Best Lemon Meringue Pie
** Allow 5 hours preparation time if making the same day Preparation time: 30 minutes Chilling time: 3 1/2 hours Cooking time: 50 minutes Crust: Amount Measure Ingredient -------- ------- -------------------------------- 1 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup unsalted butter or vegetable shortening, cold 3 to 4 Tbl ice water 1 tsp sugar 1/4 tsp salt Filling: Amount Measure Ingredient -------- ------- -------------------------------- 9 egg yolks 1/2 cup sugar 3 Tbl sugar 1 cup fresh lemon juice 2 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind 1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 5o 5) pinch salt 1/2 cup sugar 1 Tbl sugar For crust, put flour into large bowl. Cut butter or shortening into flour with pastry blender until the dough resembles course crumbs. Mix 3 tablespoons water, sugar, and salt in small bowl; stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Gradually drizzle water over flour mixture while tossing with fork until pastry can be formed into a ball. Use additional tablespoon of water if necessary. Shape into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Roll pastry on lightly floured surface to fit a 10-inch pie pan or tart pan with removable bottom. Fit into pan, trim and flute edges. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Pierce bottom and sides with fork. Line pie shell with parchment paper and pie weights. Bake on lowest oven rack at 450 degrees for 12 minutes; remove parchment and weights. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Continue to bake until brown, about 10 minutes. Cook on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. For filling, whisk egg yolks and 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl until light; stir in lemon juice. Place over simmering water; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and heavily coats a spoon, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons of the lemon rind. Remove from heat. Remove and reserve 1/3 cup of the lemon filling for decoration/topping. Beat egg whites and salt in large mixer bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar until stiff, about 3 minutes (whites should be firm enough to support a raw egg). Beat in remaining lemon rind. Gently fold 1/2 of the whites into the warm lemon filling (do not overfold). Pour into prepared crust, slightly mounding in the center. Bake on center over rack at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove pie from oven. Filling will be firm to fingertips but slightly soft in center. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Fill large pastry bag fitted with a No. 5 star tube with remaining egg whites. Pipe lattice design (five stripes in diamond pattern) over baked filling. Bake on center over rack at 400 degrees until meringue browns, about 5 minutes. While hot, spoon reserved lemon filling into lattice diamonds. Cook on wire rack.
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