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Lemon Meringue Pie

My father loves lemon meringue pie. Apparently, so does a certain little black cat who lives next door.

I slipped the birthday pie off my mom’s counter and onto the back porch for a clandestine photo shoot before the celebratory dinner. And within seconds got busted by a five-pound trouble maker.

I managed to shoo the cat away before she did any damage, but I was aiming for something more like this:

See, no teeth  marks.

This creamy, tart pie is my father’s favourite dessert. Bar none. It’s not fancy or complicated. It doesn’t call for exotic or hard-to-get ingredients. It’s just a dependable, no-fail recipe that delivers every time.

Normally, something this good is a  well-guarded family secret, but this recipe has been around for decades and can be found in any pie book worth owning.  If you like lemon, you’ll love this. If you’re iffy on lemon, this might convert you. Everybody we know loves it.

Even the cat.

Got a family favourite you care to share? Pie, cookies, savory? Feel free to include a link. My stove still isn’t hooked up and I’m looking for inspiration.

Classic Lemon Pie

Make 1 pie

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 8″ baked pastry shell
  • 15 oz can sweetened condensed milk (low fat is fine)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed, NOT bottled, it will taste metallic)
  • 1 tbsp lemon rind
  • 2 egg yolks
  1. Combine condensed milk, lemon juice, rind and yolks.
  2. Pour filling into baked pie shell.

Meringue:

  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Whip whites with cream of tartar, adding sugar 1 tbsp at a time. Whip until stiff peaks form.
  3. Pile meringue on top of pie and bake 15 minutes at 325F. The meringue should be golden.
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0 Responses to Lemon Meringue Pie

  1. Cheryl April 20, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Your beautiful pie and stunning photo are ALMOST enough to make me like lemon meringue. Almost. But that black cat is not enough to make me like cats. Do you still want to be my friend?
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..Getaway =-.

    • Charmian Christie April 20, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

      @Cheryl, yes. I will be still be your friend. As long as you don’t force beets upon me or try to make me like spiders. Or ferrets.

      And I think you would like this lemon pie. You can scrape the meringue off if you like. Even leave the crust in the plate if you wish. But the filling will seduce you. Promise.

  2. Debbie April 20, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    Your pie looks deeeelish! Lemon meringue is my favorite and my dad’s too. I always make my own, but I’ve never used condensed milk. Seems very strange to me. Does this make the filling “cloudy”. It does seem alot easier than my method, where you have to stand at the stove and stir and stir till the mixture thinkens up. Maybe I’ll try this sometime.

    Just a hint regarding the cream of tartar. I used to leave it out all the time, (’cause I didn’t have any and it’s only calls for a 1/4 tsp. so it won’t be noticed if I don’t put it in)…WRONG. It really helps make the meringue fluff up.

    P.S. I don’t like cats, beets or mayo.

    • Charmian Christie April 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

      @Debbie, think of this as a lemon version of Key Lime pie. I prefer to call it “creamy”, but compared to the stove top version, it will look pale and cloudy — but it’s a lot less time consuming and never rubbery (which can happen with stove top versions).

      Thanks for vouching for cream of tartar. I hope your testimonial convinces some of the skeptics. I know they’re out there!

  3. Cheryl Arkison April 20, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    Lemon meringue is my Dad’s favourite too!

    Cats are not me favourite either, Cheryl.

    Family recipes? I’ve got fish tacos on the brain lately – no stove required – thinking about our family trip to Mexico. Stopping at the fish market on the way home!
    .-= Cheryl Arkison´s last blog ..Mmm, Pizza =-.

    • Amy P April 21, 2010 at 10:11 am #

      @Cheryl Arkison, Lemon pie and fish tacos! Two of my favourites! I’ll admit going on jags for both. One working trip to San Diego, I ate fish tacos for every meal except breakfast, and sometimes for snacks in between meals. I think it was over 30 fish tacos by the end of the week, including a side trip to Tijuana for fish tacos.

      Real lemon pie, oh boy! I was raised by a lemon-pie-from-a-box mother. Might as well eat yellow rubber. Real lemon pie was a revelation. Mmmm!

  4. Cherine April 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    this pie looks amazing!!

    • Charmian Christie April 23, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

      @Cherine, thanks! If you try it, I’d love to know how it turns out for you.

  5. Sophie April 22, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    hello!

    Your lemon meringue pie looks just stunning! I just added an extra link & a 2nd comment on your grilled Welsh cakes! Check it out!
    .-= Sophie´s last blog ..Spinach & ricotta filled large mushrooms topped with Parmesan cheese =-.

    • Charmian Christie April 23, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

      @Sophie, thanks for putting the link to the Welsh cakes.

      Meringue topped pies always look wonderful — no matter what’s underneath. And I assure you, this lemon pie tastes so good it doesn’t need the fancy topping. Hope you like the results if you try it.

  6. Lisa MacColl April 23, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    My mother also made lemon pie from a box. I ate the meringue.

    Lemon Meringue pie was my go-to, never fail, full proof dessert. (I can make a really good piecrust) The first time I cooked for my husband (then boyfriend) lemon pie was my close-the-deal dessert. Only problem was, the kitchen was hot and the pie didn’t set. When I cut into it, I had lemon meringue puddle. I was mortified. He shrugged, grabbed a spoon and ate 2nds. I married him.

    • Charmian Christie April 23, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

      @Lisa MacColl, any man who can eat not one but two helpings of lemon meringue puddle is marriage material.

  7. Tara January 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    I tried a recipe exactly like this. The filling tastes delightful, but is runny. Do you know what I may have done wrong?

    • Charmian Christie January 3, 2011 at 8:42 am #

      @Tara, thanks for writing. This one has me stumped. I’ve made this recipe many, many, many times (it’s my father’s favourite) and haven’t had an issue with it being runny. My best friend once made it with evaporated milk, not condensed milk — and it was a disaster. You did use sweetened condensed milk, right?

      Other than that, I’m completely at a loss as to why your pie was runny. Humidity would effect the meringue, but it shouldn’t make the pie runny.

      Sorry I can’t be more helpful. If anyone out there has suggestions, let me know! I’m very curious.

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