Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie

Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon meringue pie is known for it’s tart filling and it’s light, fluffy meringue topping that contrasts so well with the tart lemon below. Meyer lemons don’t have that same level of tartness, although the still have a strong lemon flavor to them. When you use them in a recipe like this one, you end up with a pie that is much mellower and sweeter than a traditional lemon meringue. I like it for a change of pace, and as a way to use up some of my meyer lemons!

In a regular lemon meringue pie, I don’t often add other flavors into the pie custard because I want the tartness of the lemon lemon to come through clearly. With this pie, I add in some vanilla extract and put both lemon zest and vanilla into the meringue. This gives the pie a lovely lemon flavor overall, but plays up the mellowness of the meyer lemons with the introduction of vanilla. Since the same flavors are in the meringue and the custard, you get still more flavor but with a a big contrast in textures between the fluffy meringue and dense lemon custard.

This pie recipe makes a very thick lemon custard for the base of the pie. This means that it will slice easily and hold its shape without oozing all over the plate. The pie still has a very tender texture to it, despite its firmness, so it doesn’t feel like you’re eating a pie that has been stabilized with gelatin, either. The meringue for this pie is cooked by streaming hot sugar syrup into beaten egg whites. This method of making meringue results in one that is very stable and won’t deflate or “sweat” easily. I browned mine by putting it under the broiler for a few minutes, but a kitchen torch will work just as well.

Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie
1 9-inch pie crust, prebaked and cooled
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup fresh meyer lemon juice, strained
1 tbsp meyer lemon zest
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Meringue
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp water
4 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp meyer lemon zest

In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, flour, salt and water. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring with a whisk, for about 3 minutes, until quite thick. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, combine egg yolks with meyer lemon juice and lemon zest.
Gradually temper egg yolks by streaming about 1 cup of the sugar mixture as you whisk constantly. Return saucepan to the heat and, whisking continuously, stream in lemon mixture. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract.
Pour into prepared crust.
Allow to cool completely to room temperature.

One filling has cooled, preheat oven to 425 F or turn on the broiler.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Beat in cream of tartar and beat at high speed until egg whites almost reach soft peaks.
In a small saucepan or small skillet, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil and turn heat to very low.
Turn the mixer on to medium to fluff up the egg whites, then stream in sugar syrup and beat egg whites to medium stiff peaks. Beat in vanilla and lemon zest.
Spoon meringue onto pie filling and make sure to completely seal the edges with the crust, leaving no filling exposed.
Bake for 4-7 minutes, until meringue is lightly browned.

Makes 1 pie.

9 comments

  1. I love meyer lemons. That looks great

  2. Yum! I have craved lemon anything so much during my pregnancy, and you’ve brought it out in me again:)

  3. Mmm. Now I’m craving all things lemon. I’ve never made lemon meringue pie before, maybe I should.

  4. I would like to see a slice of this and how the insides looked.

    I never heard of Meyer lemons. Thanks for the tips.

    I wonder if my country store carries these lemons.

  5. I made this pie yesterday and it is hands down THE best pie in any catagory I ever baked or even tasted!
    I used “Perfect Pie Crust” recipe from the Pioneer Womans blog. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/12/p-p-p-pie_crust_and_its_p-p-p-perfect/
    The filling has the most wonderful mellow flavor I have ever had in a lemon pie. The meringue did not shrink and the pie did not weep when put in the refrigerator overnight. The filling held its shape when sliced. The bottom crust is still crisp and flakey the next day. I just can’t say enough good things about this pie!

  6. I grew up very poor in the 70′s and 80′s , our next door neighbor was this older black lady who was very nice to my family. We used to always borrow food from her because my parents didn’t have any money.. One of the best memories I have of her was in 1989 I was 15years old living alone in a vacant house because both of my parent were gone (another story) and on my birthday she made me a whole lemon meringue pies… To this day that pie was the best pie I’ve ever tasted. I never knew how she made that pie because it was sooo good but one thing I do know is it was made from love..

  7. I started out with a key lime pie recipe & ended up with an lime,orange, coconut meringue pie with an oreo crust! Gotta love a happy accident!

    http://fisilis.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/paradise-meringue-pie/

  8. I made this yesterday for a dinner party as I found a bag of meyer lemons at my fruit market. It is a great recipe but make sure you have all ingredients ready to go as the curd comes together quickly. I also think that 3 egg whites is enough for the meringue. I used the leftovers to make meringue cookies, which were great. Nice pie, holds it’s shape well when cut. I also cut the sugar in the filling to 3/4 cup. Thanks for this recipe.

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