Lemon Meringue Pie

lemon meringue pie

This recipe for lemon meringue pie holds a very special place in my heart.  My Japanese grandmother was an excellent cook and baker—she had her own garden that she kept up on the daily and picked out vegetables from her garden to use in the meals we ate.  Let’s just say all of her meals were magical.  However, she was known for two things that hilariously are not Japanese at ALL: boysenberry jelly and lemon meringue pie.  Seriously, people would travel across the country to have both of these things in their hands.  As time went on and as I got to my teenage years, my grandmother got weaker and weaker, and had a minor stroke.  Once that happened, my family went to visit her in California.  One of my fondest memories of my entire life was during that trip, when she asked me to come into the kitchen with her and she taught me how to make the lemon meringue pie.  What I noticed about her cooking was that it was such an art form—she was incredibly delicate with each step of the process.  She wasn’t really strictly following the recipe that was in front of her, but just added a little over a cup of sugar or a little less than 1/4 tsp salt.  About a month later, she passed away, and every time I step foot in that house I always remember the lemon meringue pie and how my grandmother taught me how to bake.

The hard part about this pie is the pie crust.  I usually have problems with the crust being too flaky and not coming together well enough.  If anything, put in a tiny bit less flour and add more water if necessary.  Other than that, the pie itself is wonderfully delicious and perfect for a summer afternoon.

YIELD: 2 pies

TIME: 2 hrs 30 min

(for crust)
2-1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Crisco
1/4 cup cold water
(for filling)
8 egg yolks
5 Tbsp lemon rind
4 cups boiling water
5 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cups sugar
10 Tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
(for meringue)
8 egg whites
1/3 cups sugar

(for crust)

Preheat oven to 450º F.  Hand mix flour, salt, and Crisco.  Add cold water.  Knead, roll, and put in pie pans.  Use a fork to create scalloped edges, and poke the bottom of the pie pans and the sides with the fork.  Bake crusts for 8 min, or until edges are golden brown.
(for filling)
Combine egg yolks, lemon rind, lemon juice, sugar, corn starch, and salt in a mixing bowl.  Boil water, and add a little bit of the boiling water to the mixture.  Add mixture to boiling water, and cook over medium heat until it returns to boil.  Pour into crusts and cool.
(for meringue)
Preheat oven to 350º F.  Beat egg whites and sugar until stiff, not dry.  Place onto pies, in spoonfuls.  Bake pies for 8 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown at the tops of the meringue.

Let the pie chill, and serve with vanilla bean ice cream if so desired.

Hope y’all enjoy!

xoxo, Sara


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