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Saturday, October 15, 2011

My very favorite Lemon Meringue Pie recipe

For the crust
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tblsp shortening or 1/3 cup lard
2 1/2 - 3 tblsp very cold water
In medium bowl, combine flour and salt. With pastry blender or 2 knives, using a short cutting motion cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
Quickly sprinkle ice water, 1 tblsp at a time, over pastry mixture, tossing lightly with fork after each addition and pushing dampened portion to side of bowl; sprinkle only dry portion remaining (pastry should be just moist enough to hold together, not sticky)
Shape pastry into a ball; flatten to 1 inch thickness; refrigerate at least 30 minutes or several hours.
On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to 11-inch circle. Fold rolled pastry in half; carefully transfer to 9 inch pie plate, making sure fold is in center. Unfold pastry and fit carefully into pie plate. Do not stretch pastry.

for the pie...
Lemon filling
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tblsp all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups water
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tblsp grated lemon peel
1 tblsp butter

Meringue
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

Prepare and bake pastry above and cool completely before filling.
Make Lemon Filling: In medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, flour, sugar and salt, mixing will. Gradually add 2 cups water, stirring until smooth.
Over medium heat, bring to boiling, stirring occasionally; boil 1 minute.

Remove from heat. Quickly stir some of the hot mixture into the egg yolks then return mixture to hot mixture; stir to blend. Return to heat; cook over low heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice, lemon peel and butter. Pour into pie shell.

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Make Meringue: In medium bowl, with portable electric mixer at medium speed, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until frothy. Gradually beat in sugar, 2 tblsp at a time, beating after each addition. Then beat at high speed until stiff peaks form when beaters are slowly raised. Spread over Lemon ?Filling, carefully sealing to the edge of the crust and swirling top decoratively.
Bake 7-9 Minutes or until meringue is golden brown. Let pie cool completely on wire rack 2 1/2 - 3 hours. Refrigerate left overs. serves 8

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