Lemon Meringue Pie – Save Room for Dessert!

I’m not afraid to say it:

I’m a total dork for citrus at this time of year. Well, this or any other time, really. But especially now when so many recipes lend themselves to that lovely freshness that citrus offers. It’s like eating sunshine.

Or maybe I’m just reading too much into the situation. I don’t know.

Either way, my husband challenged me to make a lemon meringue pie after he saw me devour a slice at a diner a couple of weeks ago. Never one to back down from a challenge, I squinted my eyes and squared my shoulders and accepted. Even though I’d never dealt with meringue before and was a bit wary of it.

But all worry was for naught!

Start with 2 large lemons, or if they’re small like mine, use 4. Juice the heck out of them.

In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/4 cups of sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and a pinch of salt. Add the lemon juice and 1 1/2 cups of water, then on to the heat it goes. This will come to a boil and needs to be stirred frequently.

After you’ve reached a boil, add two tablespoons of butter and melt them into the lemony goodness. Mmm…

While your lemon filling is bubbling away in the hopes of getting nice and thick (which it will!), separate 4 egg yolks and whites into separate bowls. Set the yolks aside, you’ll be using them for meringue in a little while.

Beat the yolks a bit, then pour approximately 1/2 cup of your hot filling into the bowl with the yolks, WHISKING CONTINUOUSLY AND RAPIDLY. Why did I just virtually scream those words at you? Well, because if you let the eggs sit still they will scramble. You want to keep them moving in order that they may mix with the filling and cook without little tough bits of egg getting in the way. Then, pour the egg/filling mixture into the pan on the stove, which you are whisking as you pour. Get the message? Whisk whisk whisk!

Once the filling is nice and thick and yummy looking, set it aside to cool.

Now it’s time for the crust. I used a Pillsbury crust, the kind you just unroll and bake. Ever so much easier and really very good and flaky.

Line your pie plate, flute the edges of the crust, prick all over with a fork and set it in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.

In that time, you can work on your meringue.

Remember those 4 egg whites you set aside a little while ago? Beat them with your mixer until they start to get foamy.

Then add 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar, 1/2 tsp of vanilla and 6 tbs of sugar. And whip them all up until stiff peaks form.

Finally time to assemble! Pour your filling into your baked crust and spread the meringue on top of that.

Into a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, and you get…


And after an hour in the fridge you get THIS!

It really is heavenly, and well worth the effort. So give it a try and let me know how it works for you!

Lemon Meringue Pie

1 Pillsbury crust

2 large or 4 small lemons, juiced
1 1/4 cup white sugar
2 tbs cornstarch
3 tbs flour
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbs butter
4 egg yolks

Combine dry ingredients in medium saucepan, stirring well to incorporate flour and cornstarch. Whisk in lemon juice and water, making sure flour and cornstarch are broken down. Heat to boiling over medium high heat, then add 2 tbs butter and stir until melted.

Whisk egg yolks together in separate bowl, then slowly add 1/2 cup of hot filling to the eggs, all the while whisking to ensure that yolks do not cook. Once eggs and filling are incorporated, add this to the rest of filling in saucepan. Allow to boil until thickened, stirring continuously, then set aside off-heat.

Unroll crust into pie plate. Flute edges and prick crust all over with a fork to prevent swelling and bubbling while baking. Bake crust for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. In the meantime prepare meringue.

4 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbs white sugar

Beat egg whites until they start to foam. Add other ingredients and beat until stiff peaks form.

Fill crust with cooled lemon filling and top with meringue, spreading meringue over filling until it touches the crust all the way around.

Bake pie for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Allow to cool sufficiently once out of oven, then place in fridge for at least an hour for filling to set up.


Oh, and when you get a chance, hop on over to my blog and drop me a line! There’s lots of food-centric adventures under the Cooking tab, and I’d love to hear from you on anything you see there!
Brian + Cheryl B.

Thanks for the reminder that I was going to ask the friend of my family for her late husbands recipe … brain- take note!!!

Since you posted this one on your site, I remembered another citrus dessert I like – actually, well, um mm, I occasionally (o;-p) devour them …. Sunburst Lemon Bars.

Sweet and Savory

One of my sons has been asking for a lemon meringue pie for ages and I keep avoiding it. If you can do it, I have to give it a try. Yours looks so yummy. Maybe, you should just make it for him.

~3 Sides of Crazy~

I have to say that if you’re a dork then I am too. Spring just brings about those cravings for citrus as well as all other fruits!

As for your challenge, I hope hubby made it worth your while because you aced it!