Friday, May 13, 2011

Lemon Meringue Pie

Tuesday was my husband's 35th birthday. Every year I ask him what he wants for his birthday dessert. It is never cake. He isn't a fan, which is interesting since that's what I do. Nope, it's always pie. He is a pie guy through and through. Last year we had blueberry. The year before was apple. This year it was deliciously tart, make you smile lemon meringue. 

There is something so pretty about these pies. Actually, I think all pies have their own unique beauty, but the lemon meringue really gets me. I love the billowy clouds of golden meringue that sit atop the the creamy, perfectly tart filling. It's like a ray of sunshine. A thing of beauty. 

Lemon Meringue Pie

Prebaked Pie Crust
I recommend this all butter recipe or this graham cracker recipe. Both are very good.

1 1/4 cups sugar
5 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 lemon juice, fresh squeezed
2 Tbs butter

4 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Place rack in the middle of the oven.

Place sugar, cornstarch, salt, water and milk in a large, nonreactive saucepan. Over medium heat, bring mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly. When the mixture begins to thicken and become opaque, add the egg yolks two at a time. Stirring constantly, whisk in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Whisk for one more minute and remove from heat. Whisk in butter. Pour filling into prebaked pie shell and place plastic wrap on surface to prevent a skin from forming and to retain heat.

In a large mixing bowl, whip egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Stop mixer and add cream of tartar. Continue mixing on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, and continue to whip whites until stiff peaks form. 

Place scoops of meringue around the outside edge of pie. Add the remaining meringue into the middle. Using a spatula, gently spread the meringue over pie making sure to seal the edges at the crust. To create peaks in the meringue, take the back of a spoon and gently press into the meringue and lift.

Bake pie for about 20 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown. Remove pie from oven and place on a cooling rack. Allow it to cool to room temperature before serving.

Happy Baking!
Jaime @ The Great Cake Company

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