Mile High Lemon Meringue Pie

The best I ever had. From the Wooden Spoon Dessert Book by Marilyn Moore

Prebake one pie shell and allow time to cool.

Separate, placing whites in the small bowl of a mixer and yolks in a side bowl,

4 large eggs

In a large, heavy, non-reactive saucepan, stir together, pressing out any lumps with the back of a spoon

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Gradually stir in, in this order

1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup strained fresh lemon juice
reserved egg yolks, beaten until smooth

When the mixture issmooth, gradually stir in

1 1/2 cup boiling water

Place over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble. Continue to cook, stirring briskly, until thich and bubbly, about 1 minute longer. It should drop from the spoon in thick, smooth sheets (lift the pot to stop the cooking while you check). Remove from the heat. Gently stir in until melted

2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter

Stir with a gentle folding motion for a minute or two to partially cool, then pour and scrape the filling into the cooled crust. Let the filling cool to room temperature before beginning the meringe. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In the small bowl of an electric mixer, beat at high speed until firm, almost stiff, and peaks form when the beaters are stopped and raised

reserved egg whites

Continue beating at high speed and add, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating for one or two seconds after each addition

1/2 cup superfine sugar

Continue to beat until stiff, pointy peaks form that are almost dry. It is very easy to go from stiff to dry -- try to stay just short of dry. Spoon some of the meringue around the edge of the filling. With the back of the spoon, spread this meringue so that it touches the inner edge of the crust all around. Spoon the remaining meringue into the center and spread to cover the filling completely. Leave the meringue in natural swirls and mounds. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 4 to 6 minutes, or until a delicate brown. Cool on a wire rack, away from any drafts. When the pie has cooled to room temperature, refrigerate to chill. Although this may be eaten at room temperature, the flavor will be improved and the cutting made easier if it is chilled before serving. Best eaten the day it is made. Be sure to refrigerate any leftovers.

Just made this for the first time for my mother-in-law who was visiting, because she said lemon pie was her favorite, but she doesn't make it anymore. I'm so glad I did.


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