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Lemon Meringue Pie



I have had a long and hard think about this in recent weeks, and I have to say that I have decided unequivocally that my favourite pie is Lemon Meringue.  This was not an easy decision for me to come to because . . .  well . . .  I love pie.  IF its in a crust I am all over it . . . sweet, savoury and inbetween!



So what is it about Lemon Meringue Pie that gives it that edge, albeit a tiny one, above all the other pies . . .


Perhaps it is the fact that I adore the flavour of lemons  . . .  cheek achingly tart . . . but with a touch of sunshine that never disappoints . . .


That quivering, mouth puckering and yet sweet, almost translucent filling . . . almost like a jelly, but more unctuous and richer . . . like a golden jewel.  When we were children, my mother used to keep out some of the filling without the crust, and add a big of milk to it for my brother.  It was thought that pastry was hard for small children to digest.  It looked delicious that way but  . . .


Then there is the pastry.  What is a pie without pastry?  I favour my recipe for Butter Lard pastry.  It is crisp and flaky.  Yes, it does make two crusts, but you can always freeze one disc of pastry for future use.  Wrapped up tightly it will keep for several months.  Simply bring to room temperature when you want to use it and roll out as desired.


Then there is meringue.  I was awfully tempted to add an extra egg white to mine the other day so that it would be piled gloriously on top of the pie, but I did not.  If you have your egg whites at room temperature they will whip up with more volume than if they are cold, so always bring them to room temperature first!


You want to beat your egg whites stiff, but still moist before you start adding the sugar.  Add the sugar slowly, beating them constantly until you have a thick, stiff, glossy billowing mixture.


Like sweet soft clouds on top of that lovely filling, you only want to bake it until it is golden brown.  I will confess right now,  I am not fond of the British propensity to cook meringue until it is hard.  On a Lemon Pie, to my way of thinking  . . . it should be soft and almost marshmallow like.


And, oh . . .  I know the tempation is oh so great to want to cut into it almost right away, but do chill it overnight in the refrigerator if you can resist it that long.  It is really worth the wait.


You will get lovely straight edged, shimmering wedges of pie.  Use a sharp knife and dip it into hot water with each cup and the meringue won't stick to the knife and tear. You will get perfect slices.


This truly is a most beautiful pie.  The MOST beautiful tastiest of pies.  It is a rare treat for me, but when I do cave in and make one, I find it achingly impossible to resist!


*Lemon Meringue Pie*
Makes one 9 inch pie 
 
 
A basic Lemon Meringue Pie recipe taken from the old Purity Cookbook. Its been a standard in my home for years. 

1 9-inch prebaked pie crust 

For the filling:
240g granulated sugar
35g plain flour (1/4 cup)
3 TBS cornflour (cornstarch)
1/4 tsp salt
709ml boiling water (3 cups)
3 large free range egg yolks, beaten
1 TBS butter
1 TBS finely grated lemon zest
120ml strained lemon juice (1/2 cup)
For the meringue:
3 large free range egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 TBS granulated sugar



Combine the sugar, flour, cornflour and salt in a saucepan.  Gradually whisk in the boiling water. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat, until thickened. Cover and cook over low eat for about 2 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.  Whisk a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolks to temper them then blend them back into the hot mixture, whisking constantly.  Cook for a further two minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter lemon juice and lemon zest.  Cool to lukewarm, stirring a few times.  Pour into the unbaked pie crust. 


Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.   


Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar using an electric whisk, until the mixture forms stiff but moist peaks.  Very gradually add the sugar, beating continuously, until very stiff and shiny.  Spread onto the lukewarm pie, touching the crust all the way around. Swirl points.  Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes, until golden brown.  Allow to cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator.  Cuts best when ice cold. To cut, dip a sharp knive into hot water and cut into wedges, wetting the knife each time. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.



I have decided that it is almost impossible to photograph a lemon Meringue pie and have it look like the yellow ones you see on the boxes of Lemon Meringue Pie mix, or maybe it is just that this is homemade. Those mixes probably contain artificial colouring. Trust me when I tell you that once you have eaten a homemade one from scratch . . .  you will not want to use a mix ever again.  Bon Appetit!



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Marie Rayner
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8 comments:

  1. It looks absolutely fantastic..that's a childhood memory for me:)Lovely descrip too!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Monique! I liked the box mix when I was growing up, but I like homemade better! xo

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  2. mmmmm looks delicious! I haven´t made or eaten lemon meringue pie for a long time....might just have to make one soon after seeing this!

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    1. I hope you do, you are in for a real treat if so! xo

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  3. Well, you know that I had to make this. I only need to read the words "Lemon Meringue Pie" and I start salivating like Pavlov's dogs. I tried to resist, but after I also dreamed about it that night, I weakened on Thursday and bought lemons, making the pie on Friday and scoffing it over the weekend.

    This is a beautiful recipe. The filling was tangy (I added an extra TBSP lemon rind because I love it to be bitey) and set well. The meringue did not weep and it cut into lovely clean pieces. Often I've found the filling to be too soft and it runs a bit, but this one was perfect and will be my "go to" recipe now.

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    Replies
    1. LOL Marie! I am like you with Lemon Meringue Pie. I cannot resist and if baked, I am eating it for breakfast because I cannot leave it alone! So pleased that you were happy with this recipe! Thank you so much for taking the time to come and share your experience with us (also for the dog treats!) I truly appreciate your efforts! You have made my day! xo

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    2. I haven't got a sweet tooth at all, but I adore Lemon Meringue Pie and just can't resist it. When I was in hospital having my first child, it was on the menu for one dinner. I ticked the box of course and thought about it all day. When dinner came, under the dessery cloche was a square piece of yellow rubber with a white rubbery top. I swaer you could have bounced it on the floor like those superballs that I had as a kid. I was so disappointed (plus full of throbbing hormones) that I burst into tears. That's how much I love this pie!

      You're very welcome. I know I'm sometimes a bit late commenting, but it's because I've bookmarked the recipe to try and come back once I've made it. I hope that if someone Googles it and finds this recipe that they can see in the comments that someone has made it and that it worked well. I know I look for that myself.

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    3. Oh, I can imagine how disappointing that would be! I really do appreciate every review you give! I know when I check out a recipe I might want to try, honest reviews are very much appreciated myself! Xo

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