I love lemon meringue pies and, this time, I slightly adapted Martha's Mile High Lemon Pie recipe for the filling, though I just used a standard meringue topping instead of the one that she includes in her recipe. Her filling is unlike other lemon meringue pie recipes I've made as it includes butter in the filling; I reduced the butter a bit, and the filling was still a smooth balance of tart and sweet without being overly rich.
Prepare your favorite single-crust pie dough recipe and pre-bake the crust, lined with aluminum foil and filled with baking stones or beans, or pricked all over with a fork and lined with aluminum foil to avoid shrinkage. Let cool. Prepare filling.
Mile High Lemon Pie (filling) from marthastewart.com
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 cup sifted cake flour (I used regular, but a hair less)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (I omitted this b/c I used salted butter)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (I'm lame and used bottled)
- 2 tablespoons lemon rind
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (I used 3 tablespoons and think even less could be used without harm)
- To make filling, combine cornstarch, cake flour, salt, and sugar in a medium nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add 2 cups cold water. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, about 4 minutes.
- Remove the pan from heat. Temper egg yolks by beating a small amount of hot mixture into the yolks before adding them to pan. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from heat, and whisk in the lemon juice and rind. Add the butter one piece at a time. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, and let cool.
- Pour the filling into the cooled shell and refrigerate, covered with aluminum foil, until firm, about 1 hour.
5 egg whites, allowed to sit until at room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
Combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla and beat until soft peaks form. Continue beating and gradually add the sugar, beating until glossy, stiff peaks form. (Don't be in a hurry like me and only reach stiffly soft peaks...) Spread the meringue over the cooled pie, taking care to spread all the way to the crust's edge to avoid weeping. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until golden-brown. Cool completely and serve. Lemon meringue pies are best the day they're made, otherwise the crust becomes soggy and meringue may fall.
(This picture, though, was taken the next day, and the pie was still finger-lickin' good.)