Life has given me a bowl full of lemons; Not just a small bowl, but a great big, earthen ware, workhorse of a bowl. Do I want to make lemonade with those yellow, sour fruit? No. I want to make Lemon Meringue Pie.
In the country, I had a flock of bantam hens. In that flock were some Silver Duckwing bantams. There was a rooster: he had an attitude and his name was Jack. His crow wasn’t cock-a-doodle-do. He said, “Happy Easter!” Their little eggs made the filling color of Lemon Meringue Pie look like the summer sun.
I made this beautiful pie for special occasions, usually at Christmas and Easter or church choir parties. Today is Homemade Pie Day. That’s special enough of a reason to whip this up in the Exile’s Kitchen.
1 frozen pie crust, baked
4 eggs, seperated (yolks in a bowl, whites in another)
Juice of 4 lemons, should equal 1/2 cup
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup corn starch
1 1/2 cups white sugar
Dash of salt
4 or 5 pats of butter
2 teaspoons lemon zest
What to do:
In a large measuring cup, mix lemon juice, egg yolks and water. Pour into a 2 quart sauce pan. In a small bowl, mix sugar and corn starch. Whisk sugar mixture into lemon juice mixture. Cook over medium high heat, till it starts to boil, whisking the entire time so it doesn’t burn. It takes a few minutes for it to thicken, but when it does, remove the pot from the heat. At this point, add salt, butter and lemon zest. Before the filling thickens, you will notice that it is frothy. The fat in the butter takes care of that. The filling will get glossy. Just beautiful! Pour pie filling into the prepared pie shell.
Now for the meringue:
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
Pour egg whites into a stand mixer and with the whisk attachment, turn it on to medium/high. Let it go. Don’t rush it. At first they’ll be clear, then foamy, then white. Slowly add in sugar. Beat till stiff peaks form. That means the meringue hangs onto the beater when lifted out of the mixer.
With a big spoon, spread the meringue over the top, all the way to the edges of the pie crust. Tap the back of the spoon, gently on the top of the meringue to form floppy peaks. Don’t smoothe the meringue down flat; it should look like a restless wave at the beach rushing up to kiss the shoreline. Ha!
Gently place the pie in the center of a 350° preheated oven and bake till those white, floppy, ocean wave peaks are tinted gold. Take the pie out of the oven and cool before serving. It’s tangy, a little tart, but oh so sweet. Perfect for Homemade Pie Day in the Exile’s Kitchen.