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  • Writer's pictureKyveli Papaioannou

Savoring Tradition: A Slice of Togetherness with Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie on a wooden surface with slices of lemons
Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

As the holiday season approaches and we gather with our loved ones, there's a certain magic in the air—a warmth that transcends the chilly winter weather. It's a time when the laughter of family and friends mingles with the scent of festive delights in the kitchen. In these moments, we often find ourselves drawn to the heartwarming classics that have been passed down through generations, recipes that not only tantalize the taste buds but also hold the power to transport us to cherished memories.

One such timeless favorite in my family is the Classic Lemon Meringue Pie. Its golden, cloud-like topping and the zesty burst of lemon in every bite have made it a centerpiece of our holiday gatherings. The process of creating this pie has become a tradition, a shared experience that brings us together in the kitchen, exchanging stories and laughter as we work side by side.

This recipe holds a special place in my heart, not just for its delectable taste, but for the joy it brings to those I care about. So, whether you're a seasoned baker or a kitchen novice, join me in creating a dessert that goes beyond its ingredients—it's a slice of togetherness, a spoonful of shared moments, and a dollop of love.

Without further ado, let's dive into making this Classic Lemon Meringue Pie that has been a source of sweetness in my family for years.


Ingredients for the Classic Lemon Meringue Pie:



butter cubes, butter, lemon,2 eggs, a bowl with flour and lemon zest


For the Pie Crust:

  • 300gr all-purpose flour

  • 1 egg

  • 150gr unsalted butter, chilled and diced

  • 75gr icing sugar

  • 2gr bakin powder

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 spoon lemon zest (optional)


For the Lemon Filling:

  • 450gr granulated sugar

  • 75gr cornstarch

  • 300gr cups water

  • 5 large egg yolks, beaten

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)

  • 150gr fresh lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)

  • 100gr unsalted butter


For the Meringue:

  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature

  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 150gr granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract



Instructions:


For the Pie Crust:

  • In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the diced butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

  • Add the egg, and pulse until the dough just comes together.

  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, shape it into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

  • Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface and fit it into a 9-inch (23cm) pie dish. Trim the edges and crimp as desired.

  • Using a fork, make holes in the dough. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

  • Bake in the preheated oven until the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool.


base for tart

Tip

To infuse a burst of citrus essence into our crust, let's master the art of lemon zest. Take a fresh lemon and, using a fine grater, gently rub it against the rim of a bowl filled with flour. Notice the tiny golden flecks dancing in the flour as the lemon's aromatic oils release. This technique not only captures the vibrant zest but also ensures the delicate citrus oils seamlessly mingle with the flour, intensifying its fragrance and setting the stage for a crust that's as aromatic as it is flavorful.



lemon zest in a  bowl with flour
Lemon Zest

For the Lemon Filling:

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, and the cornstarch. Gradually whisk in the water and the lemon juice until smooth.

  • Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture thickens.

  • In a separate bowl, whisk the beaten egg yolks. Gradually whisk in about 1/2 cup of the hot sugar mixture to temper the eggs. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly.

  • Continue to cook and whisk until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat.


a spoon with the lemon curd on top of a pot with the lemon filling

  • Stir in the lemon zest, and butter until smooth. Empty the lemon filling in a bowl and let it cool.



a bowl with lemon curd
Lemon Filling

  • Pour the lemon filling into the pre-baked pie crust. Smooth the top with a spatula.



emptying a lemon fillling in a tart
Assempling the Classic Lemon Meringue Pie



For the Meringue:

  • Preheat your oven's broiler.

  • In a clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.

  • Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, while continuing to beat on high speed. Beat until all the sugar dissolves, and stiff, glossy peaks form.

  • Beat in the vanilla extract.


Assembling the Classic Lemon Meringue Pie:

  • Spoon the meringue over the hot lemon filling, making sure to spread it to the edges of the crust to seal in the filling.

  • Create peaks in the meringue using the back of a spoon.

  • Place the pie under the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown. Watch it closely to prevent burning.

  • Allow the pie to cool completely before slicing and serving.


Tip

For an elegant finishing touch, transfer the luscious meringue into a piping bag. Gently squeeze the meringue through a decorative tip, effortlessly creating swirls and peaks atop the lemon filling. It's a simple yet sophisticated technique that turns your pie into a visual delight, adding a touch of artistry to this delectable treat.

For a finishing touch with a touch of drama, consider using a kitchen torch to delicately caramelize the meringue. Gently pass the flame over the peaks until they achieve a golden perfection. This not only adds a subtle crunch to the topping but also imparts a tantalizing aroma, elevating your Classic Lemon Meringue Pie to a culinary masterpiece.


Classic Lemon Meringue Pie with lemons on a wooden surface
Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

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