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Lemon Meringue Pie: Submitted by: Robert Losee | Date Added: 11 Jun 2012
Listed in: Sweets / Pies

Use Chocolate Oatmeal Pie crust recipe.

1¼ cups granulated sugar
2 oz | ¼ cup plus 2 Tbs cornstarch
¼ tsp table salt
5 large egg yolks (save the whites)
1 oz | 2 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
1½ Tbs finely grated and minced lemon zest, plus ½ cup strained lemon juice (from 3 medium lemons)

5 large egg whites, at room temperature
¾ cup superfine sugar
¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp cream of tartar

Cooking Instructions

This is an amazing pie! The cooked meringue makes a much smoother top, and filling is very creamy, and the crust has nice little bits of salt that really blend well with the rest of the pie.

NOTE: Use a heavy duty, non-reactive 3-quart saucepan. This helps keep the filling from scorching. Exposed aluminum will react with the acid in the lemons graying the filling, uck! Who needs aluminum in their diet?

1) Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Continue whisking in ¼ cup cold water until mixture is smooth (this helps prevent lumps). Then whisk in another 1¼ cups cold water until combined.

2) Cook over medium to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally at first then constantly as the mixture comes to a boil with a few large popping bubbles. It'll turn glossy, thickening into a semi-translucent gel, 4 to 6 minutes. Whisk briefly to smooth out the mixture, then reduce heat to low and cook 1 minute more, gently pulling the mixture from the sides to the center with a spatula to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.

3) In a medium bowl, lightly whisk egg yolks. Gently whisk about ½ cup gel. Pour the yolk mixture into the pot and gently whisk to combine. Over low to medium-low heat, cook the filling, gently pulling it from the sides to the center with the spatula, until it begins to boil (you'll see large bubbles pop again), 4 to 6 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring as before until the mixture thickens further (don't worry if it clumps at this point), about 1 minute more. Remove the pot from the heat and dot the filling with butter, pushing it under the surface; let stand for a minute to melt. Gently wish in the lemon juice and zest until smooth.

4) Sprinkle the ground gingersnaps over the bottom of the pie crust; pour the filling over crumbs and smooth the top with the spatula. Let cook to room temperature before making the meringue, at least 30 minutes.

1) Bring ½ inch of water to a simmer in a pot that will hold the bowl of a stand mixer without letting it touch the water. Reduce the heat to low. Put the egg whites in the bowl off the heat and whisk (preferably with a balloon whisk) until frothy. Add the sugar about 2 Tbs at a time, whisking for about 5 seconds between additions.

2) Put the bowl over the pot and whisk gently but constantly (you are not trying to incorporate air, but to keep the whites moving so they don't cook) until the whites are very warm to the touch (115°F to 120°F) and sugar is thoroughly dissolved (lift a ribbon of whites from the bowl with the whisk and rub the whites between your fingertips-you should feel no grit), 2 to 4 minutes.

3) Add the vanilla and cream of tartar, transfer the bowl to the stand mixer, fit with the whisk attachment, and beat, gradually increasing the speed from low to medium high over the course of 1 minute, until the egg whites form thick, glossy medium-girm peaks (they should hold their shape but curl at their tips), 3 to 5 minutes total.

4) using a soup spoon, drop some of the meringue in mounds in a ring around the edge of the filling. With the back of the spoon, gently spread the dollops of meringue over the entire surface of the filling and all the way to the crust's edge. It is essential that all of the filling be completely covered by the meringue, without any air pockets, and that the edge of the meringue be anchored to the rim of the crust. Mound the remaining meringue on top and press with the back of the spoon to eliminate any air pockets without deflating the meringue. Make decorate peaks with the back of the spoon.

5) Bake the pie until the meringue peaks brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool the pie on a rack away from drafts to prevent the meringue from shrinking. Let stand at least 1 hour before serving.

To slice, rinse a sharp, thin-bladed knife in hot water and shake off the excess before making each cut. This is best eaten the day it's made. Leftovers may be kept with a loosely tented aluminum foil and refrigerated. Never use plastic wrap as condensation with get on the meringue. Do not freeze.

Based on Fine Cooking April/May 2012.

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