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Lemon Meringue Pie

July 7, 2011

A happy hello from my new kitchen!!  I’m popping out from the boxes for some air and a slice of pie 🙂  As my oh-so-sweet, knows-me-too-well Mother in Law put it; “Give yourself a little break and only unpack the essentials (like your baking pans & ingredients). Who needs bedding or clean towels?!”.  I concur.

The view from my new kitchen window 🙂

For me, Lemon Meringue Pie is to Summer like Apple Pie is to Fall.  They just go hand in hand.  The truth though is that lemon meringue pie is my second favorite (it’s a very close runner-up to pumpkin) so I have tried countless recipes in search of that perfect tangy-sweet all-American combination that ones expects from a good lemon meringue.  I mean years of recipe testing people. I’ve tried the too sweet, the too tart, the too complicated, the one that I could pour water out of the pan a day later…yeah, I’ve tried a lot.  This one has stood the test of time.  It is rich and buttery, packs a lemon punch with just enough meringue on top to balance it all out. It is simply delicious.

Lemon zest=love

the nice thing about this pie-its comes together so simply.

bring all the ingredients to a simmer and cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon

make some hair gel, I mean corn starch paste as the beginning of the meringue

In a large bowl beat egg whites until foamy.  You’ll then add some cream of tarter and vanilla extract

keep beating until soft peaks form and then start gradually adding sugar

beat on high until stiff, glossy peaks form.  Add in that corn starch paste and you’ve got a meringue 🙂

dollop and anchor the meringue to the top of the pie filling and crust and bake

Isn’t it beautiful?!

Lemon Meringue Pie
Yields about 8 servings although I’ve also made mini-pies out of these-soo good!! and you get more like 12 of them if I remember right
Adapted from Joy of Cooking


1 pie crust, pre-baked

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup corn starch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup strained fresh lemon juice (juice from 2-3 lemons)
3 teaspoons grated lemon zest
4 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup cold water
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar


1. Prepare pie crust and keep warm.  Set oven to 325 degrees (F).  In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar, 1/3 cup cornstarch and salt together until combined.  Whisk in the water, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Add the egg yolks and whisk until no streaks remain.  Finally add in the butter.  Switch to a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat.  Cook for about 1 minute or until the mixture is thick and coats the back of the spoon.  Remove from heat and immediately place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and set aside in a warm place.

2. To make the meringue:  In a small saucepan whisk the tablespoon of cornstarch, tablespoon of sugar and cold water together.  Stirring briskly and constantly, bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and then cook for about 15 seconds or until it is no longer runny and resembles a translucent gel.  Cover with a lid and set aside.

3. In a clean, grease-free glass or metal bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.  Add the cream of tarter and vanilla extract and continue to beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually add the sugar and beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form.  Reduce the speed to low and beat in the cornstarch paste 1 tablespoon at a time until it is all incorporated.  Immediately pour the hot pie filling into the pie crust and spread the meringue on top, anchoring it to the edge of the crust at all points.  Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Remove pie to a wire rack to cool to room temperature before transferring it to the refrigerator to chill before serving.  The pie can be refrigerated for up to 3 days (I doubt it will last that long though!).

7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2011 11:58 am

    I absolutely love Lemon Meringue Pie! Joy of Cooking is my favorite cooking book! I have to try that recipe. It looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. July 7, 2011 2:12 pm

    You did a great job on this, looks delicious!! This is one of my favorite desserts and your recipe looks fantastic 🙂

  3. July 7, 2011 9:00 pm

    wow! your meringue looks so white and fluffy! i am sure this pie tasted just as good as it looks 😀

  4. July 12, 2011 3:28 pm

    Looks so delicious! Lemon meringue pies remind me of my mother – she’d always make these pies once a summer. We kids looked forward to the sfternoon when we’d come in from playing to find them coling in the fridge by the lemonade jug! Yum!


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