Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

My husband and I have been together for over 15 years and one of his favourite desserts is lemon meringue pie. I’ve been promising him for years I would learn to make them from scratch for him. The task seemed daunting to say the least.  Deciding on one particular recipe challenging. After much deliberation I decided to use Anna Olson’s recipe for her Classic Lemon Meringue Pie.  I’ve made a few changes to the recipe after I finally made it, and altered some cook times but all in all, my family was thrilled by the results. It’s a good thing I made 2 pies because the first pie disappeared the first night.

Lemon Meringue Pie

I have a food bucket list as well, but that list is not written down. It’s a list of foods I’d either like to eat or recipes I’d like to make.  Do you have any type of food you’d like to try?

Lemon Meringue Pie (with changes)

 Dough
1 cup + 2 Tbsp cake and pastry flour
1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup cold water
2 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar
1 egg white, lightly whisked

Lemon Curd Filling
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 cup water
6 large egg yolks
½ cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Meringue

5 large egg whites, at room temperature
½ tsp cream of tartar
⅓ cup sugar
3 Tbsp icing sugar, sifted

Dough

  1. Sift the flour, sugar and salt to combine in a food processor. Pulse the butter on low speed until just small pieces of butter are visible and the mixture is course.
  2. Stir the water and lemon juice together and add this to the dough all at once, pulse together until the dough just comes together. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap and chill for at least 2 hours before rolling. Alternatively, the dough can be frozen for up to 3 months and thawed in the fridge before rolling.
  3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface until it is in a circle that is just under ¼ inch thick. Lightly dust a 9” pie plate with flour. Press the dough into the pie plate and trim away any excess dough, pinch the edges to create a fluted pattern and chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line the chilled pie shell with tin foil and fill the foil with dried beans, raw rice or pie weights. Bake the pie shell for 12 minutes, then carefully remove the foil and weights and bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes more, until the centre of the pie shell is dry-looking and just starts to brown a little. Immediately after removing the pie shell from the oven, brush the hot crust with a little of the whisked egg white. This will create a barrier to keep the crust crispy once filled. Let shell sit until completely cooled.

Lemon Curd Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 325 when ready to complete the rest of the pie.
  2. For the filling, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together in a medium saucepot, then whisk in the cold water. Have the other ingredients measured and nearby. Bring the sugar mixture up to a full simmer over medium-high heat, whisking as it cooks, until the mixture is thick and glossy.
  3. Pour about 1 cup of this thickened filling into the egg yolks while whisking, then return this to the pot and whisk just one minute more. Whisk in the lemon juice and cook until the filling just returns to a simmer. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the butter then immediately pour the hot filling into the cooled pie shell (the filling will seem very fluid, but it will set up once chilled). Cover the surface of the filling with plastic wrap to keep it hot. Immediately prepare the meringue topping.

Meringue

  1. Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy, then increase the speed to high and gradually pour in the granulated sugar and icing sugar and continue whipping just until the whites hold a medium peak when the beaters are lifted.
  2. Remove the plastic wrap from the hot lemon filling, then dollop half of the meringue directly onto the filling (the filling will still be very soft, so work gently). Be sure to spread the meringue so that it completely covers the lemon filling and connects with the outside crust, then use a bamboo skewer or paring knife to swirl the meringue just a touch (this will secure it to the lemon curd). Dollop the remaining meringue onto the pie and use the back of your spatula to lift up the meringue and creates spikes. Bake the pie for about 20 minutes at 325 F, until the meringue is nicely browned. Cool the meringue completely to room temperature before chilling for at least 4 hours.
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