Lemon Meringue Pie from Michele Stuart

  • Yield 10 servings

This pie is absolutely beautiful to behold.

lemon-meringue-pie
High Cotton Food Styling & Photography

"It’s best served the same day it’s made, but you can make the lemon curd in advance and refrigerate it in the piecrust for up to two days prior to serving.”—Michele Stuart

Ingredients

Filling:
2 large eggs
5 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 pinch salt
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 -- prebaked (9-inch) piecrust, store-bought or your favorite crust recipe
Meringue:
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. To prepare the filling, whisk together eggs, egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add cornstarch and salt and continue whisking until well combined. Add lemon juice, water, lemon zest and butter. Continue whisking until fully incorporated.
  2. Pour into a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk continuously, scraping sides with a spatula and taking care not to burn the bottom. Cook until mixture thickens and deepens in color, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and continue to whisk 1 more minute.
  3. Pour into prebaked piecrust. Cover pie with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  4. To prepare meringue, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt and continue mixing until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Once all the sugar has been added, add vanilla and beat 30 more seconds. The meringue should be light and fluffy. Test the meringue to see if it will hold by inserting your spatula into the meringue mixture and quickly pulling it out. If the meringue forms little peaks but does not fall, you have achieved the desired consistency. If the meringue falls, continue beating and retesting with your spatula at 30-second intervals until the peaks remain in place when the spatula is removed.
  5. Scrape meringue on top of lemon curd in piecrust. Smooth to cover the entire pie and form a mound in the middle. Use a spatula to pat and lift meringue across the top of the pie, forming peaks.
  6. Heat broiler. Place pie on oven rack in the middle position and let cook 3 to 4 minutes, until meringue is browned.

Reprinted with permission from Michele Stuart’s Perfect Pies (Ballantine, 2011).

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