TCG Family Recipes – Lemon Meringue Pie

–recipe by Kendall O’Geil, originally from her grandma

Bringing the comforts of our well-loved family recipes from our kitchen to yours.

 

Pie is an ever-present dessert recipe in our family.  Whether it’s an Easter celebration, a large Christmas feast, or a smaller Thanksgiving dinner, there was always at least one pie on the dessert menu.  

Helping my grandmother and mother make pies is one of the stand-out memories from the portion of my childhood in the kitchen.  I’d stir an apple pie mixture, roll out pie crust, run to and from the pantry to grab ingredients, and sneak a raw bite here and there.  Baking was where I spent my time in the kitchen and where I felt most helpful to my grandmas.  Getting to be a part of the love and care they’d put into any dish made the desserts only that much tastier.  To this day, I think it’s why I still love to bake pies and cookies so much, whereas “normal” cooking gets a bare-minimum treatment.  There is something wholesome about baking–and pies–that has resonated with me.

This lemon meringue recipe comes from my Grandma Helen’s recipe book.  It’s a very straightforward recipe that requires few ingredients outside your staple pantry.  A while back, probably going on six years now, I went through her recipe notebooks and snapped pictures on my phone of my childhood favourites.  This lemon meringue recipe was one of the first pictures I took, as I knew this was one I would want to remember. 

original lemon meringue recipe
my Grandmas’ original recipe, including modifications she made along the way.

My grandma passed away in 2016.  She loved to cook and bake, to bring all her children and grandchildren together around her dining table.  During our biggest Christmas dinners, we had to add an additional fold-out table to her huge dining table just to fit all the people! 

She was often her own worst critic, but I can say from personal experience that we all loved her cooking.  The kitchen is where I have my strongest memories of her, and now I have her recipes to continue to remember and appreciate her joy for cooking. 

It’s zingy and smooth without being overly sweet.  I’ve made some small modifications to her original recipe, like nixing the double boiler in place of a regular saucepan to save time.  You can add an additional egg white to the meringue topping if you enjoy a larger, fuller coating on your pie.  Use any crust recipe you like!  Store-bought or home-baked both work beautifully, as it’s the filling that shines here.

Grandma’s Favourite Lemon Meringue Pie

8-10 slices

Grandma’s Favourite Lemon Meringue Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 pre-baked pie shell, cooled
  • 1 cup sugar (plus 1 tablespoon for meringue topping)
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 egg yolks (save the whites for topping)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Combine egg yolks and lemon juice in a bowl and beat well.
  2. Mix sugar and cornstarch together in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add water and egg mixture to saucepan and stir well with whisk.
  4. Cook the mixture at a low boil (you may need to turn down the heat depending on your stove), stirring regularly.
  5. Continue until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and add lemon extract, butter, and vinegar. Stir thoroughly.
  7. Carefully pour the mixture into the cooled pie shell.
  8. Let the pie rest for at least 30 minutes so it can begin to set.
  9. Preheat the oven to 300F.
  10. In a stainless steel or glass mixing bowl, beat together 3-5 egg whites and the remaining .tablespoon of sugar on high until stiff peaks form (the mixture will be glossy and won't "tip over" when you turn your beaters upside down).
  11. Use a spatula to scoop the meringue on top of the pie crust, carefully spreading to the edges where the filling meets the crust.
  12. Bake in an oven for 12-14 minutes, until peaks begin to turn a golden brown.
  13. Let cool on counter 3-5 hours, or in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.

Notes

Use up to five egg whites for the meringue if you want a very full, high topping.

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