Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lemon meringue pie

I love pie (as should everyone), but they aren't really my favorite thing to make. With the ultimate Pi Day of 3/14/15 coming up though, I feel like it's something I should learn how to make better. Here's one of my attempts at that!

Lemon meringue pie was one of my favorite desserts growing up, mostly because of the meringue. Oftentimes, the lemon curd in the store bought pie was too sweet, so I would scrape that off to the side and just eat the pie crust and foamy soft meringue.

I always wanted to make one from scratch, so I could get a lemon curd that was delicious, but not overly sweet. The advantage of making it yourself is that you control what goes into your dessert and can control how sweet it is.

The pie crust really was the main thing that scared me off. If you read my blog regularly, you will know I have an aversion to making pie crust (or any type of dough that requires kneading). More often than not, I end up with not nearly enough flour and my hands covered in sticky dough and wondering to myself why I'm doing this.

Yes, I know, I have a Kitchenaid with a dough hook that can do this for me. It's definitely on my list of things to do - but just not for this particular post. Lucky for me, the same friend who make my pie crust for my apple pie baked in apples made me the pie crust for this recipe as well.

With that out of the way, the rest of the pie is relatively easy. The lemon curd can be readily made on the stove top. It will seem like it's too thin and that you will be stirring forever, but towards the end, it will suddenly thicken up without warning and be done. Be sure you take it off the heat at this point! And as always, the meringue is always the best part to make, especially if you have a stand mixer. Make sure to seal the pie completely with the meringue!

After baking, let the pie cool completely before cutting. I mean it - if you try and cut the pie while it's still warm, you will end up with lemon curd pie soup. Delicious all the same, but messy to eat. We got impatient and dove into the pie way too early, but as we were eating our pie soup, the lemon curd did slowly solidify into more of a gel-like consistency that's more typical of a lemon meringue pie. Put it in the fridge if you want it to cool faster.

Next pie that I bake, I promise I would have made the crust myself. In the meantime, enjoy and stay tuned for the next recipe!

Lemon Meringue Pie (makes one 9-inch pie)
Adapted from

Pie dough:

  • One recipe of pie dough (your choice)
Lemon filling
  • 1 cup (200 g) white sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 6 egg yolks (save whites for meringue)
  • 1½ cup of water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest (scrape skin off of lemons with peeler)
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice (about two large lemons)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Meringue topping:
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ⅓ cup warm water
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ cup (100 g) white sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 375F. Roll out pie dough into a 9-inch pie tin. Prick bottom with fork and/or use pie weights to prevent crust from bubbling up.
  2. Bake pie crust for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.
  3. For lemon curd, ombine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small saucepan.
  4. Whisk in egg yolks and water.
  5. Heat over medium heat. The mixture will begin to simmer. Stir frequently, until the mixture has thickened. 
  6. Remove from heat. Whisk in zest, juice, and then butter. 
  7. For meringue, heat cornstarch and water in microwave until mixture is transparent. 
  8. Beat egg whites in stand mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. 
  9. Add cream of tartar, sugar, and vanilla.
  10. Gradually add the cornstarch mixture and keep beating until stiff peaks form.
  11. Bring oven to 325F.
  12. Pour lemon curd into pie crust.
  13. Spread meringue on top, being sure to seal the edges. Create swirls with a spoon. 
  14. Bake for 20 minutes or until meringue is golden brown. 
  15. Let cool completely before eating. 
  16. Enjoy!

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