Here is a recipe for a lemon meringue pie with mile-high meringue. Lemon meringue pie is in my top 3 favorite pies — after rhubarb and gooseberry (do i like tart things? apparently) — and this pie gets its name from its absurdly tall meringue topping. this pie will impress your significant other and is perfect for a ladies’ brunch.
How to approach making a lemon meringue pie with a big, tall meringue
when i’m making a big pie, in my head, I break it down into little steps so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.
start with the crust – that’s obviously the first thing to make.
then, you’re going to make a lemon curd for the filling – the trick with lemon curd is to cook it really low and slow — you don’t want to burn it, otherwise you have to start over.
the lemon curd will need time to set in the fridge, so you’ll have a little bit of a break with this project. the last thing is the meringue, which is like a magic trick with egg whites and sugar and tartar.
and then you get to whip out a chef’s torch and roast this shit out of the meringue!!!
what’s the best chef’s torch for meringue pie?
major pro tip: get yourself a chef’s torch — it’s surprisingly useful in the kitchen.
Lemon meringue pie with a very tall meringue
- pie crust
- 10.6 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 10 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter
- 6 to 10 tablespoons ice water
- 1/4 cup of cornstarch
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest plus
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice – about 3 lemons
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 4 large egg yolks reserve whites for meringue topping
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter room temp
- 8 large egg whites/8 oz of egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 6 oz granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pie crust
- Pulse in a food processor the flour and salt. add the cubed butter and shortening and pulse once or twice. add the cold water in and pulse to combine – the mixture should be uneven, with chunks of butter in among the smaller ones.
- Divide the dough in half, and gather each half into a rough disk. Wrap in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes, or up to overnight. Preheat the oven to 375.
- Remove the crust from the refrigerator or freezer, leaving it wrapped. Measure the bottom diameter of your pie pan, and up the sides of your pie pan. If your pan is 7″ across the bottom, and 1 ½” up each side, that’s a total of 10″. To account for crimping the edges, roll 11″ out and then trim the edges.
- Place the crust on a floured work surface, using a silicone rolling mat to be extra-precise. Roll it to the desired width and place in the pie pan.
- Blind bake the pie crust. Line the pie shell with parchment paper and fill with beans or pie weights. Bake the crust for 15 min, remove the paper and weights, then bake until the crust is golden brown. Set aside to cool completely.
- In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, sugar, zest, salt, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thick – it will also shift in color from cloudy to more clear, which will take about 6-7 minutes. really keep an eye on it and stir a lot!! – burnt curd is heartbreaking.
- In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks, then pour the hot cornstarch mixture in a slow steady stream (this is to temper the egg yolks so you don’t have scrambled eggs). Return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture comes back up to a boil, 1-2 min. (pro tip, soak the pot immediately because cornstarch can be hard to clean when ‘
- Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, then add butter 1T at a time. Let the curd cool for about 10 min.
- Pour curd into prepared crust and place plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate until curd is firm – at least 6 hours, overnight to be safe.
- When you are ready to serve, prepare meringue topping below.
- With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy.
- Gradually add sugar, increase speed to high and whisk until glossy and forms stiff peaks, stir in the vanilla.
- Spoon meringue onto the surface of the pie until it reaches the crust, then use a spatula to create a swirly, peaked pattern.
- Toast the meringue with a kitchen torch! or under the broiler for about 30-40 seconds.