Lemon Meringue Pie

I always think of lemon meringue pie as a dessert for the springtime.  With its bright yellow filling and billowy meringue topping it does seem like a good time to serve the pie.  I remember lemon meringue pie as a favorite dessert when growing up in the South.

Even though the pie may be reminiscent of spring, the three times I made it our weather was anything but springlike.  We had snow for two of the baking days and then sleet, freezing rain, and snow the last time I made the pie.  Here is a picture of a cute little red squirrel on my frozen deck.  He braved the elements for a quick treat.

The pie in this post has honey in the filling instead of sugar.  I made the pie twice with honey and once using sugar in the filling.  Both are good, but I do prefer the honey over sugar.  The custard is lemony and a nice balance between sweet and tart.

Recipe is adapted from Land O Lakes.  Original recipe can be found here.

Lemon Meringue Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Filling
1 cup honey
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups water
5 large eggs, lightly beaten (reserve whites for meringue)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

1 baked 9-inch deep dish pie crust

Meringue
5 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar

Filling Preparation

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the honey, cornstarch, and salt together.  Gradually stir in the  water until smooth.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture comes to a full boil (about 7-9 minutes).  Boil 1 minute and then remove from the heat.

Gradually stir about 1/4 cup of the honey mixture into the beaten egg yolks to temper them.  Gradually stir the egg yolk mixture into remaining hot mixture.  Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture boils and is thickened, about 2-3 more minutes.

Remove from the heat.  Stir in butter until it is melted.  Stir in the lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Pour the hot filling into the baked pie crust.  Set aside while you make the meringue.

Meringue Preparation

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in bowl at low speed until foamy.  Beat at medium high speed, gradually adding the sugar (about a tablespoon at a time), continuing to beat until stiff peaks form and the meringue is glossy looking.

Spread the meringue over the hot filling, completely sealing to edge of crust to help prevent shrinkage.  If desired, make decorative peaks with the back of a spoon all over the top of the meringue.

Bake at 350°F 12 to 15 minutes or until meringue is light golden brown.  Cool the pie completely before slicing and serving.  Store leftover pie loosely covered in the refrigerator.  Best eaten same day as made.  

Notes:
If using a stand mixer, use the wire whisk to beat the egg whites.

 

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