I made my first lemon meringue pie recently and it went, okaaaay. Right out of the oven I thought, “man, I nailed this”! As the pie cooled, I thought, “hmm, something didn’t come out quite right.”
After loads of research, I realized that I allowed the filling to cool for too long before I topped it with the meringue. It’s imperative that you have the meringue ready to top the piping hot filling with because the steam travels up and cooks the bottom layer of meringue. Without this, the heat from the oven will heat up the filling and trap steam in between the filling and meringue resulting in a watery layer that will eventually cause everything to separate and become runny. Yuck.
My meringue came out beautifully and so I do recommend following this recipe below, but time things carefully to ensure that you don’t make my mistake with the filling. Remember, PIPING HOT!
Lemon Meringue Pie
Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home
- 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 4 egg whites
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a small bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly. Gradually add 3 tablespoons cold water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.
- Roll out pastry to fit a 9-in. pie plate. Transfer pastry to pie plate. Trim to 1/2 in. beyond edge of plate; flute edges. Bake at 425° for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
- For filling, in a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt. Gradually stir in water until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
- Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in butter and lemon peel. Gradually stir in lemon juice just until combined. Pour into the crust.
- For meringue, in a saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in cold water. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is clear. Transfer to a bowl; cool.
- In a large bowl, beat egg whites and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat in cornstarch mixture on high until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Spread evenly over hot filling, sealing edges to crust. (HINT: multi-task if you have a stand mixer and have your meringue whipping up while you are still stirring your pie filling in the sauce pan!)
- Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 6-8 servings.