Ultimate Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cold and cubed
  • 3-5 tablespoons ice water

For the Lemon Filling:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 6 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

For the Meringue Topping:

  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Equipment:

  • 9-inch pie plate
  • Food processor (or large bowl)
  • Medium saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Electric mixer (stand or hand-held)
  • Large heatproof bowl

Instructions

1. Make the Crust:

  • Combine dry ingredients: In a food processor (or bowl), pulse together flour, salt, and sugar.
  • Cut in fat: Add cold, cubed butter and shortening. Pulse (or cut in with a pastry blender) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with pea-sized pieces remaining.
  • Add water: Gradually add ice water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing (or mixing) until the dough just comes together. Don’t overwork it.
  • Chill: Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • Roll and bake: Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Roll the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Fit into the pie plate, trim edges, and crimp decoratively. Prick the bottom with a fork.
  • Blind bake: Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the weights and parchment. Continue baking for 5-7 minutes more until the crust looks golden and slightly dry.

2. Make the Lemon Filling:

  • Mix dry ingredients: In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  • Add liquids: Whisk in the water, egg yolks, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  • Cook: Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking, for 1 minute until thickened.
  • Add butter: Remove from heat and stir in softened butter until melted and smooth.

3. Assemble the Pie:

  • Pour filling: Pour the hot filling into the partially baked pie crust.
  • Make meringue: While the filling is hot, begin the meringue (this helps with stability).

4. Make the Meringue:

  • Beat egg whites: In a clean, dry bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
  • Add sugar: Gradually beat in sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until stiff, glossy peaks form. Beat in vanilla extract.

5. Finish and Bake:

  • Spread meringue: Spread meringue over the hot filling, making sure it touches the crust edges to seal. Create decorative swirls and peaks.
  • Bake: Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 15-20 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned.
  • Cool: Let the pie cool completely at room temperature for several hours before chilling. Chilling for at least 3-4 hours sets the filling nicely.

Tips:

  • Ensure your meringue bowl is free of any fat for best egg white whipping.
  • For a taller meringue, use a slightly smaller pie dish (8-inch).
  • To prevent weeping, don’t overbake the meringue.

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