Since today is Saturday and G.’s out on tunings for the afternoon, I harkened back to an inspiration that I had the other night – a lemon meringue pie which I didn’t have enough time to make. Turns out also that as a substitute for cream of tartar in the spice cabinet, you can add a little fresh lemon juice as an alternative.
So after lunch today, I took out my batch of meyer lemons, made lemon zest on the microplane and squeezed half a cup of fresh meyer lemon juice. This is the same proportion of zest and juice that I use in making key lime pie (but with limes, of course) but the zest and the fresh juice make all the difference.
I separated 4 eggs and removed the little bubble of white egg stuff from the yolks and from the whites which I kept in a separate stainless bowl to whip up later. Put 3 tablespoons of butter into the microwave to melt to add along with the lemon juice and zest.
Into a clean pan, I heated up a cup and a half of granulated sugar, 1/3 cup of corn starch and a cup and a half of distilled water. This mixture thickened after a few minutes of constant stirring. I added a little of it into the stirred egg yolks, then added it back into the mixture, making sure that the mixture was mixed well with a small hand whisk, mixing until well combined. The pan was off the heat for the egg yolk combining – added the melted butter, fresh lemon juice and lemon zest, mixing well but gently.
With a whipping attachment on the hand mixer, I beat the egg whites, adding six scant tablespoons of sugar gradually and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (to replace the cream of tartar) until it was thick and stood up on its own.
Meanwhile, the prepared pie crust had been baking for about 12 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Lightly browned, I poured the warm filling into the pie crust. Then, I scooped up the meringue and made swirls on to the pie, making sure the egg whites extended to the crust.
Back into the 400 degree oven for about eight minutes until the meringue was lightly browned. Can’t wait for G. to see it – and for us to enjoy it for dessert tonight!
P.S. the lemon custard was a little runny when we cut the pie to take some next door. It was still warm and had been sitting on the table since it was taken out of the oven. I put it in the fridge to chill and by evening, the filling stayed in place – and the pie was delicious!