Lemon Meringue Pie is one of the classic southern recipes that should be made at home. It is easy to make and the flavor of the homemade version far out shines the store bought or frozen variety. The lemon meringue pie recipe consists of 3 parts: the pie shell, the custard, and the meringue.
This recipe uses a pre-baked pie shell to make it easy, however you can make your own if you prefer. Use a pastry shell, not a graham or cookie crust so that the meringue will seal properly.
For meringue recipes, I prefer to use pasteurized eggs. Pasteurized eggs have been pasteurized to kill any germs and are safe for foods such as meringue which may not otherwise receive enough cooking. Pasteurized eggs are available at most supermarkets these days, but if they are not available in your area, you can substitute the powdered pasteurized egg whites which can be found in your baking section. (Substitute only for the whites, not the yolks.)
Bring the egg whites to room temperature before beating. This will encourage whipping and result in greater volume in your meringue.
Serious cooks keep a copper bowl to beat their egg whites in, but I make meringue just fine in my ceramic bowl. I wouldn’t use plastic, because the bowl must be absolutely clean. Any trace of oil or grease that might cling to plastic will keep the whites from beating properly. This applies to your beaters, also. Make sure they are perfectly clean.
Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe
- 1 pre-baked pie shell
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 5 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 3 egg yolks from pasteurized eggs (save whites for meringue)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 3 egg whites from pasteurized eggs
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- Combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and cold water in a saucepan.
- Add the egg yolks. Blend well.
- Add the boiling water, bring back to a boil and simmer for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and butter.
- Pour into pie shell.
Make the Meringue:
- Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stiff peaks will hold their shape when mounded.
- Gradually add the sugar, one spoonful at a time. Beat until combined and no sugar crystals remain.
- Spread on top of the pie. Spread the meringue to the edge of the pie so that it seals with the pie shell.
- Bake at 325 degrees until golden brown.
I hope you will try this lemon meringue pie recipe. It will quickly become a family favorite.
Diane Watkins is a traditional southern style cook. She enjoys cooking, teaching, and writing about good food and family. For more information on southern cooking and recipes visit her website at Easy Southern Cooking [http://easysoutherncooking.com]