Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

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Lemon Meringue Pie

August 31st, 2009 · 15 Comments

Lemon Meringue Pie

We were looking for some real comfort food this weekend and decided for our dessert that some good ole fashioned lemon meringue pie would fit the bill. I found this recipe in my copy of the recent 2006 and 75th anniversary edition of The Joy of Cooking and since the only ingredients we needed to buy were the crust and some lemons, it was a not hard to say yes! By the way, this is my fourth copy of The Joy, still one of my all time favorite cookbooks.
Filling in Crust
Adapted from The Joy, notice that after reading the entire procedures steps that the actual first thing you want to do after browning the crust is to make the cornstarch paste for the meringue, then you can go onto the pie crust and filling and finish with completing the meringue. This ensures that your pie filling is still piping hot in the crust when you top it with the meringue just before the final baking step. (NOTE: Click images for a larger view.)

The Lemon Filling

Ingredients for the filling
1 9-inch Pie crust
1 ½ Cups Sugar
6 Tbsp Cornstarch
¼ Tsp Salt
½ Cup Cold water
½ Cup Fresh squeezed lemon juice (3  lg. lemons)
4 Each Large egg yolks, well beaten
2 Tbsp Unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 ½ Cups Boiling water
1 Tsp Lemon zest, grated
Procedure steps for filing
1. Using a fork poke holes in the sides and bottom of the crust every few inches or so to allow air to escape while baking, thus preventing the crust from bubbling. Bake the crust in a 425° F oven for 20 minutes or until evenly browned. Remove and cool the crust. Turn oven temperature down to 350° F. (Now go to step 1 in the meringue section below.)
2. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a 2-3 quart saucepan.
3. Gradually blend in until smooth the cold water and fresh lemon juice.
4. Add the egg yolks and blend thoroughly then add the butter and fold in stirring constantly.
5. While stirring gently slowly add the boiling water. Bring to a boil and allow thickening slightly, reducing the heat to very low and simmering slowly for 1 minute.
6. Fold in the lemon zest then pour into the baked pie shell.
7. Spread the meringue (see recipe below) onto the outside edges and anchoring it to the crust and filling, then working toward the center with the remaining meringue. Use a rubber spatula to create peaks throughout the top of the meringue. Bake for 20 minutes in the 350° F oven or until meringue peaks are golden brown.
8. Cool completely on a rack and then serve or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Meringue in mixing bowlThe Meringue

Because stabilization is achieved with the cornstarch paste, this meringue topping will not weep, leak, or deflate, even when refrigerated for several days. Since the pie filling should be piping hot when the meringue is added, measure out and prepare the cornstarch paste in step 1 below before embarking on the filling recipe above.

Ingredients for the meringue
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 Tbsp Sugar
1/3 Cup Water
4 Each Large egg whites, room temperature
½ Tsp Vanilla
¼ Tsp Cream of tartar
½ Cup Sugar, preferably superfine
Procedure steps for meringue
1. Mix the cornstarch and sugar in a small saucepan, then add the water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Using a wire whisk stir briskly and boil for 15 seconds. Remove the thick paste from the heat and cover. (Now go ahead and start the filling in step 2 from the top section of this recipe.)
2. In a clean and grease-free mixing bowl add the room temperature egg whites and beat until foamy.
3. Add the vanilla and cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
4. Slowly and gradually add the sugar and beat in well on high speed until very stiff and glossy but not dry.
5. Reduce the mixer speed to very slow and add the cornstarch paste 1 tablespoon at a time. When the paste is incorporated increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for another 10 to 15 seconds.
6. Spread over hot pie filling as described in step 7 from the section above.

Tags: Desserts · Recipes

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Alta // Aug 31, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    LOVE lemon meringue pie. Could you please email me a slice?

  • 2 Crystal // Aug 31, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Definite comfort food. Love your page photo too!

  • 3 alissa // Sep 1, 2009 at 7:13 am

    perfect – absolutly perfect… lovely pic

  • 4 sizzlechef // Sep 1, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Lovely ! Thank you for sharing. Cheers !

  • 5 Hugging the Coast // Sep 1, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Perfection! That looks like an exemplary Lemon Meringue Pie!

  • 6 Jessie // Sep 1, 2009 at 9:22 am

    definitely a true fall classic!

  • 7 Cookin' Canuck // Sep 1, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Lemon meringue is, hand down, my favorite kind of pie. However, I have never actually made it. I’m saving your recipe so I can give it a try.

  • 8 Banu B.B. (BaL) // Sep 1, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    I’m on a diet!!! 😀 Can’t eat won’t eat! : ))) Looks sooooooo comforting though

    but not now! Haha

  • 9 sippitysup // Sep 1, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    lemon pie with sky hi meringue! Love that! GREG

  • 10 curiousdomestic // Sep 1, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Joy of Cooking has bailed me out numerous times in the kitchen. Pie sounds like a good idea. Must buy more lemons!

  • 11 zerrin // Sep 2, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Looks fabulous! It’s a great recipe for the lemons mom brought from her own garden. Thanks.

  • 12 Hillary // Sep 3, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Lemon meringue is by far one of my favorite pies to exist. I tried making it one year and it came out tasty but it’s good to have a look at your recipe as well!

  • 13 patsyk // Sep 10, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Gorgeous pie! Definitely brings back memories.

  • 14 Brenda Malone // Oct 21, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    This is my all-time favorite pie, can’t wait to try this recipe myself!

  • 15 November Monthly Mouthful | Chew On That // Nov 4, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    […] I were to limit myself to just ONE kind of pie this holiday season it would be…Lemon Meringue Pie. Alana from Kitchen […]