Saturday, September 7, 2013

Lemon Meringue Pie 101

My book club is today and our hostess is serving fried catfish.  Aren't we lucky!  So I’m making a lemon meringue pie for dessert because I thought it would go great with catfish. I thought I would give you a few tips today on making a simple beautiful lemon pie aka Lemon Pie 101. It is more about making it easy than completely homemade.  I always like to make it easy on myself when it tastes and looks just as good.

I’m lazy today and using a store bought crust and just following the direction to pre-bake it before filling it with the lemon filling.  I poked holes in the thawed crust and baked it for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.  Tip 1: I always use my timer so I don’t forget.  I always set it for just a little under what the directions say to be safe. In today's case, I set the timer for 10 minutes even though the directions said 11 to 14 and as you can see it was done in 10.  

Set your pie crust aside to cool while you make your pudding.  I’m also going the lazy way by using a store bought lemon pudding pie filling to fill it.  I bought a large Jello lemon pudding mix and followed their directions to make it.  Tip 2: Use a whisk and stir constantly as you are making the pudding.  Do not walk away.

Once it has thickened, strain it to make sure there are no lumps in it.  I just used a strainer while pouring it into the pie crust.  Tip 3:  Always strain any pudding.  It is a good rule to make sure it is smooth and not lumpy especially if it calls for eggs.


For a beautiful high meringue you need lots of egg whites.  When you make your pudding you usually put 3 eggs yokes in the pudding and set the egg white aside.  Three egg whites are not enough if you want a really high meringue.  Tip 4:  I like to use at least  6 large eggs.  Tip 5: Make sure the bowl you are using is very clean.  It can’t have any grease in it or your whites won’t whip as well.  I just use my hand mixer. Tip 6: Make sure you let the egg whites sit and they are at room temperature before you beat them.  Beat them until you get soft peaks.  Tip 7: Never over beat your eggs or they may break.  

When you have peaks, add a couple teaspoons of sugar and continue to beat.  I sample the meringue and taste for the sweetness I desire.  You do not need many spoonfuls.  I use 3 or 4.  Again, do not over beat.  Stop when you have nice peaks like below.  

Pile the meringue high on top of the pie covering the entire pie and just leaving a little crust for the edges. Do not let any of the lemon show. 

Put the meringue pie under the broiler, leaving the door open.  Tip 8: I sit in a chair in front of the oven and watch it because it only takes a minute or so.  Tip 9:  If it browns uneven, turn the pie or put the pie right up under the element to brown it evenly.  I put my pie on a cookie sheet so if I need to lift it, I put on an oven mitt and it allows me to put right under the heating element and direct the heat. 

Tip 10:  Do not refrigerate the pie or the pie will sweat and meringue may slide.

You can follow these tips and make a yummy chocolate meringue pie also. Just use a chocolate pudding mix you cook on the stove.

 Have a great Saturday, be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

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