After indulging in all of the spicy dishes from the rest of Issue 70’s cookbook, this lemon pie will offer a relief to your taste buds. This classic recipe is sure to end your meal on a high note.
Ingredients: For the crust
Ingredients: For the filling
Ingredients: For the meringue
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Poke holes in the unbaked pie crust with a fork. This process is called docking; it allows the air to escape and prevents bubbles in the pastry shell.
- In order to prevent the crust from pulling away from the sides of the pan, it is necessary to weigh the crust down. Some people prefer to weigh it down with pie weights, but you can also use beans. Remove the beans, and allow the pie crust to cool.
- In the meantime, make the filling. In a pot, stir together the sugar, flour, and hot water. While stirring, cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves—this will take a couple of minutes.
- Over a bowl, carefully separate the egg yolks from three eggs. You can do this by breaking the egg at the halfway part (otherwise known as the “fattest” part of the egg), and using the two ends of the egg shells to transfer the yolk back and forth until the egg whites have dripped into the bowl. Reserve the bowl of egg whites for later.
- Add just the egg yolks to a new bowl, and beat them together with cold water before adding to the pot. Pour in the lemon juice, butter, and salt. Stir, and cook until thick, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Place the separated egg whites in a large bowl. Let the egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before you start to make the meringue. Egg whites that have been allowed to stand at room temperature beat to a greater volume than ones taken directly from the refrigerator.
- Once they reach room temperature, use a hand mixer to begin beating them into a frothy consistency. (If you don’t have a mixer, a strong arm with a whisk can accomplish this task, too. But note that it will take considerably longer.
- Add the sugar gradually, one tablespoon at a time, and beat well after each addition so it dissolves into the egg whites. This will yield a more stable method compared to folding sugar into already beaten egg whites.
- Mix well; when you lift the beaters, the tips of the meringue should stand straight up. The mixture should also feel smooth when you rub it between your fingers; you shouldn’t be able to feel the grit of the sugar. If you do, continue beating until all of the sugar has dissolved.
- Pour the lemon custard into the baked pie shell. Spread evenly throughout the shell.
- Begin adding the meringue to the lemon custard. You will want to spoon the meringue across the entire top so that it seals the lemon filling. This will prevent it from shrinking when it bakes.
- Use the edge of a spoon to create wisps within the meringue mixture to give it that signature look.
- Bake until the peaks on the meringue are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool for another 10 minutes, and then serve. Covered, this will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
This featured recipe has been adapted from the cookbook The Homesick Texan’s Family Table: Lone Star Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours by Lisa Fain (© Ten Speed Press, 2014). For more Lone Star-inspired dishes, pick up your own copy of The Homesick Texan’s Family Table: Lone Star Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours on Amazon.com.