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April 2005 Issue
Lemons
by J. Sinclair
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Lemon Meringue Pie

There's something special about this classic pie with its mound of meringue spread over its tangy filling. Make sure you add the meringue when the filling's still warm to avoid excess "weeping" ... those little drops that form on the top.
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 eggs -- separated
  • Zest from 1 medium lemon
  • Juice from 1 1/2 medium lemons
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 prepared 9-inch pie crust
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the sugar, flour, salt and water in a heavy saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly over medium-high heat until the mixture boils. Boil, stirring constantly and vigorously, for 1 minute. Remove the mixture from the heat.

Slightly beat the egg yolks in a bowl with a fork. Temper the mixture by mixing half of the boiled mixture with the egg yolks. Then put the egg yolk mixture back into the pan with the boiled ingredients, and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly. Remove the mixture from the heat, and add the butter. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir to mix thoroughly.

Pour the lemon mixture into the prepared 9-inch pie crust and top with the meringue (recipe below), spreading the meringue to the edges of the pastry. Bake in a 350°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until nicely browned.

Meringue

  • 3 egg whites -- at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Beat the egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, add the cream of tartar, then gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and beat the mixture until stiff peaks form. Beat in the vanilla.

Be sure to spread the meringue to the pastry edges when spreading it on your pie. To minimize "weeping", spread the meringue on the pie filling while the filling is hot. Also, remember that meringue pies cut better with a wet knife blade.

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
 
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