Sunday dinner was always a special occasion when I was a kid. My mom worked everyday and she made Sunday dinner special because she had the time to cook and prepare the food. One of my favorite desserts was always Lemon Meringue Pie and she made it often for Sunday dinner. It’s probably the reason that I love anything lemon and I call this Sunday Lemon Meringue Pie.
This recipe is adapted from my mom’s recipe that I found on an old 3 X 5 index card tucked in a very old cookbook. I don’t know where it came from but she used it all the time. Sometimes she needed to take a shortcut and she would use the Jello Pudding and Pie Mix in the little box but it was never as good as her homemade version. It takes time to create this pie but I know you will enjoy it as much as I do. It is worth the effort.
Ingredients (6-8 Servings)
- 1 refrigerated pie crust
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 4 egg yolks
- juice from 2 lemons (approximately 1/2 cup)
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 3 tbsp butter
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup sugar
Remove one of the pie crust from the package and place in the pie plate pressing it into the bottom and sides. Crimp and flute the edges and prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork. Bake for 9-11minutes at 450 degrees or until lightly browned. (Photo A) Cool and set aside. Of course you can always make a homemade crust.
To make the filling, zest the lemons and then place the juice in a measuring cup. If your lemons don’t produce enough juice for 1/2 cup, then juice another lemon. (Photo B)
Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl and set aside.
Combine 1 1/4 cups of sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. (Photo C) Gradually stir in the water mixing all the ingredients. Cook the filling over medium heat for approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Keep stirring the entire time until the mixture comes to a boil and is thickened. (Photo D) Add some of the sugar mixture to the egg yolks to temper the eggs. Add the egg mixture to the saucepan and continue stirring for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is thickened. (Photo E) Remove from the heat. Whisk in the lemon juice, zest and butter. (Photo F) Set aside.
Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at a medium speed until foamy. Beat at high speed and gradually add 1/2 cup sugar until still peaks form. The meringue should be glossy when completed. (Photo G)
Pour the hot filling into the cooled pie crust. Spread the meringue over the filling. Make sure to completely seal the filling to the crust. If you don’t the meringue will weep and make the pie soggy. Take Your Time. Bake the pie for 20-25 minutes until the meringue is browned lightly. Cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Store the leftovers in the refrigerator if you have any.