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Lemon Meringue Pie


Luscious and lemony-tart, piled high with double the usual meringue topping, this is truly the loveliest, lemoniest, lemon meringue pie. I add a lot more lemon and a bit more butter for an extra-lemony, extra-rich, extra-creamy filling. If you don't want to make sky-high meringue, simply reduce the meringue recipe by half. Custard pies--like lemon meringue--shouldn't stand longer than a day--the filling becomes watery and the crust softens if it stands too long.

Pastry for 1-crust pie (page 14)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
Grated zest of 3 medium lemons
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
4 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons butter
Double Meringue Topping (page 22)
 

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Roll out the pastry to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Fit the pastry in the plate and crimp the edges. Thoroughly prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork (you don't need pie weights, if using my pastry recipe.) Bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until the edges are set and golden brown; set aside to cool.

Reduce the oven heat to 375°F.

Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy medium nonreactive saucepan until combined, then gradually whisk in water until smooth. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, then continue for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and whisk in egg yolks and butter until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and pour into the baked crust.

Meanwhile, prepare the meringue and immediately cover the filling with mounds of meringue topping. To prevent shrinkage, gently spread some of the meringue right to the edges so it completely covers the filling and touches and seals the crust all the way around. Shape the meringue into lots of high peaks with the tines of a fork. Set the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or just until meringue tips are golden brown; watch carefully so it doesn't burn. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and serve at room temperature. Store the pie in the refrigerator if not serving immediately.

Makes one 9-inch pie


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