It's hard to believe that I have never posted a recipe for my favorite pie. But when I came home from the 8th grade camping trip with leftover Meyer lemons that we had grabbed from my mom and dad's tree, I decided it was time to remedy that.
Now, I love a lemon meringue pie in all its variations, but my favorite is when it's made with Meyer lemons. In case you're not familiar with these beautiful citrus, here's a little bit about them.
Meyer lemons were first introduced to the United States - from China - in the early 1900s by namesake Frank Meyer. A cross between a lemon and a mandarin (orange), the fruit has smooth, golden skin that can be as deeply hued as a farmhouse egg yolk. The rind is thin and the amount of juice contained inside is astounding. Additionally, the juice lacks the acidic bite of a regular lemon though it's big on sweet and tart. It's an amazing flavor.
Ingredients makes one 9" pie
- 1-1/4 C flour
- 1-1/2 t organic granulated sugar
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 C butter (1 stick), cubed
- 1 t pure lemon extract
- 1/8 C water
- 1/8 C gin or vodka (or you can use all water if you prefer not to use gin or vodka)
- 4 eggs, separated (reserve the egg whites for the meringue)
- 5 T flour
- 1 C water
- 1 C organic granulated sugar
- 1 C freshly squeezed lemon juice (this was approximately 8 Meyer lemons)
- zest from 4 organic Meyer lemons
- 3 T butter
- 4 egg whites
- 2 T organic granulated sugar
In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the butter cubes and pulse until chunks the size of small peas form. Pour in lemon extract, water, and gin. Pulse, again, till the dough comes together in a ball. Turn out the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and knead 2 to 3 times. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, approximately 1 hour.
Roll crust out between two pieces of parchment paper. Transfer to your pie pan. Trim and shape the edges. Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of your crust and add pie weights, dried beans, or a handful of uncooked rice; I used rice because I couldn't find my pie weights.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Pre-bake the pie crust for 20 to 22 minutes. The crust should be firm and slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Whisk egg yolks in medium mixing bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together water and sugar. Turn heat on medium and, stirring frequently, bring mixture to a boil. Boil for one minute. Add 1 ladle-full of the syrup to the egg yolks to temper them, then pour the remaining eggs into the syrup. Cook for another minute.
Remove from heat and gently stir in lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter until well combined. Whisk in the flour so there are no clumps, then return to the stove, over low heat, and cook until the mixture thickens to a curd consistency.
Pour the filling into the baked pie shell and set aside. Work quickly to make the meringue.
Place egg whites in a clean medium mixing bowl. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon the meringue over the filling, making sure that the meringue reaches all the way to the edge of the crust. Use a spoon to make some peaks in the meringue as the tops will brown nicely while the low spots will stay white.
Place the pie back in the oven. Bake until meringue is golden, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Make sure pie is completely cool before slicing.