Lemon Meringue Pie with Short Bread Crust

Trending as the number one comeback dessert this year, I have found memories of my mother letting me stir My-T-Fine lemon pudding mix until the little thickening pearl dissolved as she prepared this pie for many visitors. Needless to say I make my own tart filling, but the pie is still a go to for entertaining. 

SHORTBREAD CRUST

INGREDIENTS: 

1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup finely ground shortbread cookie

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium high speed for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add flour and ground cookies to the mixture and blend for 3-4 seconds until fully incorporated.
  3. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  4. Bake the crust at 350° F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. Allow the crust to cool completely.

LEMON FILLING

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup of white sugar

3 tablespoons corn starch

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 egss

2 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups of water, whisking until smooth. Cook, whisking occasionally, over medium-high heat until thick and bubbly. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Separate egg whites and yolks and set the whites aside. Whisk the yolks briefly. Slowly add one cup of the hot filling to the yolks, whisking to combine. (Make sure you go slow here, you don't want to scramble the eggs.) Add the yolks to the pot with the filling and cook, whisking for 2 more minutes.
  3. Add the butter, lemon peel and lemon juice. Stir to combine and set aside.
  4. After you make the meringue, reheat the filling before pouring it into the pie crust.

MERINGUE

INGREDIENTS: 

5 egg whits (use the three from the filling plus two extra)

10 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon corn starch

1/8 teaspoon white wine vinegar

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Using an electric beater, beat egg whites in a large bowl on high speed until they are frothy and soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat until stiff glossy peaks form. Add the cornstarch and vinegar and beat to combine. (note- you may substitute 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar for the vinegar and cornstarch.

ASSEMBLE THE PIE

  1. Pour hot lemon filling into prepared pie crust. Spread meringue evenly over the top, starting at the edges and working your way to the center. Make sure that the meringue comes all the way to the edges to prevent it from shrinking.
  2. Bake in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the top of the meringue starts to brown.
  3. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.

Culinary Director

As the Culinary Director for ABC 7, I whip up cooking segments on ABC 7 News at Noon, along with recipes, cooking tips, reviews and great food finds on MySuncoast Dining at www.mysuncoast.com