I have never made a lemon meringue before. Quite honestly, I couldn't tell you if I've ever even had it. I know, thats just crazy talk right there, but I don't recall ever having the pie before. When it comes to desserts, I'm more of a chocolate/cheesecake/berry-infused treat type of girl. When I was making this meringue (a recipe from my culinary superhero, Alton Brown), I had no idea what I was in for! This pie was easy to make, much to my surprise, and it tasted out of this world! I couldn't believe how great this was, and now that its all gone, I'm wishing that we didn't scarf it down so fast, or at least that I had the ingredients to make another one. It was very sweet, and tart too, but not overly so, and...I dunno, it was just darn perfect. This is one of those recipes that I thought tasted like it could have came from a restaurant. Yes, its that good. I only slightly modified the directions in the recipe below - luckily I read a bunch of reviews before making this and many people recommended returning the lemon mixture to a boil to help thicken it up before pouring into the crust. Other than that, Alton Brown has done it yet again...he has wooed me with his culinary expertise. He even wooed the hubs, and thats saying something.
Lemon Meringue Pie
4 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie shell
4 egg whites
1 pinch cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar
1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 375˚.
2. Whisk egg yolks in medium size mixing bowl and set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Turn heat on medium and, stirring frequently, bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually, 1 whisk-full at a time, add hot mixture to egg yolks and stir until you have added at least half of the mixture.
4. Return egg mixture to saucepan, turn heat down to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and gently stir in butter, lemon juice, and zest until well combined. Return to a quick boil, then remove from heat. Pour mixture into pie shell and top with meringue while filling is still hot. Make sure meringue completely covers filling and that it goes right up to the edge of the crust. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until meringue is golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Make sure pie is cooled completely before slicing.
5. Meringue: Place egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Use to top lemon filling.