Friday, April 9, 2010

Mile High Lemon Meringue Pie

My Aunt Mary Lou and Rachel

Mile High Lemon Meringue Pie made April 3rd

Last fall, my Auntie Lou came to our home and taught Rachel and me how to make a pie crust. Prior to this, the thought of making a pie made me sweat. I had tried it once or twice in the past and it wasn't pretty. Actually, disaster probably better describes the results.

My Aunt Mary Lou is a master baker. She can bake just about anything. We've often told her she should have opened a bakery. She could be the Next FoodNetwork Star! It seemed like any time we went out and happened to order a slice of pie for dessert, we always found ourselves comparing it to Auntie Lou's. Her pies are absolutely the best...hands down!

When you have a master baker teach you how to make a pie crust, well, it really changes things. I went from being intimidated to confident. Today, I can wake-up and decide to make a pie without even blinking twice. It's wonderful!

And just for the record, my Rachel makes the best pumpkin pie ever!

I have a sister-in-love that's a doctor. She delivers babies. She said when she went through med school, she was taught to "watch one, do one, teach one." I thought that was a great lesson as it certainly applies to many teachable moments in life. (Anyone want to learn how to quilt?!) When my Auntie Lou taught Rachel and me how to make a pie crust, she made one, then we each made one under her watchful eye. A few days later, another one of my sister-in-love's came over and I taught her how to make a pie crust. Watch one, do one, teach one. Thanks Dr. Mildred!

Anyway, here's today's recipe. I made this last Saturday for an Easter gathering on Sunday night. It was not only beautiful, but very yummy.

Mile High Lemon Meringue Pie

What you will need for pie filling:

9” baked pie crust, cooled
8 large egg yolks, whisked (should measure about 2/3 cup; add an extra yolk if necessary); reserve 5 egg whites
½ cup plus 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
1 ½ cups sugar
2 ½ cups cold water
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest, finely grated (from 2 large lemons)
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 1 tablespoon portions

In a 4-quart glass mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch and water, adding water slowly to blend well. Microwave on high for 5 minutes; whisk. Microwave on high for 3 minutes; whisk really well. Mixture will be thick and clear.

Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of hot filling mixture to egg yolks and mix well to temper; add tempered egg yolks to mixing bowl with hot filling mixture and whisk well. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and salt; whisk well. Pour hot mixture into cooled pie crust.

What you will need for meringue:

5 egg whites at room temperature
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

I use a KitchenAid mixer—add egg whites to large mixing bowl along with cream of tartar and salt; beat until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar in a slow stream until completely dissolved. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until meringue is shiny and stiff peaks have formed.

Mound meringue in center of pie (on hot filling) and be sure to seal all edges of the meringue to the crust. Using a spatula, create peaks and valleys all over the top of the pie.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until meringue is golden brown.

Let cool completely before serving. Do not refrigerate this pie if eating within 24 hours. Depending upon humidity levels, meringue will begin to collapse the longer it sits. For best results, serve this pie within 8 to 12 hours (just my personal opinion!)



  1. Now, that's what every young lady should learn to do! And I'll go a mite further and say: that every young man should learn to do also. I don't recall a wife ever sayin' that she was ashamed to admit that her hubby could bake "the best" Lemon Meringue pie!

  2. *mouth drops open* You recovered from being a disastrous pie maker???????? *can't find words to express her astonishment* The thought of making a pie doesn't make me sweat - it makes me feel like running away and never coming back!! :P And there really is hope for this condition?? ...