ENJOY A SLICE OF LEMON HEAVEN!
When I was a kid I would cut a lemon in half and suck on the pulp. Yep. I was one of those kids! I loved lemons and anything with lemon flavor. Around age ten I squeezed lemons over french fries and called them “Frites À Lemon!” What a palette. I naturally gravitate to all things lemon. This is a zippy lemon meringue if ever there was one. Warning: This is not one of our easiest recipes, but give it a go.
1 ½ c. flour
1 Tbsp. Granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
½ tsp. grated lemon zest
1 stick of butter (very cold), cut into pieces
3 Tbsp. ice cold water
Sift flour. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine first four ingredients. On low speed, mix in the butter one piece at a time, until the mixture is crumbly. With the processor running, gradually add the cold water until the dough forms a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 min or until you are ready to use.
Preheat oven to 375º. On a well-floured board, knead dough into a ball. Roll it out to a 15” circle about 1/8” thick. Roll up the dough loosely around the rolling pin, and then unroll it gently into the 9-inch pie pan. Press the dough into the pan. Crimp the edges with your fingers. Cover the pie plate with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 15 min or until ready to bake. The cooler the dough is, the flakier it will be.
Gently pierce the sides & bottom of the crust w/ a fork to prevent bubbles when baking. Bake 20 min or until lightly browned. Remove & cool. Pie crust can be made in advance.
Zest of 2 lemons, set aside
½ c. lemon juice, strained
3 egg yolks, separated (save whites for meringue)
? c. sugar
2 Tbsp. Heavy cream
? tsp. cornstarch
? c. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
In a medium bowl, combine the zest and lemon juice. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, beat egg yolks and egg with sugar until it is well blended and thick. In a small bowl, combine the cream and cornstarch. Mix well. When the lumps are gone, add the cream into the egg mixture. Place pan over medium heat. Whisk in lemon juice. Add the butter in piece by piece. Continue to whisk until the butter is melted and the filling has a thick consistency. It should coat the whisk. Pour the filling into a bowl. Mix it up really well until smooth. Cool while you prepare the meringue. Once it’s cool, pour filling into the pie crust.
3 egg whites (save yolks for lemon custard)
½ tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¾ c. granulated sugar
Prepare the meringue while the lemon filling is cooling. In an electric mixer, beat egg whites on low to medium speed until they are frothy. While the mixer is running, add the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Slowly increase the speed and gradually add the sugar. Continue to beat until the meringue forms glossy, smooth, stiff peaks.
Pour the meringue over the lemon filling and spread until it reaches the edges of the pie pan. Completely cover the lemon filling. Use a whisk to gently swirl the meringue into peaks so the pie looks “fancy.” Bake for 15 min or until the meringue is lightly browned. Be careful not to overcook or the meringue will dry out. Cool & serve.
*Cheat: FORGET THE PIE CRUST! See blog, for this and other cheats….
If you want to be super fabulous…make the pie crust. I go through the extra trouble when I am serving guests. Otherwise, the crust is simply a vehicle for shoveling the lemon filling into your mouth. Buy the frozen pre-made pie crust, slap it into the pie tin, bake until golden and move on!
Decorate: Once out of the oven, decorate the meringue with fresh berries or cut thin slices of lemon and coat them with sugar. Put a few lemon slices on the pie or decorate the plate. Drizzle the plate with raspberry sauce for some color & sass.