I don't know why, but lemon meringue pie has always been my favourite. And any time I've had the craving, I've always resorted to the neon yellow instant pie version (confession: I've even purchased pre-made crusts - never again!) But this new discovery of homemade lemon meringue pie - from scratch! - has made it so that I may never be able to go back to instant again. This recipe is not for amateurs, but it is completely worth it if you have the time and patience. I will try to make it as easy as possible - in 3 steps. Let's do it!
What you'll need:
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1/4 cup finely crushed almonds
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 can evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup boiling water
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- juice of one lemon
- grated rind of one lemon
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 cup of sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
STEP 1: Crust
In the interest of not making this post too long, click here to see how to make an excellent gluten-free pie crust from my previous Pumpkin Pie post.
Stir in boiling water and boil over gentle heat. Watch as it magically thickens into a luscious custard (it will take about 5 minutes).
Once you've achieved custard status, remove from heat and add the egg yolks. Cook and stir over low heat for 2 more minutes, but do not boil.
Prepare your lemon juice and rinds (this is something can be done before you start the stovetop work).
Oh meringue... Meringue is a beautiful thing, but it is not always easy to achieve. I have experienced some major meringue flops; here are a few general tips I have discovered to achieving meringuey perfection:
- always use fresh eggs
- make sure egg whites are at room temperature
- stainless steel bowls work best (no plastic)
- avoid making meringue on high humidity days
- more is more: most recipes call for 2 egg whites - use 4 egg whites (you'll thank me later)
So to start, blend the 4 egg whites (2 from before, 2 new) on high until they become white and frothy.
Then, slowly start adding the 1/2 cup of white sugar, about a tablespoon at a time. As you blend, try to introduce air by raising and lowering the beaters, rotating the bowl as you do so.
Spread the meringue right to the edge of the crust with a spatula (this is key to sealing the pie), but try do it in as few strokes as possible (meringue tends to deflate the more it is touched). Then, place the pie in your preheated oven and back for about 10 minutes, or until the peaks become golden brown.
And here is our finished lemon meringue pie. Serve with lemon balm tea on a warm summer evening and enjoy!