There's nothing quite as refreshing as a lemon meringue pie. Flaky crust, tangy sour lemon and fluffy meringue.
It's even more satisfying when you make it yourself.
I am sure there are some fancier (and maybe even tastier) recipes out there, but the first lemon meringue I made was a spur of the moment decision and I just followed the recipe on the cornstarch box. It turned out so well, I just stuck with it.
Step 1: Ingredient List
1/4 cup corn starch
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 egg yolks
1 1/4 cup water
1 tsp grated lemon rind, optional
1 Tbsp margarine or butter
1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie shell (or follow my instructable to make your own)
3 egg whites
6 Tbsp sugar
Step 2: Separate Eggs
Sometimes when you try to separate eggs, the whole thing just falls in the bowl (picture one). If the back-and-forth in the broken egg shell halves method doesn't work for you, then pouring the egg through a slotted spoon is another option.
Save the egg whites because you'll use them for the meringue.
Step 3: Begin Cooking the Filling
In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, sugar and lemon juice. Mix well. Begin heating on medium heat.
Step 4: Add Egg Yolks to Filling
Beat the egg yolks and add them to the corn starch mixture.
Step 5: Add Water
Add water and bring the mixture just to boiling (still on medium heat) and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally, or more often if you're like me and want to be doing something the whole five minutes! Remove from heat.
Step 6: Add Remaining Filling Ingredients
Add butter or margarine and grated lemon rind to thickened mixture and stir until thoroughly blended. Pour into baked pie shell. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Completely unneeded story (but a favorite of mine to tell): The first time I made this pie I was with my mom. I was skeptical she would have all the ingredients for a fully homemade lemon meringue pie just randomly on hand, but she was sure she did. I read each ingredient off the list. "Do you have...?" Each time she answered yes. When I got to the optional lemon rind I knew I had her because she didn't have any lemons, just a bottle of lemon juice. I didn't mention this was an optional ingredient, and asked pointedly, "Do you have a teaspoon of grated lemon rind?!?" "Yes!" she said. She went to her freezer and pulled out a baggie of grated lemon rind. "I saved it from the lemons I had a few weeks ago. I knew I'd need it for something." That's my resourceful mama! (And - you can grate and freeze lemon rinds for future use!)
Step 7: Beat Meringue
With electric mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar. Continue to beat on high speed to form stiff, glossy peaks.
Step 8: Spread Meringue
Spread meringue over filling, carefully sealing entire edge of crust to prevent shrinking.
You can choose what your meringue looks like. You can smooth it out flat, or make designs or textures in it. I prefer forming peaks that brown well in the oven. Just lightly press the back of a spoon into the meringue and pull up. This will form the peak design.
Step 9: Bake
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack away from draft for 2 hours. Refrigerate and serve cold.