A family meal at our grandparents’ – it may have been Thanksgiving, but Wendy seems to be the only person who is getting any food!
Thanksgiving is tomorrow. A lot of people are making pies today. Pie making can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of work. I have a friend named Miss Ginny. She is a wonderful person and she can also make the most wonderful lemon meringue pies. I am impressed by her skills, but I have never attempted to replicate her creations . . . until I found this recipe of my grandmother’s. I needed to make a pie for the Thanksgiving and Pie Night service at church. I found this recipe and realized I had all of the ingredients. I’ve always been a little intimidated by lemon meringue, but I decided I would step up and give it a try.
Lemon Meringue Pie
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 8 inch baked pastry shell
- 3 egg whites
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Combine sugar, water and butter; heat until sugar dissolves. Add cornstarch blended with cold water: cook slowly until clear, about 8 minutes. Add lemon juice and peel; cook 2 minutes. Slowly add egg yolks beaten with milk; bring to boiling. Cool.
Meringue: Beat egg whites stiff, but not dry: add sugar gradually; add lemon juice at the last. Brown in moderate oven (350 degrees) 13 to 15 minutes.
First I made an 8 inch pie crust. (Well, actually, I first made a 9 inch pie crust, then realized this recipe needs and 8 inch, so I had to make another one. At least it is a quick and easy recipe!) I used the easy pat-in crust that Wendy used for her chocolate pudding pie.
While that was cooling, I combined the sugar, water and butter and heated until the sugar dissolved. Not too hard so far!
I then mixed the cold water and cornstarch together. I have a cup with a lid, so I put the cornstarch and water in the cup, put the lid on and shook them up. A whisk would have worked as well. I added the cornstarch, water mixture to the sugar, water and butter mixture and set the timer for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes I thought it looked pretty clear – so far, so good.
I then added the lemon juice. I didn’t have any lemon peel on hand, so I used about a quarter teaspoon of lemon extract instead. I cooked all of this for 2 minutes. I was starting to think I could do this!
Then, came the trickier part. I separated the egg yolks from the whites and mixed the egg yolks with the milk.
When I slowly added the egg yolks and milk to the mixture, I think I may have added a little too slowly (or stirred a little too slowly or something) because the mixture got a little lumpy. I whisked wildly trying to get the lumps out, but some of the smaller ones remained. Oh well. I reminded myself I was a novice with lemon meringue pies and kept going.
The lemon filling – please say you don’t see any lumps!
I brought the mixture to a boil and then set it aside to cool. It did look a nice yellow color. I tried not to notice the tiny lumps.
Next I made the meringue. Could I do this part? I wasn’t sure, but I was going to give it my best shot. I put the egg whites in the Kitchenaid and started whisking them.
I wasn’t too sure what stiff, but not dry meant, but when I thought I was to that point, I added the sugar and then lastly the lemon juice. The meringue looked beautiful. “Okay, that part went well.” I told myself.
I put the lemon filling in the bottom of the 8 inch crust.
Then, I put the meringue on top. I thought that in the end, it probably could have used a 9 inch crust (I should have just stuck with my original crust – oh well!), so I noted that for next time.
I then baked it in the oven for 15 minutes and, guess what? It looked like a lemon meringue pie when it came out! How did I do that (Don’t think about the tiny lumps! Don’t think about the tiny lumps!)?
When I cut a piece I couldn’t see any lumps! It was beautiful! I impressed myself!
It definitely has a subtle lemon flavor. If you like it more lemony, you would want to add more lemon peel. My dad thought it was great and I liked it too (my mom thought it needed more lemon!).
So, even though I had a few moments where I thought all was lost, in the end I actually made a lemon meringue pie! I think my grandmother would have been happy with my work (and I know Miss Ginny would enjoy hearing about it too – maybe I’ll have to call her and tell her about it sometime).
Happy Baking and Happy Thanksgiving!