For Lemon Filling:
- 5 large egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/3 cup (266 g) sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest (no fresh lemon on hand? Use about a tbsp more juice, it’s still yummy!)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan add cornstarch, sugar, salt, and water. Whisk to combine. Bring to a boil on medium heat, whisking constantly. Let simmer for a minute or two until the mixture begins to thicken.
- Once the cornstarch mixture has thickened well (consistency of pudding) remove from heat. Take a spoonful of the cornstarch mixture and whisk it into the beaten egg yolks to temper the yolks. Continue to whisk cornstarch mixture a spoonful at a time into the yolk mixture until you’ve used about half of the cornstarch mixture.
- Add the egg yolk mixture back to the pot with the cornstarch. Return to a boil, on medium to medium high heat, stirring constantly. Cook 3 to 4 minutes. (The starch will keep the eggs from curdling.)
- Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter.
For the Meringue:
- 5 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Allow the egg whites to reach room temperature.
- Pour egg whites into large, very clean bowl. Whip with stand mixer or hand mixer on high until glossy and smooth.
- Add cream of tartar while mixer is going to help the whites hold their shape.
- Slowly add in sugar about a tablespoon at a time, letting it get fully incorporated before adding more.
- Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Baking the whole thing:
Since this has a short bake time and the lemon filling is already cooked, blind baking is important. For this recipe, you want to get the crust almost done before you even add the filling. Preheat oven to 375* F and fill the crust with your beans or pie weights (on top of foil) about 2/3 of the way up. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights from the crust. Put the crust back in the oven for another 15 minutes until it’s just starting to get a bit golden.
Move oven rack to be near the top of the oven. Change heat to 325* F.
- Pour the hot lemon filling into the hot crust (reheat filling if necessary) and spread it evenly throughout the crust.
- Spread some of the meringue mixture around the edges on top of the lemon mixture. The crust will help anchor the meringue to the pie, so make sure it makes contact all the way around.
- Fill in the center of the pie with the rest of the meringue. Use the back of a spoon to swoop up into peaks all over the top of the meringue.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 325* on top rack, until peaks of meringue start to turn golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely on wire rack. This is best eaten the same day, but is still tasty (may just be a bit watery) for a couple days in the fridge.