As summer fades into fall, thoughts of baked sweets and treats are on our mind. One great dessert that shines, regardless of the season, is lemon meringue pie. This recipe is an adaptation of Alice Water’s pie from the New York Times in 1987. Slightly sweeter and more fragrant than a regular lemon, the Meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and a sweet orange, and originally were grown in China. The skin is thinner, and edible, and they make for a wonderful alternative to your usual lemons in desserts and other recipes that call for citrus. If Meyer lemons aren’t in season, regular lemons with lots of juice will work in this recipe, as well.
Pair this lemon meringue pie with our Snowbirds Vintners 2016 Rhône-style Rosé for a decadent finish to your meal.
Pastry for one 9 inch pie crust
MILE HIGH MERINGUE:
For the Crust:
Roll out your dough to fit a 9 inch pie pan. Place in pan, forming the crust edge as desired.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the pie crust with parchment paper, fill with dried beans, bake for 20 minutes, or until no longer glossy. Remove the beans and parchment paper, turn the heat down to 350, and continue baking until the pie crust is golden, about 10 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool, leaving the oven on.
Make the Pie Filling:
Grate the zest from the lemons into a small bowl. Strain in the lemon juice, ensuring no seeds are present, then press the fruit to squeeze out the lemon pulp.
In a heavy medium saucepan, beat the eggs, the egg yolks, and the sugar until combined. Stir in the lemon juice, zest, and pulp, 6 tablespoons of butter, and sea salt.
Cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. It should coat a spoon, and not be runny. Remove from heat, and press through a mesh sieve to remove any chunks. Allow to stand five minutes, then whisk until smooth, set aside to cool slightly.
Spread the prepared filling in the pie crust shell, bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the filling is just set. Remove the pie, and increase the oven heat to 375 degrees again.
Make the Meringue:
To make the meringue, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar, and continue whipping until soft, rounded peaks form. Beat in the superfine sugar and vanilla extract.
Spread or pipe in the meringue over the filling, making sure it meets the edges of the crust to create a nice seal. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the meringue is lightly browned on the top. You can also use a culinary torch for a more ‘toasted’ look, if desired.
Allow to cool completely, from one to two hours, but do not refrigerate.