Please read —NOTES—
1 1/8 c Sugar
1/2 c Plus 2 tablespoons
2 1/2 c Cold water
5 lg Egg yolks
2 tb Butter
2 tb Lemon zest
1/2 c Fresh lemon juice; strained
Cooled pie shell – 10 inch
5 lg Egg whites
3/4 c Sugar
1/4 ts Cream of tartar
Yields: one 10-inch pie.
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
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. (If you have a cake
turntable, placing the pie on it while applying the meringue makes the
process easier.) 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 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 tack 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.
ABOUT MERINGUE : Many recipes are based on a combination of egg whites and
sugar, and although the amounts, methods, and techniques vary to create
different results, most involve whipping. Proper whipping of egg whites is
not as mystifying or difficult as many people think. Following two basic
rules will usually result in successfully whipped egg whites. First, always
use equipment that is totally grease-free. Second, if you’re unsure how
long to whip the whites, it’s usually better to underwhip than overwhip
them.This is especially true when whipping egg whites with a tabletop or
handheld mixer; once you’ve checked their consistency, you can whip them
just a bit longer with a whisk if necessary.
SOFT PEAK: Egg whites at soft peak are usually whipped without sugar at
medium to high speed.They will lust barely hold a peak, still look foamy,
and slide around freely in the bowl.
Although the ingredients and proportion are fairly standard for this pie,
our technique is a little unusual. We feel the additional steps are well
worth the efiort. We have discovered that it is very important for the
filling to be warm when the meringue is applied. This helps seal the
meringue to the filling so the two don’t separate when cut. Instead of
pouring the filling directly into the crust right after it is made and
letting it cool, the filling is kept warm in the double boiler until the
meringue is ready.
Some meringues develop beads of moisture, are chunky and unappetizing, or
fall apart when cut. Heating the egg whites and sugar together before
continued in part 2