Tart and sweet dessert, easy to make and a delight to serve—that’s Lemon Meringue Pie!
There’s something elegant about Lemon Meringue Pie, and it makes a great presentation.
Note that there are other pies that make a similar impression, perhaps with a bit of surpise thrown in: Orange Meringue Pie and Grapefruit Meringe Pie, not to mention Key Lime Pie.
9-inch baked pie crust
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup water
4 eggs, separated (whites will be used in the meringue)
4 TB butter, cut into small pieces
2 tsp grated lemon rind
4 egg whites
1 TB cornstarch
1 TB sugar
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
Mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan, off the heat. Add the lemon juice and water and stir with a whisk. Add the egg yolks and whisk until the mixture is well blended and of uniform color.
Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. The mixture will thicken and start to bubble. It should be thick enough so that it holds its shape when you stir it. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and lemon rind. The mixture will be thick and very yellow.
Pour the mixture into a baked pie crust and cover it with plastic wrap to keep a skin from forming on top.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and place oven rack in the middle.
In a small pan, combine the cornstarch, 1 TB sugar, and water. Cook for several minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken and become translucent. Cool.
Beat the egg whites until frothy, then add the vanilla, cream of tartar, and 1/2 cup sugar. Beat until foamy. Add the cornstarch mixture and continue beating until the meringue forms soft peaks; if you lift some with a spoon or spatula, it should form a peak that stands up. The meringue will also look shiny.
Remove the plastic wrap from the pie and spread the meringue over the filling. Start by spreading it around the edges, being sure to seal the edges of the crust. Pile the meringue into the middle of the pie and make some decorative swirls with your spatula. There will be a lot of meringue!
Bake for about 20-25 minutes. The meringue should be lightly browned. Check it frequently for the last 5-10 minutes to make sure the peaks don’t burn.
Tips from Jane
— The number of lemons you will need depends on how large and juicy they are. I’ve used anywhere from 2 to 4 lemons, so make sure you have enough on hand.
— Separating eggs isn’t difficult, but you have to be careful. Here’s how I do it.
Don’t forget these variations on Lemon Meringue Pie: Orange Meringue Pie, Grapefruit Meringue Pie, and Key Lime Pie.