What’s not to love about zesty lemony custard topped with a fluffy meringue? It was an innovative female pastry chef and teacher in early 19th-century Philadelphia who first paired lemon custard and meringue and created this all-American dessert classic.
STEP ONE – Preparations
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Get out a food processor and a 9-inch glass pie pan.
- Get out a medium saucepan and a small bowl.
- Get out a stand mixer.
- Set up a cooling rack.
STEP TWO – Make the Crust
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2-3 tablespoons cold water
- Cut the butter into small pieces and pulse in the food processor with the flour and salt until the texture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add 1 tablespoon of cold water at a time until the ingredients form a ball of dough.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and use a floured rolling pin to roll to a diameter a little larger than the 9-inch glass pie pan.
- Press the dough into the pan and crimp the overhang around the edges.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until lightly browned.
- Cool the crust on the cooling rack while you make the filling.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350°F.
STEP THREE – Make the Filling
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ½ cups water
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large egg yolks
- In the small saucepan, add the sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt over medium-high heat and whisk to combine.
- Stir in the water, lemon juice, and lemon zest and cook until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring continually.
- Stir in the butter and let melt.
- In the small bowl, whisk to combine the yolks and ½ cup of the hot mixture.
- Add to the saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Cook until thickened, then pour the filling into the crust.
STEP FOUR – Make the Meringue
4 large egg whites
6 tablespoons white sugar
- In the stand mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy.
- Add the sugar and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
STEP FIVE – Bake the Pie
- Use a rubber spatula to evenly spread the meringue across the top of the pie.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until the meringue is golden at the tips.
- Cool the pie on the cooling rack for 2 hours.
- Once cooled, cover with aluminum foil and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
Recommended Serving Size: 1 slice (⅛ of pie)
Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 fat