Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lemon Meringue Pie Face


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

First things first. Separate 4 eggs yolks from the whites in two separate bowls. To prevent a soggy pie, you must make the meringue before you make the filling. The meringue needs to be ready to go on the filling as soon as its done, while its still hot. This allows the bottom of the meringue to cook and you don't get a soggy mess for a pie. Also DO NOT store in the fridge. Keep in a covered dish or covered with a bowl at room temperature.

Add a teaspoon of vanilla and a 1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar to the egg whites.

Beat the whites until foamy and then add 6 tablespoons of sugar, two at a time, beating the whites a little between each addition.

Continue to beat the whites until they become stiff and shiny. They should hold a stiff peak when finished. If you think you have beaten them enough, keep beating for another few minutes. Once you have beat your eggs to the desired consistency keep them in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the pie.

Now for the filling. I know cooking a custard on the stove top can seem intimidating but don't worry. You will live. In a medium sauce pan combine 1 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Whisk in 1 1/2 cups of milk and the juice and zest of two lemons.

Heat this mixture over medium high heat, whisking continuously, until it starts to boil. Be ready with a 1/2 measuring cup, things start to move fast once the mixture boils.
When you reach a low boil add 2 tablespoons of butter. Lower temperature to medium.

Pour 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks.

Whisk to combine.

Return egg mixture to the pan on the stove.

Continue to whisk over medium heat until you have a thick pudding like texture. This should not take long.

Do not let cool. Pour piping hot custard into the pie shell.

Cover hot filling with meringue immediately, making sure to seal the edges at the crust.

With a knife make small little peaks in the meringue all over the pie. These will brown up while in the oven and make the pie very pretty. Do this quickly though, and get that dang pie in the oven. Bake in 375 F oven for 25-30 minutes or until the meringue is nicely toasted and set.

Here we are. The beautiful finished product. I didn't have any but if you have an extra lemon, cut a few rounds to decorate the top of the pie with.

Alright now I know that I wrote in the directions that in order to prevent weeping meringue you have to assemble the pie when the filling is very hot. What I didnt tell you was that I learned this the hard way. I made my meringue after I made my filling and by the time the meringue was forming stiff peaks I dont think the pie filling was hot enough anymore. So...I had a pretty substantial layer of syrupy liquid between my custard and my meringue. I carefully drained it off as much as I could, and thought the pie would be ok. In truth I have to say that the custard came out great. Love the flavor, love the texture. The meringue is another story. Maybe if I would have assembled my pir the way I have told you folks to, the meringue would have been better. I also think that I could have cooked the pie for about 25 or 30 minutes. The directions I followed said it only needed 10 minutes. My meringue a day later is covered in more weeping not only from the bottom but also on the top of the pie. I am really dissapointed because the custard part of this pie turned out so well. I need to do another experiment with this pie but if I have the same problems again I would have to say that this pie is better off without the meringue. It would be great with just the filling. If anyone attempts this recipe please let me know what your results were.


  1. HOly crap, did that come out that perdy the 1st try? I don't think I can pull that one off. I can't even get a pecan pie to come out good!

  2. You know I bought cream of tartar a long while back and I think I've only used it once. I don't even remember what I used it for now, but when I saw it called for in a recipe I got so excited! I'm still wondering what it actually does or tastes like. And I'm still hoping I find a yummy recipe to use it in soon! (I'm not a big fan of meringue. Looks good though!

  3. Cream of Tartar is the common name for potassium bitartare. It is a by-product of wine-making. Its is a major ingredient in baking powder and is used to stabilize beaten egg whites. I don't really know of any other use for the stuff. I'm with you though Teri. After making this recipe I am not a big fan of meringue either. It looks pretty but is a pain in the butt, and it doesn't taste all that great. Thanks for following. :)