I won a “Media Bake Off” in the early 80s with this Lemon Meringue Pie. It’s a bit of a twist on the usual, with an oil crust and a “from scratch” filling. But it’s not too difficult (7 out of 10 on the difficulty scale) and nearly always produces a mouth-watering, lemony good, super delicious pie.
Step 1- The Crust
This is an oil crust, so measuring is critical to success.
- 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of cold water
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, add your salt and stir in with a fork.
Add the oil, and stir with a fork until you have a bunch of peas sized balls.
Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mix with a spatula until the mixture cleans the side of your mixing bowl and clumps together in a ball.
Now for the fun part…
Dampen a countertop with water and lay out a sheet of wax paper. If the paper moves, you need to make the counter top a little damper to hold the paper.
Put your ball of pie crust on the paper and flatten.
Lay a 2nd piece of wax paper over the dough and roll out from the centre until you have a thin crust about the size of your pie plate (this recipes will do a single crust, suitable for an 8 or 9 inch pie).
Lift off the top piece of wax paper
Grab the bottom piece of wax paper and using it, lift the rolled crust up and flip it onto your pie pan, paper side up. Peel off the wax paper.
Prick the bottom with a fork and bake at 475°F for 8 to 10 minutes until light brown, remove from oven and cool.
Step 2- The Filling
In a medium saucepan place:
- 1 and 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp of salt
- Whisk in, blending well:
- 1 and 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 to 3 lemons worth)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons of grated lemon zest (very important to add this)
Whisk in 4 large egg yolks until no yellow streaks remain
As it thickens add 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small pieces.
Using a spatula or wooden spoon stir constantly over medium heat until it simmers and bubbles a bit and continue stirring until it gets very thick. Pour the filling into your prepared pie crust and cover immediately with a piece of plastic wrap, getting the wrap directly on the surface.
Step 3 – The Meringue
- 6 large egg whites (you can use 4, but with 6 you get the “mile high” meringue)
- 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup superfine (icing) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Put your egg white in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until soft but definite peaks form. Add your cream of tartar and continue to beat until the peaks become more defined and quite stiff and glossy.
Beat in, a little at a time, your sugar until it is all added. Then add your vanilla extract and beat that in.
Immediately spread the meringue over your pie filling (don’t forget to take the plastic wrap off first) and anchor it along the edges. Use your spatulas to “peak” the meringue.
Bake in a 425°F oven on the centre rack for 10 to 15 minutes, until the meringue gets to that toasty brown colour.
Remove, cool and enjoy a super duper lemony delight!
From your bakin’, bikin’, bluesin’ broadcaster,