We decided to celebrate the girls' birthday this weekend, since Tuesday will be busy. Both girls like lemon, and Talia especially likes pie, so I hunted down a recipe for lemon meringue pie that I'd tried years back. The paper is splotched and yellowed at the edges, but the recipe turned out just fine. (For Zoe, I made one of her favorite desserts: cheesecake. I've already shared that recipe here.)
I tend not to make pie that often, and I'm not sure why, because when I do, I realize just how much I actually like pie. If you try this recipe, be sure to let me know how you like it!
1 (9 inch) baked pie shell
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup water
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup lemon juice (I used fresh and bottled)
2 teaspoons lemon zest (grated lemon rind)
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2. Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, salt, and 1 1/2 cups water in a heavy saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 1/3 cup water to make a smooth paste. Gradually whisk the cornstarch mixture into boiling sugar mixture. Boil mixture until it becomes thick and clear. Make sure to stir constantly. Remove from heat.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the lemon juice. Gradually whisk the egg yolk mixture into the hot sugar mixture. Return the pan to the heat and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and butter. Place the mixture in the refrigerator and cool until just lukewarm.
4. In a large glass or metal bowl, combine egg whites and salt. Whip until foamy and then gradually add 1/2 cup sugar while continuing to whip. Beat until whites form stiff peaks, which could take a while. Stir about 3/4 cup of meringue into lukewarm filling and then spoon the filling into the baked pastry shell. Cover the pie with the remaining meringue.
5. Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until meringue is slightly brown. Cool on a rack at for at least 1 hour before serving.
I'm thinking that a slice of pie and a cup of coffee might make for a fine breakfast this morning.