A few of my girlfriends were talking about this recipe last month and finally I could not take it anymore and a few weeks ago I finally made it. Growing up in the South this is a common dessert that we serve although oddly enough this was the first time I had ever made it. I love the sweet yet tart filling with piled high meringue. Nothing tastes better on a hot Summer day especially with an ice cold glass of lemonade.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4" cubes and chilled
4 tablespoons cold water
1. Combine the flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Add the butter, and then cut in using two forks, a pastry blender, or your hands. Continue working in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add just enough water to bring the dough together and knead a few times to ensure that the flour is evenly moistened. Press into a 1" thick disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to two days.
2. When ready to roll, dust your counter with flour. Remove the dough from the fridge and let rest on the counter for 5 minutes to allow warming slightly and becoming more workable. Roll the dough into a circle large enough to fit a 9" pie dish and transfer to the pan by rolling the dough around your pin and draping it over the top. Roll up the edge of the dough and use your fingers or a fork to create a decorative edge. Prick with a fork and place in the freezer.
3. Heat oven to 425F. When it comes to temperature, line the prepared pie crust with parchment, aluminum foil or coffee filters and fill it with dry rice or beans. Bake 20 minutes, then remove the foil/parchment/filters along with the beans/rice and bake 5-10 minutes longer until nicely brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack while you prepare the filling.
Lemon Filling and Meringue:
4 egg yolks, room temp
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups water
2 lemons, juiced and zested
2 tablespoons butter, room temp
Baked pie crust
4 egg whites, room temp
6 tablespoons white sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
2. Place the egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl. Beat them briefly, and then set aside.
3. Combine the cup of sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir in the water, lemon juice and lemon zest, and then turn the burner on to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil. Stir in the butter. Remove the pan from heat and pour about 1/2 c of the hot sugar mixture into the beaten egg yolks, whisking immediately after the addition. Pour the egg yolks into the sugar mixture and return the pan to the heat. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until very thick. Remove from heat and Pour filling into the prepared pie crust.
4. In a large and very clean glass or metal bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy. With the mixer running, gradually add the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until you have stiff peaks. Spread the meringue over the hot filling, sealing the edges at the crust.
5. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown. Place briefly under the broiler or use a kitchen torch if more browning is desired.
Yields: 8 servings
adapted from allrecipes