Lemon Meringue Pie

106 Meal and Grandpa and Grandma Wichterman's

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.

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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

Meringue

  • 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.

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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.

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While that was cooling, I combined the sugar, water and butter and heated until the sugar dissolved.  Not too hard so far!

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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.

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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!

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Then, came the trickier part.  I separated the egg yolks from the whites and mixed the egg yolks with the milk.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I put the lemon filling in the bottom of the 8 inch crust.

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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.

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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!)?

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When I cut a piece I couldn’t see any lumps!  It was beautiful!  I impressed myself!

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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!).

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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!

Amy

 

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