Author Topic: Lemon Meringue Pie  (Read 7478 times)

Olga Drozd

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Lemon Meringue Pie
« on: July 06, 2011, 09:25:53 PM »

Be sure that the filling is still hot when spreading the meringue over the pie.  This pie should be served the same day that it is prepared. It is critical that you use a fully baked and COOLED pie crust--otherwise your filling will overcook and turn rubbery.  As for the meringue (always tricky), the secret is to stabilize the whites with both cornstarch and cream of tartar and to spoon it over the piping hot filling.  Cooked from below and above (by the heat of the oven), this meringue won't shrink or leak liquid into your pie.


1 1/2 cups cold water
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 large egg yolks
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (3 lemons)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter


1/3 cup water
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

4 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Single Crust 9-inch Pie Dough (your own or recipe below) baked and cooled

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 F.

Combine the water, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer while whisking constantly.  When the mixture starts to turn translucent and thickens and comes to a boil, about 5 to 7 minutes, then cook 1 minute more. Remove the pot from the heat. Whisk in the egg yolks, 2 at a time.  Whisk in the zest, then the lemon juice, and finally the butter. Return the mixture to a full simmer (about 5 to 8 minutes) then remove the pan from the heat. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap flush to the surface of the filling to keep it hot while making the meringue.

FOR THE MERINGUE:  Bring the water and cornstarch to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking frequently.  When the mixture turns translucent and begins to bubble, remove it from the heat and let it cool as you prepare the whipping of the egg whites.

Whip the egg whites and vanilla in a large clean bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until frothy.

Mix the sugar and cream of tartar together,
then add it to the egg whites, 1 Tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to medium and whip the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add the cooked cornstarch mixture to the whipped egg whites, 1 Tablespoon at a time, and continue to whip the egg whites until they are glossy and form stiff peaks.

Remove the plastic from the lemon filling and return to very low heat to reheat, about 1 minute.
  Pour the hot filling into the baked, cooled pie crust. Drop dabs of meringue evenly around the edge of the pie, then spread the remaining meringue in the center. Push the meringue into the crimped edge of the crust so that it adheres. Use the back of a spoon to make small, attractive peaks in the meringue.

Bake until the meringue is golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Transfer the pie to a wire rack and cool. Let pie chill about 4 hours until ready to slice. Serves 8.


1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoon vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces and chilled (1/2 stick)
4 to 6 Tablespoons ice water

Process the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined.  Scatter the shortening over the top and continue to process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds.  Scatter the butter pieces over the top and, using short pulses, process the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses.  Transfer to a bowl.

Sprinkle 4 Tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture.  Stir and press the dough together, using a stiff rubber spatula, until the dough sticks together.  If the dough does not come together, stir in the remaining water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until it does.  Form the dough into a 4-inch disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Let the chilled dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling it into a 12-inch circle and fitting it into a pie plate.  Trim, fold, and crimp the edges and freeze the unbaked pie crust until firm, about 30 minutes, before baking.

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375 F. Line the chilled crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights.  Bake until the pie dough looks dry and is light in color, 25 to 30 minutes. For a fully baked pie crust, remove the pie weights and foil and continue to bake until the crust is a deep golden brown, about 12 minutes longer.  The pie crust must be cooled completely.

Trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the outer lip of the pie plate.  Tuck the trimmed dough underneath itself to form a doubled rim that sits above the lip of the pie plate.

FOR A FLUTED EDGE:  Use the index finger of one hand and the thumb and index finger of the other to create fluted edges perpendicular to the edge of the pie plate.

FOR A ROPE EDGE:  Gently squeeze the dough between your thump and index finger.

FOR A RIDGE EDGE:  Press the tines of a fork into the dough to flatten it against the rim of the pie plate.

TO MAKE AHEAD: The dough can be refrigerated, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months.  Let the frozen dough thaw on the countertop until malleable before rolling. A fully baked pie crust can be stored at room temperature, wrapped tightly in foil, for up to 2 days.


The crusts for most cream and custard pies and tarts are baked before filling (this is called blind baking) so that they are golden brown, crisp, and flaky. Here are instructions for successful blind baking.

1.  Line the chilled pie crust with a double layer of aluminum foil, covering the edges to prevent burning.

2.  Fill the crust with pie weights or pennies or dried beans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  After baking carefully remove the aluminum foil and weights and either let the crust cool (for a partially baked crust) OR continue to bake for 12 minutes (for a fully baked crust).

« Last Edit: November 01, 2013, 10:57:25 AM by Olga Drozd »