I love lemon. Our apartment is filled with lemon scented candles, I wear lemon scented perfume, I love lemon. It is amazing that I love this fruit so much, yet I have never, ever made a lemon meringue pie. Actually I have made very few pies, I am a bit nervous about pastry (and as you will see, I still haven’t made it) but that will change this year, I promise!
Earlier this year, my good friend Andreana contacted me to say that she would be in Ottawa for work, and was thinking of staying the weekend. Awesome! What wonderful things could we do? Go skating on the canal, walk to Parliament Hill, maybe tour around the Byward Market. The plans changed when the statement “I don’t like the cold” was brought into the equation. So my question to Andreana became, what would you like to cook? 🙂
She immediately came back with the response of Lemon Meringue Pie. Gasp! I didn’t want to lose face to my friend who had absolute confidence in my ability to help her create a tasty lemon creation. I said no problem, and then set out on a Twitter quest – someone out there had to have a tried and true Lemon Meringue Pie recipe that they could share.
I tweeted almost daily, looking for the perfect pie recipe. Emilio re-tweeted to help me reach more people, then, Colette came to my rescue! She didn’t only share one recipe with me, she sent me links to three! (*Note – Emilio is in Mexico, Colette is in Ireland and I am in Canada – that is pretty cool pie network!)
I was still a bit nervous about making pastry, let alone infront of someone else, but then Jamie suggested a graham cracker crumb crust. Yes please, Thank you very much! The idea of making a pie seemed a lot less daunting without the fear of a pastry crust hanging overhead like a cloud of despair.
I give full credit to this creation to Andreana – she did a fabulous job and the pie was amazing! All I did was give a few directions and stand by and watched her create a delicious dessert! We made two pies, one for dessert and one for her to take home to her husband, Andrew.
I found that the sweetness of the graham cracker crust really complimented the tanginess of the lemon. Delicious!
Lemon Meringue Pie will definitely be on our dessert rotation from now on!
- 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers (about 8 whole crackers)
- 6 tbsp butter, melted & cooled
- 3 tbsp extra fine sugar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cup extra fine sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 5 tbsp cornstarch
- 5 large egg yolks
- dash salt
- zest from two lemons
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 8 large egg whites
- 3/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 7 tbsp extra fine sugar
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
To make the crust
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Combine crushed graham crackers, melted butter, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and mix well.
- Press mixture evenly into a 9-inch metal or ceramic pie plate and bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the filling
- Whisk sugar, water, and cornstarch in a heavy-bottomed pot.
- Whisk in egg yolks and salt and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Increase heat to medium and, still whisking, cook until filling begins to boil and becomes glossy and thick, about 5 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and strain. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice and butter until butter dissolves. Pour immediately into cooled pie shell and let cool 15 minutes. Chill completely before finishing with meringue, about 4 hours.
To make the meringue
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- Whip egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. While whipping, gradually pour in sugar and whip on high speed until whites hold a stiff peak (the meringue stands upright when whisk is lifted). Whisk in cornstarch and dollop over chilled lemon filling.
- Use sweeping motions with your spatula to create swirls and peaks that look so enticing once browned.
- Bake pie for 10 minutes, just until meringue browns lightly. Let pie cool or chill until ready to slice.
This is so good and a lot easier than I originally thought!
February 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm
I am so pleased you and your friend made it. Great idea to use the crackers, instead of pastry! Unfortunately, guess what? No Graham Crackers here!! Thank you so much for the mention. Anytime you need anything, recipe-wise, just ask, no problem 🙂
February 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm
Thanks again Colette – the pie was a success and it was way easier than I anticipated! If you want I can ship you over a box of graham crackers, anytime!
February 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm
that pie was awesome!!
February 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm
Great pie and great guests with whom to share it!