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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Lemon Meringue Pie

**Quick update: If you've been following along with my Menu Monday recently, I've decided to post it on the sidebar. You can print it or just view the links to the recipes in my menu plan. Enjoy!**

You guys! Have you ever had Lemon Meringue Pie? Oh  my goodness, I hadn't until a month and a half ago. My husband requested it for his birthday dessert. He never wants a birthday cake, but always something super yummy. He also requested Clam Chowder for his birthday dinner. These were both two things I had never ever made or tried before in my life, so I felt like he was putting me to the test.  Luckily they both were pretty easy to do and turned out perfect. And let me tell you. I feeling pretty guilty for not trying this pie sooner. I remember my grandma having a Lemon Meringue at her house on occasion and I never dared tried it as a kid.  Now that I've had it and looved it, I'm sure they didn't feel bad I didn't try it, that meant more for them! :) 

I'm kind of obsessed with lemon. I love it in lots of things.  We especially love this pasta recipe. This pie is definitely #1 on my favorite lemon recipes.  Light flaky crust, and smooth, lightly tangy lemon filling, topped with soft billowy meringue! It's like little bites of heaven in each bite. 

And did you know pi day is coming up? You know pi the never ending number. 3.1415926.... It's celebrated on March 14th, since the fist 3 significant digits of pie are 3.14.  I can use any excuse to eat more pie! Hope you'll enjoy! Happy Pi Day!


Lemon Meringue Pie


1 baked pastry shell (our favorite version here)

For the Lemon filling:
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature (save 3 of the whites for the meringue)
1 ¾ cup water
2 teaspoons lemon zest
⅔ cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons butter

For the Meringue:
3 large egg whites, room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
⅓ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Bake pastry shell and set aside.  

Get meringue ready to whip. But don’t make yet, it helps to have it as ready as possible so it can be applied to the hot lemon filling as soon as possible.  The hot filling and fresh meringue seal better (with less likelihood of separation of the layers when done this way). Put the 3 egg whites in a grease-free stainless steel or glass bowl. Measure the cream of tartar sugar and have vanilla ready to add.  This will all be mixed up after the filling is made.  

Preheat oven to 325°.

For the lemon filling: combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large sauce pan and set aside. In a medium size bowl combine the egg yolk, water, and lemon juice; beat with a whisk for about 2 minutes or until frothy, and then pour into the sugar mixture in the sauce pan.  

Over medium heat cook lemon mixture, stirring constantly until it thickens and boils. Once it comes to a boil let it boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and lemon zest.  Pour into the baked pastry shell and smooth.  

Now for the meringue: place the cream of tartar in with the egg whites and beat on medium speed with an electric hand mixer until soft peaks form (you can tell they are soft peaks when you lift the beaters and the mixture peaks and the tips curl). Once you’ve reached this stage, start slowing adding the sugar (about a tablespoon at a time) while beating on high speed. Once all sugar is added, continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks have formed (you can tell they are stiff by lifting the beaters up and noticing that the peaks stand tall and don’t droop or curl).  Turn off mixer and add the vanilla and beat one more time until combine. Smooth the meringue over the hot lemon filling, taking care to seal it to the edge of the pastry.  You can pile it billowy or smooth. I kind of like the look of little peaks and billows.

Bake at 325° for 25-28 minutes, until the meringue is a medium brown color.  Let it cool completely and store the the fridge until ready to serve. You can add lemon rind curls for garnish if desired.  

Recipe Source:

Adapted from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, 1999. Originally posted on

Pin this and make soon! :)

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