Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lemon Meringue Pie

Oh My, A Lemon Pie!

Back in May 2011, I received the cutest letter from my 87 year old Grams that said this:

Hi Sweet Girl,
Here is your recipe for lemon pie.

This one is the one I've used for the last 40 years.
Same ingredients as the one in my cook book but cooked in a little different order. No double boiler.
I've been going to give it to you the last two times you were here but forgot, so I'm sending it.
Hi to the family. I love you dearly.
Grams Marian

She enclosed a recipe card in her handwriting with the ingredients and directions to her famous lemon meringue pie. Words cannot explain how happy her letter made me because we have said for years that we would make time to bake the pies together, but never did.  Handing down the recipe to me was the next best thing.

In honor of her and her famous pies, my aunt Jacque, decided all of the girls in the family who could attend would get together the day before her funeral to make two desserts my grams was famous for, her lemon pie and peanut butter krispies. 

We got together at my cousin's house, this is how it went...

By the time my daughters and I got to my cousin's house they already had the pie crusts made.  So I don't have pictures of the pie crust process.

They had 6 pie crusts total, that's a lot of pie!

Everyone took a turn at some part of the process to learn Grama's  techniques as she had it laid out in her directions.

My cousin Jill separated the egg whites while my aunts stood by to keep us on track of which ingredient was next. 

This recipe calls for 6 or 7 eggs.  All of the eggs must be separated, the yolks are used for the lemon filling and the whites are used for the meringue.

 Brooke's turn to whisk the eggs.

 My Aunt Jacque started combining the dry ingredients:
8 tbsps of corn starch.

She measured off the sugar:

2 cups white sugar.

Jill squeezed and grated the lemons:

2/3 cup fresh lemon juice and grated peel of 1 lemon.

My girls and their cousin Jen took a break from it all to sit and gab!
They proved to be really good at that.

Aunt Jacque added the 3 cups water needed.

 Jennifer is really good at looking cute while cooking!
Love the apron and the pointed toe!

Jen watched the heat and stirred the pot until it came to a full boil.

When things started to really heat up, the girls stepped in and worked together to make sure things went as they should.

My aunts loaded the pie shells with the lemon filling like old pros!

Once the pie shells were filled with the lemon filling we moved on to making the meringue.  Most of us had never made meringue, so watching the egg whites turn from a slippery state into white fluffy peaks was great fun.

In mixing bowl, add 6 or 7 egg whites.

Megan added 1/8 teaspoon tartar to the egg whites.

Turn on the mixer to high speed to get the egg whites fluffy.

While the egg whites are beating, it's time to sweeten things up. 

Megan added 5 tablespoons of sugar a little at a time as the egg whites formed into stiff peaks.

 Check the firmness of the meringue.

If you can make a peak, then it's firm enough and ready to go onto the lemon filling.

Aunt Sue began heaping the meringue onto the lemon.

Spread the meringue evenly toward the edges of the crust.

This is where Jill stepped in. She proved her fluffing and peaking skills making her the official meringue fluffer.

 Then with a pointed toe and all, she carefully placed the last two lemon creations in the oven.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until the meringue is golden brown.

Take the pies out of the oven oohhing and awing over your creation like we did!

We took a moment to reflect on our happiness; we were done with 6 pies, what an accomplishment!

 Then we opened a bottle of wine to really celebrate our success!

We toasted to Grams Marian, knowing she would be so proud that we all got together to make her lemon meringue pies.

Marian's Lemon Meringue Pie

Yield - 2 pies - 8 slices each


For Lemon Filling -
2 cups sugar
8 tablespoons corn starch
3 cups cold water
6 or 7 egg yolks depending on size - retain separated egg whites
2/3 cups fresh lemon juice
finely grated lemon rind from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
2 baked 9" pie crusts

For Meringue -

6 or 7 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
5 tablespoons sugar


In two bowls, separate yolks from 6 or 7 eggs depending on size of the egg. Slightly beat egg yolks.

In medium sauce pan combine sugar and corn starch. Gradually stir in water until smooth. Stir in slightly beaten egg yolks.  Stirring constantly, bring to boil over medium heat, boil 1 minute and remove from heat. Stir in next three ingredients; lemon rind, lemon juice, and butter.  Spoon the hot filling into the crusts. 

In mixing bowl add egg whites and cream of tartar, beat egg whites on high speed until foamy.  Gradually add in 5 tablespoons of sugar, one at a time, until stiff peaks form.

Spread meringue evenly over hot filling sealing to the fluted crust. Form peaks in meringue with back of spoon.

Bake at 350 degrees F in oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden.  Cool in oven with door open a little for 30 minutes.  Then take out and refrigerate.


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