Luscious, lemony filling in a simple, crumbly crust topped with a pillow of meringue. Bake the pie crust and filling the day before so everything has time to cool and set. Meringue is best made the same day you are serving the pie. Or you can use whipped cream instead, if you prefer.
EASY PIE CRUST
Although I love a traditional flaky, rolled out pie crust, this is usually my go-to recipe because it is so simple and delicious. All the ingredients go directly into the pie pan. Just mix it up and pat it out. The texture is more crumbly than flaky but that actually works better with a wet filling. Less chance of a soggy crust.
1 1/2 Cup Flour, All Purpose
2 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Oil (Neutral tasting like vegetable or canola)
1/4 Cup Milk
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla
Pie Pan, 9?
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Small Mixing Bowl
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. Add flour, sugar and salt to pie plate. Mix together with a fork.
3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the oil, vanilla and milk together.
4. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the liquid ingredients. Blend together well, then press the crust into pie pan using your fingers. Work the crust up the sides of the pan. You want the dough about 1/4 inch thick all the way around.
5. Use your fingers or the tines of a fork to make a decorative edge around the pie.
6. Dock the dough by using the tines of a fork to lightly poke holes across the bottom and on the sides of the crust. Docking helps keep the crust from bubbling up while it is baking.
7. Wrap crust and pan in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to a week if not proceeding directly to baking.
8. To bake, place pie crust on middle rack of oven and bake for 18-22 minutes till golden brown. Rotate pie 180° about half way through to ensure even cooking.
9. Remove crust from oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.
6 Eggs, Large (using 3 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks)
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Butter, Unsalted
Pinch of Salt
Medium Mixing Bowl
Fine Mesh Strainer
Save the extra egg whites for the meringue in a covered container in the refrigerator. A double boiler is a saucepan that has and 2-3 inches of water in it and a heat-proof bowl that fits on top of the pan but does not touch the water. It is used to regulate the temperature of sensitive mixtures and heat them gently.
1. In medium mixing bowl, add sugar. Use zester to remove yellow part of skin taking care to avoid the bitter white pith underneath. Mix sugar and zest together and allow to sit so sugar absorbs lemon flavor.
2. Juice lemons into measuring cup and remove any seeds. You should have about 1 cup of lemon juice.
3. Separate yolks from whites from 3 of the eggs. Save whites in covered container in refrigerator for meringue.
4. Bring water in bottom of double boiler to a simmer.
5. Add whole eggs and yolks to top pan of double boiler (off heat) and whisk until frothy.
6. Whisk lemon juice and sugar into eggs.
7. Heat the lemon curd over the simmering water, whisking constantly until mixture is thickened enough to mound if spooned onto a plate. It should be thick enough to see the tracks of the whisk briefly as you stir it.
8 Remove from heat, add salt, then whisk in butter 1 Tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated.
9. If you do not like the texture of the lemon zest in your curd, use fine mesh strainer to remove.
10. Allow curd to cool to room temperature before adding to baked pie shell.
4 Egg Whites, Room Temperature
1 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Egg whites whip up fluffier and are more stable when they are warm as opposed to cream which does better ice cold. For best volume you can whip whites and sugar in double boiler until sugar dissolves and eggs become slightly warm to the touch, then transfer to electric mixer to whip to full volume. Or let the egg whites sit out until they reach room temperature before using them for about 30 minutes. Make sure that equipment is squeaky clean and there is no trace of egg yolk in the whites. The tiniest bit of fat will ruin a meringue.
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Add room temperature egg whites to mixer bowl and beat on medium high speed until soft peaks.
3. Gradually add sugar, salt, and vanilla to egg whites and beat until stiff peaks. Be careful not to overbeat whites until they become separated and watery.
4. Spread meringue over top of pie. Make sure the meringue touches the crust all of the way around. Any gaps leave a space for the meringue to shrink and weep.
5. Use a spatula to make decorative swirls and peaks to the meringue.
6. Place pie in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until meringue is golden brown.
Then, just slice, serve and enjoy!