Lemon Meringue Pie
Classic. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
My Uncle Charles has become quite the featured player on this blog. From his Everyday People interview Edward B, to his story of Papa registering to vote, The Power of Voting. Now, his dessert request for his recent birthday marks his third appearance on cbactortraveler. Good thing he’s free.
In reality, Uncle Charles is my sports buddy. Our conversations about the latest in sports go on for hours in which we also solve the problems of the world. If only they’d listen to us. A Virgo, he called me up the other day and said, “I want you to bring me a Lemon Meringue Pie.” Me: “From where? Do you have a place in mind?” “No, I’m sure any grocery store will have one. I got a taste for it.”
I come from a long line of store-bought haters. Especially desserts. When he said that to me, I knew I couldn’t go by some random grocery store and buy a pie. Though I’d never made one before, I was sure I could do better than Deborah’s Gumbo-My first attempt (Epic Fail). Lemons are my absolute favorite and if you haven’t made the Lucy’s Gluten Free Lemon squares-CB’s baking Genesis, I highly recommend. I scanned through all my Mother’s old recipes and found the one she used, but I thought it had too much sugar in it, so I scanned YouTube and made a compilation recipe.
Preppy Kitchen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lh54oX52ld0&t=25s, and Chef Buck, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOGT4gT7RZQ&t=635s are the two videos that I combined with Mom’s recipe. Giving credit where credit is due. It came out great. The weeping meringue problem is hard to control, even with the cornstarch technique I used, but still a delicious pie.
I did use a store bought pie crust. Don’t judge me, it’s been really hot here lately and baking a crust from scratch was not an option. The frozen kind are affordable and really good. You just need to bake them at 350 degrees/177 degrees Celsius for about 15 minutes and let it cool. I’m still in the process of editing the video. Check back later for that.
Lemon Meringue Pie
- heavy bottomed saucepan
- wooden spoon
- rasp or grater for zest
- pie dish
for the filling
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt 2g
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp cornstarch 50g
- 1 cup granulated sugar 128g
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest add more for extra zing
- 3/4 cup lemon juice 177ml
- 2 cups water 473ml
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, 57g softened, at room temp
For the Meringue
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar, 28.3g
- 1 tbsp cornstarch, 14.1g
- 1/2 cup water 118.4ml
- 4 egg whites
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 5ml
- pinch salt
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar, 57g
For the filling
- Zest 2 to 3 lemons for at least 2 tablespoons of zest. Juice lemons to obtain 3/4 cup of juice
- Whisk together the 4 egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside
- Add sugar, cornstarch, and salt to a medium pot. Whisk to combine then pour in water, lemon juice and zest and whisk again to distribute all the dry ingredients. You don't want clumps
- Place on medium heat and whisk continuously until thickened. About 5 to 10 minutes.
- Time to temper the eggs! slowly drizzle in a cup of the hot lemon mixture to the eggs while whisking continuously. Add the egg mixture to the pot while whisking and return to medium-high heat for 2 minutes of whisking over heat.
- Add in butter and stir until all is melted. Pour into cooked and cooled pie crust.
- At this point, you'll want to let the pie cool and even refrigerate until the lemon curd or custard is set.
for the Meringue
- Combine sugar, cornstarch and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continue stirring continuously until dissolved and thickened. Set aside while...
- Beat the egg whites and salt with an electric or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and slowly add 4 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form.
- Drizzle the cornstarch mixture and the vanilla into the meringue and turn mixer to high speed, beating until firm peaks form. Use immediately.
- Add meringue onto pie leaving a small border of the lemon surd exposed. use your spatula or a spoon to create some funky designs and peaks for the visual as we eat with our eyes first.
- You can toast the meringue with a kitchen torch or broil for about 1 to 2 minutes or until meringue is golden. Chill until pie is set before cutting, about 3 hours.
My Uncles socially distanced birthday party went off without a hitch last weekend with a good time had by all. Still feels weird to gather, but, I’m working at getting better. The intermittent fasting continues to be a game changer in terms of stomach and digestion. Consuming food for only 8 hours a day has made a difference, one that I can recommend. It’s definitely an adjustment, but, after 7 months, it’s apart of my lifestyle. Whenever I make desserts, like lemon meringue pie, I make sure it leaves the house before it has a chance to haunt me off hours. I’ve had a couple of actor friends pass away recently that are my age, which has been daunting and hopefully a wake up call. Willie Garson, Willie Garson dies at 57, and Jay Pickett, Jay Pickett dies at 60, are two that I’ve known for years and have very fond memories of working with. May they rest in peace.