It’s sunshine in pie form – and, yes, YOU can make it!
It just dawned on me; I’ve been baking pies for over 25 years. I learned from the best; my Mother-in-law, Dottie, and good ole Betty Crocker! There are others who’ve taught me plenty but honestly, Betty Crocker’s Cookbook is like my second Bible. It has the best recipes and they are foolproof.
One of my favorite fruit pies to make is Lemon Meringue Pie – it’s one of the prettiest looking too. Plus it’s freshly squeezed lemon and zest will satisfy your taste buds the moment you taste it’s fluffy, sweet, meringue. This pie is a classic.
It reminds me of going out to a fancy dinning establishment when I was a kid. You would always find it displayed with other desserts – its whimsical meringue peaks just beckoning to be partaken. Who could be so crafty to make it? You can, I swear it.
Lemon Meringue Pie (adapted from Betty Crocker)
Pie Crust Ingredients:
• 1 cup spouted grain flour or King Arthur’s all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 3 to 4 tablespoons very cold water
Tip: I recommend making your own baked pie crust. If you opt not to, use a One-Crust Baked Shell using 9-inch glass/aluminum pie pan and skip the crust instructions below. Just follow the directions on the box and bake until a light golden brown. Set aside and allow it to cool completely.
• 1 1/4 cups sugar
• 1/3 cup cornstarch
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 cups cold water
• 3 egg yolks
• 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
• 1/2 tablespoon grated lemon peel
• 1 cup fresh lemon juice
• 3 egg whites
• 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/4 cup sugar
Tip: Eggs separate most easily when they are cold, but the whites will whip best at room temperature. To take off the chill, set the bowl of separated whites into a larger pan filled with warm water.
Pie Crust Directions: (also adapted from Betty Croker)
1. Heat oven to 475ºF. Mix flour and salt in medium bowl. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas.
2. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves the side of the bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
3. Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap flattened round of pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
4. Roll pastry, using floured rolling pin, into circle 2 inches larger than the upside-down 9 inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.
5. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate.
6. Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork. Bake at 475º 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown; cool on wire rack.
Filling and Meringue Instructions:
1. In 2-quart saucepan, mix 1 1/4 cups sugar, the cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in cold water until smooth.
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
3. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with fork. Stir about 1/4 cup of hot mixture into egg yolks. Then gradually stir yolk mixture into hot mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
4. Remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon peel and lemon juice. Cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
5. Carefully pour into cooled baked shell.
6. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
7. In small deep bowl with electric mixer, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla on medium speed about 1 minute or until soft peaks form.
8. On high speed, gradually beat in sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved.
9. Spoon meringue onto pie filling; spread to edge of crust to seal well and prevent shrinkage.
10. Bake at 350°F, 12 to 15 minutes or until meringue is light golden brown.
11. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
12. Refrigerate until filling is set, about 3 hours. Store in refrigerator.
Trust me, this recipe is totally doable – and will impress. Enjoy!
Readers – what are your favorite pies of the summer?
we heart this review team member Pamela Irene, our kitchen guru, lives with husband David in Orange County, CA and works in the management office at the ‘happiest place on earth’ – South Coast Plaza. She can also mix a mean cocktail and is the owner of the largest bath & body collection we’ve ever seen.
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