Everything starts with the best pie crust (thanks Mom) that I have been making since I started baking in my 20’s. Don’t over work it, as soon as it holds mostly together, you are done.
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup lard
Mix together with a pastry cutter until crumbly.
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup water
Whisk the egg into the water and add to the dry ingredients, combine. Divide into two equal portions (bottom crust and top crust).
Roll out on a lightly floured surface to fit your pie pan. For a precooked crust, prick the entire surface of the crust with a fork, weight it with pie crust weights on a round of parchment paper or use rice in tin foil, whatever you have on hand. Cook at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove weights and cool.
This pastry freezes very well. I like to have a few crusts in plastic wrap in the freezer at all times, you never know when a pie will happen.
On to the filling.
This recipe was easy, with a lot of whisking (read, upper body workout).
I am not fond of the texture given by corn starch so used arrow root instead.
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 TBSP flour
- 3 TBSP arrow root
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 2 lemons, juice(1/2 cup) and zested (1 TBSP)
- 2 TBSP butter
- 4 egg yolks beaten
- 4 egg whites
- 6 TBSP white sugar
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a pot and heat on medium-high. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Stir in butter. Temper the egg yolks by adding a 1/2 cup of the hot mixture to the yolks, gradually while whisking. Now you can add the egg mix back into the hot pot and bring to a boil again. Continue stirring constantly until it becomes thick. This can take a while, be patient. When you are happy with your effort, pour into the cooled pie shell.
The meringue is easy. Beat the 4 whites until soft peaks form, slowly add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. The fun is using your hands to gently “pick” the meringue into beautiful peaks around the pie. I absolutely love getting into it, plus it looks great.
Cool on the counter for an hour then in the fridge, with a tin foil cap, for 2-3 hours before you cut it. This pie filling gives you a pie that is about 1/2 inch thick. There are options to use milk and double the filling mixture, also to add a little more sugar as it is on the tart side. Play with it as you wish, you really can’t go wrong with lemon pie.
Ours won’t make tomorrow 🙂
Here is the link to the recipe: