This Lemon Meringue Pie is So Good, It’ll Make You Cry

Article originally published on Spoon University.
Even the sweetest first impressions may be deceiving. | April 22, 2015 | Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

When life gives you lemons, question yourself twice before baking this lemon meringue pie. While the presentation of this pie doesn’t ask for much, the baking process is much harder than it looks. But even if you end up struggling with shrinking meringue or a “weeping” lemon filling, the end result will undoubtedly provide a tasty treat and a story to share over pie—in one form or another.

ADVANCED COURSE

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Servings: 8-9 slices

Ingredients:

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

1 cup + 6 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups water
2 lemons, zested
2 tablespoons butter
4 eggs, separated
1 9-inch pie crust, baked

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Zest lemons.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

3. Separate eggs. Place yolks in a small bowl and whites in a large mixing bowl.

Spoon tip: Use the shell halves to carefully pass the yolk around while letting the egg white drip into the mixing bowl.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

4. Whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt together in a medium saucepan.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

5. Stir in lemon zest and water.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

6. Juice the lemons into the saucepan and stir.

Spoon tip: Microwave your lemons for 20 seconds for optimal juice yield.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

7. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

8. Stir in butter.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

9. Take ½ cup of sugar-lemon mixture and whisk it into the egg yolks. (Please proceed carefully—we guesstimated at this step because we didn’t have heat-safe measuring cups to measure out boiling liquid.)

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

10. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan and return to a boil. Stir until the mixture thickens.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

11. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked (we used a pre-baked) pastry shell.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

12. Take the mixing bowl with the egg whites and whip until foamy. Spoon tip: Make sure there is no trace of yolk in the whites, or your meringue will not turn out properly.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

13. Add 6 tablespoons of sugar gradually, whipping between each tablespoon.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

14. Continue whipping the eggs until stiff peaks form. Spoon tip: Have good company over. This will take about 10 minutes, if you’re lucky.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

15. Spread meringue over pie. Make sure to seal the edges at the crust.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

16. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the meringue has turned golden brown.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

17. Cool at room temperature (this works best on a wire cooling rack) until the pie is at room temperature. If you’d like to serve a cold pie, wait until the pie has cooled properly before placing it into the fridge.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

18. Slice and serve—carefully, to keep all three layers intact. And enjoy!

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

Words of comfort from us at Spoon: This recipe is quite the temperamental one, so don’t despair if your pie doesn’t turn out perfectly when you put it on the plate. There are times when messy dessert is better than perfectly presented dessert—and this is definitely one of those times.

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

Recipe adapted from Grandma’s Lemon Meringue Pie.

Not feeling super adventurous? Try these other lemon-based treats instead:

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