl with the 8 egg yolks and stir them up good. Add 1 spoonful of hot lemon mixture to the egg yolks and quickly stir. You want to temper the eggs so that they don't scramble. This is very important. Add another spoonful of lemon filling and quickly stir into the eggs. repeat this until you've got about 1/2 cup of the lemon filling incorporated into the egg yolks.
Now you can add the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the filling, stirring quickly.
Stir the lemon filling with the whisk and turn the heat back on, bringing the mixture to a boil again as you continue to stir.
Remove lemon filling from heat and pour into the pie pans.
Step 5: Meringue
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small saucepan, combine:
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1 cup water
Cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture thickens.
Set the pan inside a larger pan with water so that it cools down.
In a large mixing bowl beat the 8 egg whites until frothy and stiff peaks form.
Slowly add the 4 tablespoons sugar one at a time, beating after each addition.
Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Add the corn starch/water mixture to the meringue.
Beat the meringue for another 30 seconds.
Evenly distribute the meringue onto the pies, spreading to the edges so that no yellow filling shows.
Step 6: Bake
Place both pies in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the meringue starts to brown.
Remove the pies from the oven and allow to cool. Place pies in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!
These pies are quite a bit of work but its definitely worth the effort!
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