Lemon Meringue Pie

I'm turning 25 on Sunday, yes a quarter CENTURY old.  How did that happen?  Where did the time go? What does this mean?

Since I was 7 I would tell my mom "I can't wait til I'm an adult.  Then you can't tell me what to do and I can do WHATEVER I WANT!"  Boy, how I wish I could take those words back.  Being an adult isn't all that it's cut out to be.  Frankly, it's stressful and partially confusing.   What happened to those wonderful days of allowances, despite the early curfews, those were really cool.  What happened to free room and board, what's with this having to pay rent business?

All that time I was trying so hard to grow up, I finally get here and I realize "Hey this kind of sucks."  These things called "bills" start to appear, and then taxes and insurance, mortgage payments, so on and so on.  Before I knew it, I had responsibilities and priorities, why isn't there a disclaimer for adulthood?

Though I just hopped on the adulthood bandwagon, this little voice inside of me is freaking out.  When you tell people "I'm 25" there are expectations!  By this time, people expect you to have your life in order (kind of).   My mother told me "You don't get any more birthday or Christmas presents once you turn 25, you're too old for that." UHM WHAT? Before I know it, it'll be time for kids, wrinkles, and cellulite, and probably in that order.

Okay with all jokes aside, growing up is actually pretty exciting-- I'm getting married next year, I'm moving into our first home in a few months, and I finally figured out the route I wanted to go for my career.  All very good things that I am extremely fortunate for, maybe turning 25 isn't that bad after all.

I decided to make this Lemon Meringue Pie, because I found some beautiful lemons at the store and well, it's my birthday week, I eat what I want :) I found this recipe on Epicurious, it was printed in an 1995 issue of Gourmet Magazine (r.i.p.)

For shell

  • 1 recipe Pastry Dough for a single-crust 9- to 10-inch pie
  • raw rice or pie weights for weighting shell

For filling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Line shell with wax paper and fill with rice or pie weights. Bake shell in middle of oven 10 minutes. Remove paper and rice carefully and bake shell until golden, about 12 minutes more. Cool shell in pie plate on a rack.

Lower oven temperature to 350°F.

Make meringue: In another bowl with an electric mixer beat egg whites with cream of tartar and a pinch of salt until they hold soft peaks. Beat in sugar in a slow stream, beating until meringue just holds stiff peaks.

Pour filling into shell and spread meringue on top, covering filling completely, sealing it to pastry. Draw meringue up into peaks and bake pie in middle of oven until meringue is golden, about 15 minutes.

A few tips on the pie:
  • Don't be an eager beaver and allow the pie to refrigerate for at LEAST 6 hours or preferably overnight -- or else the filling will still be runny
  • The filling is a bit sweet, so for those who want to reduce the sugar to 3/4 cups, feel free to do so.
  • Make sure your meringue is properly whipped, if you do not whip it enough the topping will become watery, if you over whip it it will be chunky.  The meringue should form stiff peaks, do the bowl test -- turn the bowl upside down and if the meringue's stick and do not drip, they are good to go.
  • Be sure to add the meringue to the filling while the filling is still warm and place the pie in the fridge AFTER it has cooled off or else you will have moisture collect on top of your pie.

Yesterday my mom stopped by to drop off my wedding photos from China, and as promised I will share a couple :).  Hope you guys have a great weekend and remember: When Life Gives You Lemons...Make Lemon Meringue Pie :)