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.
After you’ve reached a boil, add two tablespoons of butter and melt them into the lemony goodness. Mmm…
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.
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.
Into a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, and you get…
And after an hour in the fridge you get THIS!
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
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
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.