Lemon Meringue Pie

Another bake-off winner from 2007 is this lemon meringue pie. The meringue part always seemed so daunting before I tried this recipe, but it turned out to be relatively easy to make.

The ready-made pie crust may not appeal to purists, but I think they have a place in certain recipes, at least until the baker gets more adept at making them at home. I’ve made a few, but adept, I am not.

1 9-inch pie crust, pre-baked if frozen

4 large egg yolks
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
2 Tbsp. cornstarch/cornflour
1/2 cup/4 oz./1 stick chilled unsalted butter, cut into very small pieces

4 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. cornstarch/cornflour
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup confectioners’/icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F/175C degrees. To prepare filling, in large heavy saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not let mixture boil. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted. Pour into crust.

To prepare meringue, beat egg whites at medium speed until foamy. Beat in cornstarch and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar and vanilla at high speed until stiff, but not dry, peaks form.

Working quickly, spoon meringue in large dollops over filling, then smooth with back of spoon, making sure it reaches the edge of the crust. Bake until meringue is golden, 12-15 minutes.

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