Lemon Meringue Love

lemon merangue pie

My eldest daughter loves lemon meringue pie. She has always loved this pie, even as an infant should would shovel the filling into her mouth and grab hunks of crust in her cherubic hands and gnaw on them with pure delight. I would make it just to watch her eat it!

For every holiday or special event we make this pie for her. She is fantastic at helping in the kitchen and is perfecting her pie crust making skills.

I made this big pie doubling the original recipe which seems just a bit too skimpy given how delicious this pie truly is. I make each batch separately and blend them together to fill the pie. I have never had very good luck making the filling at double the volume. It never seems to mix very smoothly or to thicken very evenly.

I only ever use the Perfect Pie Crust from Martha Stewart as follows:

Perfect Pie Crust:
Adapted from Martha Stewart
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
15 tablespoons unsalted butter (or 12 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons margarine or chilled vegetable shortening)
¼ cup ice water

Put the flour and salt into the bowl of the machine. Cut the butter (shortening) into the flour. Process a few seconds until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Drop by drop add water, process a bit more. The whole procedure should take 20-30 seconds. Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

Lightly flour a work surface. Divide the pastry in half. Pat each half into a flat round. Lightly flour a rolling pin. Roll pastry in one direction only, to 1/8 inch thick, turning the
pastry to prevent it from sticking to the surface. Using your pie plate, measure the rolled out pastry-it should be slightly larger than the plate. Fold it in half so that you can lift it easily. Unfold, gently fitting the pastry into the pie plate, allowing it to hang evenly over the edges. Don’t trim off the excess just yet.

This is where I make the edge. I fold over the excess and create a nice thick crust and form the best decorative finish that I can manage. (Again, I am not a baker) Then gently poke holes with a fork to prevent bubbling.

I bake this at 425 degrees fahrenheit for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Turn oven down to 350 degrees.

Now you are ready to add the filling.

HINT: Make the filling while the pie shell is cooking.

Lemon Pie Filling Recipe:
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 tsp fresh lemon peel or zest, grated
4 large egg yolks, beaten
3 Tbsp butter

Blend sugar, cornstarch and salt together in saucepan.
Add water, lemon juice, lemon zest and beaten egg yolks and bring to a boil on low-medium heat, stirring and whisking often. Do not allow it to stick to the bottom of the pan or burn.
Continue to simmer until filling is thick, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and without stirring, let butter melt on top of filling.
After the butter melts, stir in.
Pour into the cooked pie shell.

Meringue Recipe:
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg whites

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
With a high-speed mixer, whip egg whites on high until foamy.
While beating, add sugar 1 Tbsp at a time until meringue forms soft peaks.
HINT Egg whites at room temp seem to work best

Lemon Meringue Pie Assembly:
Be sure to pour meringue on the hot lemon filling.
Spread a layer of meringue over the filling and right to the ends of the shell sealing in the filling.
Pile on the remaining meringue and swirl into decorative peaks with a spoon or spatula.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (more or less, all ovens are different) or until meringue peaks start to brown.
Cool completely before refrigerating. Chill well before serving.


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