Lemon Meringue Pie

Last night, I was fortunate enough to have dinner with my husband and a few of our good friends. The requested dessert… Lemon Meringue Pie, of course!

Of all the recipes I could’ve used, I stuck closely to my mother’s homemade version; but instead of using a double boiler, I took the risk of making “lemon filling” directly in the saucepan. Stirring constantly the ingredients combined beautifully, as my husband watched in amazement.

To this day, he is amused by the thickening agent, corn starch. I’ve used the product in many pies over the years, but it never ceases to amuse him. He also learned that egg yolks are the main cause of lemon filling’s color, not lemon juice. Lemon juice adds flavor mostly, while grated lemon peel provides flavor and texture. Once the pie crust was baked and the filling was finished, I poured the filling into the crust and began working on the meringue.

Much to my surprise, I had run out of Cream of Tartar, a necessary ingredient for making anything with the word, “meringue” in it. I immediately sent my husband to the nearest grocery store who shortly called and said, “Honey, they are out of it too.” he continues on to the next grocery store until finally he found the treasured little spice box. During this entire ordeal, he kept saying, “Cant you use Meringue Powder?” Please, please, please don’t make the mistake of thinking meringue powder could ever replace Cream of Tartar. It is simply a replacement for Egg Whites.

May this and all future posts help you along your journey throughout the Culinary Arts!
Hallie Hylander

Lynn’s Lemon Meringue Pie

My mother is Lynn Woodward and her cooking has influenced me my entire life. I owe much to her..

1 ½ c sugar
3 T corn starch
3 T all purpose flour
Dash of salt
1 ½ c hot water

3 slightly beaten egg yolks
2 T butter or margarine
½ t grated lemon peel
½ c lemon juice
1 9 in baked pastry, cooled
Meringue (3 egg whites)

In saucepan, mix 1 ½ c sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt. Gradually add hot water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over moderately high heat till mixture comes to boiling. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Stir a moderate amount of hot mixtre into egg yoks, then return to hot mixture. Bring to a boil and cook two minutes, stirring constantly. Add butter and lemon peel. Slowly add lemon juice, mixing well. Pour into pastry shell. Spread meringue over fillings; seal the edges. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Let Cool before cutting.

For creamier filling, cook and stir first ingredients 8 minutes over low heat after mixture comes to a boiling. Blend in egg yolks as above, cook 4 minutes after mixture boils.

Meringue: 3 egg whites, ½ teaspoon vanilla, ¼ t cream of tartar, 6 T of sugar. Beat egg whites with vanilla and cream of tartar till soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating till stiff and glossy peaks form and all sugar is dissolved. Spread meringue over hot filling, sealing the edges of pastry. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or till meringue is golden. Cool.


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