Hot days like today and yesterday make it really feel like summer is here. One of my favorite (but mostly my dad’s) pies is lemon meringue. It is not that hard to make but does take some concentration. Every time I make lemon meringue pie, I use different recipes and tweak them to my liking. This time, I based my pie off of a recipe from Ladyface Blog.
I chose this recipe because it uses the same ratio of egg yolk and egg white so that way there’s none left over (perfection!). You can use whichever type of piecrust you’d like, but graham cracker is my favorite. I chose not to add any sugar to the graham crackers because they’re pretty sweet already. I also added a little limoncello to the filling for an extra kick of lemon and some vanilla extract because vanilla makes everything taste better. I forgot to check if we had milk (oh and we didn’t), so I used the last of a container of half and half (about ¼ of a cup) and mixed ½ cup of water in to stretch it and remove some of the richness (sorry Mom, I know you’re cringing right now). The original recipe also called for only 1 tbsp of butter in the filling but I added 2 by accident. And it came out great. The original recipe also called for cream of tartar for the meringue but I added arrowroot powder instead. I added some vanilla to the meringue as well and some of the left over lemon zest, which makes the meringue more tasteful and more special. I also sprinkled the top of the filling with some lemon zest before putting the meringue on top AND sprinkled the last of the zest on top of the meringue before baking.
Here is my adapted recipe.
The Best Lemon Meringue Pie
1 9” pre-baked graham cracker pie shell
-1 ½ cup ground graham cracker
-6 tbsp melted butter
1 c sugar
1 c water
5 tbsp cornstarch
½ c milk
1 c water
4 large egg yolks
2 tbsp butter
½ c fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 tbsp limoncello
2 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon (I used the zest in the filling AND the meringue so hold some aside)
4 large egg yolks
¼ tsp arrowroot powder
½ c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch or two of the lemon zest
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 1 ½ c of ground up graham crackers is about 1 ½ of the 3 bags they give you in the box. Put these in the food processor until ground up or you can smash them in a plastic bag until they’re relatively fine. Melt the butter and add, mixing well. Press the crumbs into a 9-inch pie dish, making sure to get the sides as well. Bake for 7 minutes then set aside to cool.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Add milk and water to a saucepan and mix, then add the cornstarch and sugar, whisking well.
3. Separate the egg yolks and the egg whites, making sure not to get any yolk in the bowl of whites. Whisk the egg yolks together.
4. Zest the lemons and keep the zest to the side. Juice the lemons next and measure out to a ½ c.
5. Bring the milk mixture to a boil over medium heat while whisking constantly. As soon as the mixture started boiling, it became very thick and gelatinous.
6. Slowly pour the egg yolks into the boiling, whisking constantly so that the yolks don’t cook as soon as it hits the mixture.
7. Simmer the mixture while whisking constantly for about 3 minutes. The mixture should go from dark yolk-colored yellow to a lighter yellow, showing the yolks cooking.
8. Remove the mixture from heat and mix in the lemon juice previously set aside, butter, vanilla extract, limoncello, and lemon zest. Mix well.
9. Let the filling cool for a few minutes and then carefully pour into the pre-baked pie shell and sprinkle some lemon zest on top.
1. Pour the egg whites into a large mixing bowl or a standing mixer. Add the arrowroot powder. Whisk or mix on high speed until there are soft peaks.
2. While still mixing, slowly pour the sugar in and add a pinch or two of lemon zest and the vanilla extract.
3. Mix until stiff peaks form.
Putting it all together:
1. Slowly pour the meringue on top of the filling. Make sure to spread relatively evenly and cover all of the yellow, going all the way to the piecrust.
2. You can spread the meringue flat, or whisk it up to make peaks on top of the pie.
3. Sprinkle the last of the lemon zest on top.
4. Bake for 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
5. Let cool completely before serving. I’ve made the mistake of serving too soon and the filling collapses into the slice that was cut. Yuck.
6. Refrigerate if there are (any) leftovers!