Back at Christmas time, before heading to my parents' house for the holiday, I decided to bake mom and dad's favorite pies--lemon meringue & apple respectively. The apple turned out beautifully, and the lemon meringue looked great but was not at all a pie. It was more like liquid pie in a crust. What a bust! I had used corn syrup in place of the corn starch (which I had bought specifically for this pie no less...) Geez, Louise, I was sooo embarrassed. Anyways, with my mom's visit this week, I thought I'd give the Lemon Meringue pie another shot. It's terrific! (Though quite time consuming...about 2 hours start to finish!)
Lemon Meringue Pie
3 Large egg yolks (reserve egg whites for meringue)
1 1/2 C sugar
1/3 C plus 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 C water
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/2 C lemon juice
2 drops yellow food color, if desired (I did not use this ingredient)
1. Start with the Never Fail Crust Recipe.
Fill 9 inch pie pan with the pastry dough and flute edges. Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork. Bake @ 475 degrees 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
2. Heat oven 350 F. Complete Step 1 of Meringue for 9 Inch Pie.
3. While sugar mixture for meringue is cooling, in small bowl, beat egg yolks with fork; set aside. In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.
4. Immediately stir at least half of the hot mixture into egg yolks, then stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 2 minutes or until very thick; remove from heat (Do not boil less than 2 minutes or filling may stay too soft or become runny.) Stir in butter, lemon peel, lemon juice, and food color. Press plastic wrap on filling to prevent a tough layer from forming on top.
5. Complete Step 3 of meringue recipe. Pour hot lemon filling into pie crust. Spoon meringue onto hot lemon filling. Spread over filling, carefully sealing meringue to edge of crust to prevent shrinking or weeping.
6. Bake about @ 350 for 15 minutes or until meringue is light brown. Cool away from draft 2 hours. Refrigerate cooled pie until serving. Store covered in refrigerator. (This pie is best served the day it is made. If refrigerated more than 1 day, filling may become soft.)
Meringue for 9-Inch Pie
1/2 C sugar
4 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 C cold water
4 large egg whites (note: this takes 1 more egg white than is left over from the separated eggs for the lemon portion)
1/8 tsp salt
1. Heat oven to 350 F.
2. In 1-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Cool completely while making filling for pie recipe. (To cool more quickly, place in freezer about 10 minutes.)
3. In large bowl, beat egg whites and salt with electric mixer on high speed just until soft peaks begin to form. Very gradually beat in sugar mixture until stiff peaks form.
4. Spoon meringue onto hot pie filling. Spread over filling, carefully sealing meringue to edge of crust to prevent shrinking. Bake about 15 minutes or until meringue is light brown. Cool away from drafts.