First the pie crust:
Step 1: Single-Crust Pie:
1)1 1/4 c flour
2)1/4 tsp salt
3)1/3 c shortening or butter
4)4 to 5 tbsp water
Preheat oven to 425. Mix together flour and salt with softened butter or shortening. Then you sprinkle 1 tbsp of water at a time into the mixture, mixing thoroughly as you proceed. Form the dough into a ball. Flour a surface such as part of the island in your kitchen or an old fashioned wooden flour board if you prefer. Flatten the dough ball with your hands. Then get out your rolling pin and roll the dough until you have a circle about a foot in diameter. Voila! You have your pie crust.
To transfer it without letting it separate, roll it around your rolling pin and drop it into your 9 inch pie pan. For this purpose midsummernight’s chef.com uses a Bennington Potter porcelain pie pan made without any lead.
Make sure the pastry doesn’t extend more than 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pie plate. Roll it under and crimp it. Prick the bottom with a fork in several places. Line it with a double thickness of aluminum foil. Bake at 450 for 8 minutes. Remove foil and return to the oven for another 5 to 6 minutes. Set aside and cool.
Step 2: Meringue for Top of Pie:
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 tbsp sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Get out three eggs and separate into two mixing bowls, one for egg yolks and one for egg whites. Then combine the eggs whites with vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer (we recommend Kitchen Aid) on medium speed about 1 minute or until you get soft peaks.
Add sugar 1 tbsp at a time while you change the mixer speed to high. Continue beating about 4 additional minutes or until you get stiff peaks that stand up straight and you can no longer see the sugar.
This step needs to be completed while you are working on step 3, making the lemon pie filling. For as soon as you have stiff peaks you are supposed to pour it on top of the pie filling for the final baking of the recipe.
Step 3: Filling for Pie:
1 baked pastry shell
1 1/2 c sugar
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp butter
1 to 2 tsp shredded lemon peel
1/3 c lemon juice
1 recipe meringue for pies
In a saucepan combine sugar, flour, cornstarch, and a dash of salt. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of water. Keep on stirring over medium heat until the mixture bubbles. Reduce heat as it thickens and boil for another 2 minutes. Take it off the burner.
Beat those three egg yolks you saved earlier in this recipe. Pour 1 cup of the hot filling into the yolks, then return it to the saucepan. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from burner. Still in butter with the lemon peel and lemon juice. (You can get the lemon juice from squeezing the lemons you bought for their peels).
Pour filling into pie crust. Spread meringue over the top of the lemon filling. Bake at 350 for only 15 minutes. Cool for 1 hour. Then put it in the refrigerator for 6 hours before serving. Cover leftovers with aluminum foil. Eat the pie within the next 2 days.
It’s a lot of work and a lot of organization. But the results are well worth it. Lemon meringue pies go nicely with summer foods such as grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, and steaks. We made the pie to go with grilled ribs as you can see from the picture.