you need this pie in your life. it’s basically a ray of sunshine in this otherwise gloomy af month. the days are definitely getting longer and for that i am thankful – i can’t even explain the feeling in my heart when i leave work at 5:30 and it’s LIGHT out- but i am greedy and need all of the sun and warmth and happiness right now.
so, because i can’t magically fast forward to april, and because i’m not about to start eating summer salads in the middle of winter (even if i’m trying to pretend like it’s warm out), a bright, tart lemon curd had to do the trick. beautiful tufts of meringue kind of look like fluffy clouds and a crispy crust brings this classic full circle.
i strongly suggest making this on friday since it’s supposed to get down to -20 below on saturday and you will one hundo percent craving something that will warm your heart and give you comfort. making it will bring you just as much joy as eating it; your kitchen will smell as bright and citrusy as it looks.
classic lemon meringue pie
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
3 tablespoons ice-cold water
•pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor with the cubed butter a couple of times until you have pieces the size of peas (you can also use forks, your hands or a pastry cutter; i’m just lazy and this keeps the butter the coldest)
•dump the flour out into a large bowl you can get your hands into. pour the water and mix, pressing the dough together to form a ball.
•wrap the ball tightly in plastic wrap, flatten into a disc and refrigerate for 30 minutes – hour (or overnight)
•roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface, turning a quarter turn every 2 rolls. press gently into a pie plate and trim overhang. line with parchment paper and baking weights or dried beans, and bake in a preheated oven at 350 until golden brown.
•remove and let cool slightly.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons butter, cubed
zest and juice of 2 lemons (i used 4 meyer lemons because that’s what i had on hand, and threw in the leftover half of the grapefruit i ate for breakfast -lol)
•combine sugar, cornstarch salt and 1 1/2 cups of water in a saucepan over medium low heat. whisk for about 3 minutes until liquid starts to thicken. remove from heat.
•transfer 2 tablespoons of the mixture to a bowl and whisk well with egg yolks. once mixed, add back to pot and heat over medium low heat, whisking constantly.
•cook for about 3 minutes, whisking until your arms get tired (but don’t stop! you don’t want the egg yolks to curdle – this is science doing it’s thing).
•remove from heat, stir in juice, zest and butter. transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, touching the wrap directly on the surface of the curd so that you don’t have to deal with that weird film thing when it cools.
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/3 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons of icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
•in a stand mixer, whisk egg whites until foamy. add sugars and cream of tartar and mix until stiff peaks form (again, science being cool af and blowing my mind).
•pour the slightly cooled curd into the prepared crust. top with meringue, creating pretty swirls as you spread it out. push it as close to the crust as you can because it will shrink like mine did and pull away from the crust 🙁
•bake in over for 15 minutes at 325 degrees. then turn broiler on AND MAKE SURE YOU WATCH VERY CAREFULLY so that your meringue doesn’t burn (trust me, i went upstairs for literally one second, and destroyed my first pie. it was a very, very sad moment and i don’t want you to be sad). remove and let cool as soon as the top starts to turn golden brown.
•let cool to room temperature before cutting so that your curd has time to set. then devour!!!