I’m bringing my Dad to Fiesta Friday #20 because it’s his birthday today! I made his all-time favorite dessert, Lemon Meringue Pie. He just came with my Mom to pick it up on their way to San Francisco for the week and I’m quaking in my boots hoping that as the pie cools, the lemon filling will gel. This was my first attempt, and at a meringue also, so let’s hope for the best!
In order to increase my chance of success for Dad’s Birthday Pie, I used my trusted source Alton Brown’s recipe, including his pie crust recipe. The only things that differed from his recipe were the lack of lard in the crust — I made an all butter one; less sugar and some honey; and, more lemon zest. Also a few dabs of yolk snuck into my whites, but I was not going to try to fix that problem!
Did I mention I got a new cooking toy which made this pie so much easier to make and clean up after? I put a big butcher block piece on top of what used to be a patio table base, replacing a thin glass top square that use to house everything from receipts to aging fruit, so that now when I turn my mixer on, I don’t risk shattering glass! And I’ve got way more square inches of baking station . . . I can make a mess with flour and roll crusts to my heart’s delight without destroying the other part of the kitchen. Plus I’ve got a whole “hallway” of walking/working space rather than a cramped .5′ to get to my little open kitchen “closet” that I just painted chalkboard orange. Lots of fun going on here these days!
Back to the recipe. It’s super easy. Head over here if you want to watch Alton on video making the pie.
4 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie shell (bake your pie crust, covered with pie beans, for 10 minutes at 425 degrees)
4 egg whites
1 pinch cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Whisk egg yolks in medium size mixing bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Turn heat on medium and, stirring frequently, bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually, 1 whisk-full at a time, add hot mixture to egg yolks and stir until you have added at least half of the mixture.
Return egg mixture to saucepan, turn heat down to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and gently stir in butter, lemon juice, and zest until well combined. Pour mixture into pie shell and top with meringue while filling is still hot. Make sure meringue completely covers filling and that it goes right up to the edge of the crust. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until meringue is golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Make sure pie is cooled completely before slicing.
Place egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Use to top lemon filling.