Yummy Lemon Meringue Pie

 

Filling

           

1 1/2
cups sugar
1/2
cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2
cups cold water
5
large egg yolks
2
tablespoons butter
2
tablespoon lemon zest
1/2
cup freshly squeezed, strained lemon juice
1
10 inch fully baked pie crust, cooled

 

Meringue

           

5
large egg whites
3/4
cup sugar
1/4
teaspoon cream of tartar

 

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

 

Start the filling only when you are ready to prepare the whole pie, this pie cannot be made in stages.  In the top of a double boiler, off the heat, combine the sugar and cornstarch.  Add the water and , using a whisk, stir until the mixture is well dissolved, making sure no cornstarch lumps remain.  Whisk in the egg yolks and stir until the mixture is smooth.

 

Place the egg mixture over boiling water, and cook, whisking continuously.  After about 7 minutes, the mixture will thicken rapidly.  After it has thickened, cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in the butter, then remove from the heat.  Quickly whisk in the lemon zest and juice and stir until blended.  Immediately cover the mixture to keep it warm.  Set aside.

 

To make the meringue, make sure all your mixing equipment is grease free.  Then with a whisk combine the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a tabletop mixer.  Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.  Stir continuously with the whisk until the mixture is just warm to the touch.

 

Return the bowl to the mixer, fit the mixer with the whip attachment, and whip at high speed until the meringue forms soft peaks, about 2 minutes.  The meringue should be glossy and smooth, not chunky.

 

Pour the lemon filling into the cooled, fully baked 10-inch pie shell and spread it out evenly.

 

So that the meringue is easy to spread evenly, place it 3 or 4 places on the filling, rather than piling it all in the center.  Using an icing spatula, spread the meringue completely over the surface of the pie.  Make sure the meringue meets the outside rim of the crust all the way around the pie so that it will create a seal with the pie crust when baked.  Place the remaining meringue in the center of the pie.  Use the spatula to shape the meringue into the classic dome, complete with swirls that will brown nicely.

 

Place the pie on the center rack in the oven and bake for 6 minutes.  Most of the meringue will be a very light brown, with some areas still white and the higher peaks a darker brown.

 

Set the pie on a wire rack in a draft-free location and let cool for 4 hours before serving.