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Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

classic lemon meringue pie Dessert
Classic Lemon Meringue Pie
  • Prep 45 min
  • Total 7 hr 10 min
  • Servings 8

Want to know what sunshine tastes like? Then try this lemon meringue pie. It’s bursting with fresh citrus flavor and a sweet, creamy meringue topping. If you’re pressed for time, substitute Betty Crocker pie crust mix for the from-scratch pie crust. MORE+ LESS-

October 16, 2018

Ingredients

Pastry

1
cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1/2
teaspoon salt
1/3
cup shortening
3
to 4 tablespoons cold water

Filling

3
egg yolks
1 1/2
cups sugar
1/3
cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2
cups water
3
tablespoons butter
2
teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2
cup lemon juice

Meringue

3
egg whites, room temperature
1/4
teaspoon cream of tartar
6
tablespoons sugar
1/2
teaspoon vanilla

Steps

Hide Images
  • 1
    In medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until mixture forms coarse crumbs the size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until flour mixture is moistened and can be pressed into a ball.
  • 2
    Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is cold.
  • 3
    Heat oven to 450°F. With floured rolling pin, roll pastry on lightly floured surface into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate or roll pastry loosely around rolling pin and transfer to pie plate. Unfold or unroll pastry and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; flute as desired. Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork to prevent puffing. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until light brown; cool on cooling rack.
  • 4
    Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. In small bowl, beat egg yolks with fork. In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch; gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.
  • 5
    Immediately stir with wire whisk at least half of hot mixture into egg yolks; stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Return to a boil; boil and stir constantly for 2 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice with wire whisk. Cover and keep warm.
  • 6
    In medium bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; scrape side of bowl occasionally. Continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form and sugar is completely dissolved. Beat in vanilla. Pour hot lemon filling into baked pie shell. Immediately drop spoonfuls of meringue onto hot lemon filling and carefully spread meringue to cover top completely, spreading to edge of crust to seal well and to sealing meringue prevent shrinkage or weeping.
  • 7
    Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until meringue is browned and temperature reaches 160°F. Cool on cooling rack 1 hour. Refrigerate 4 hours or until filling is set. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Expert Tips

  • Egg whites whip best at room temperature; for food safety reasons, limit to 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Use Betty Crocker pie crust mix for the scratch pie crust in this recipe and save time.
  • The key for perfect meringue is in the cracking. Be sure to cleanly separate the whites from the yolks, because even a speck of yolk will prevent the whites from beating up properly.
  • Be ready to quickly beat up the egg whites so they can be spread directly on the hot filling—the heat helps seal the meringue to the pie.
  • Get your creative groove on when you spread the meringue on top—use the back of a spoon to make swirls and peaks that will look amazing once they brown in a hot oven.
  • Let the pie cool completely, then chill for a while, before slicing into it.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
430
Calories from Fat
150
% Daily Value
Total Fat
16g
25%
Saturated Fat
6g
29%
Trans Fat
2g
Cholesterol
90mg
29%
Sodium
210mg
9%
Potassium
80mg
2%
Total Carbohydrate
66g
22%
Dietary Fiber
0g
0%
Sugars
47g
Protein
4g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
4%
4%
Vitamin C
4%
4%
Calcium
0%
0%
Iron
6%
6%
Exchanges:
1 Starch; 0 Fruit; 3 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 3 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
4 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • Perhaps the saying, “as American as apple pie” should be changed to be “as American as lemon meringue pie,” because it’s been a favorite in the United States for quite some time. Elizabeth Coane Goodfellow (known as Mrs. Goodfellow), who established the country’s first cooking school in Philadelphia, is often credited for popularizing lemon meringue pie in her bakery and confectionery, which was popular in the early 19th century. From back in Mrs. Goodfellow’s day until now, curious cooks have wondered about the kitchen alchemy that turned egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and vanilla into a perfect topping in a lemon meringue pie recipe. Here’s what happens: as the meringue mixture gets hotter in the oven, air bubbles trapped inside the molecular structure of the egg white’s protein expand and swell, forming that cloudlike cover for the citrusy custard filling. We have many more Betty Crocker- approved recipes in our best lemon pies collection where you can browse photos, read reviews, learn handy tips and find recipes for time-tested favorites and modern new twists.

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