Lemon Meringue Pie
- Deep Dish pie crust
- 5 large egg yolks (whites go into meringue below)
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 5 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup. Set aside. Whisk the water, granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. The mixture will be thin and cloudy, then eventually begin thickening and bubbling after about 6 minutes. Once thickened, give it a whisk and reduce heat to low.
- Temper the egg yolks: Very slowly stream a few large spoonfuls of warm lemon mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Then, also in a very slow stream, whisk the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan. Turn heat back up to medium. Cook until the mixture is thick and big bubbles begin bursting at the surface. See my video above as an example. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the butter. Spread filling into the warm partially baked crust. Set aside as you prepare the meringue. Don’t let the filling cool down too much as you want a warm filling when you top with the meringue in step 7. The warm filling helps seal the two layers together, preventing separation.
- With a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together on medium speed for 1 minute, then increase to high speed until soft peaks form, about 4 more minutes. Add the sugar and salt, then continue beating on high speed until glossy stiff peaks form, about 2 more minutes. Spread meringue on top of filling. (I like to make decorative peaks with the back of a large spoon. See video above.) Make sure you spread the meringue all the way to the edges so that it touches the crust. This helps prevent the meringue from weeping.
- Bake pie on the lowest oven rack for 25-30 minutes. (If the meringue is browning too quickly, tent a piece of foil over it as best you can without the foil touching the meringue.) When pie is done, remove from the oven, place on a wire rack, and allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour before placing in the refrigerator to chill. Chill for 4 hours before slicing and serving.