Updated: Jul 16
Lemon Meringue Pie
Want to make this vegan? Sub the butter in the dough and filling for your favorite plant butter and use Just egg in the filling. You can use aquafaba for the meringue or whipped coconut cream. I've made this vegan and it is SO good!
Flaky Pie Dough
Makes enough for 1 9 inch double-crust pie or 2 single 9-inch pies
This recipe froEggm my grandmother, Eloise, was made with 100% lard. She would sometimes adapt it and use 50% lard, and 50% butter. Feel free to use what suits you - I prefer all butter. She never measured when she made it and that is how I learned to bake. As a teenager, I sat with her and measured many recipes as she made them. Baking with her is where my love of food comes from, and planted a seed that I wanted this to be my career.
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
2 tablespoons vinegar
6-7 tablespoons ice water, removing ice before using
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
Add in butter, and using a pastry blender or your hands, work the butter until in small pea size pieces.
Using a fork, stir in the vinegar. Add water 2 tablespoons at a time and mix until just combined. If the mixture appears dry, add in 1-2 more tablespoons of water.
Divide the dough in half and flatten it into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight. If you aren’t making two pies, freeze the 2nd half for a later time.
To roll and bake dough:
Using as much flour as needed, roll into a 12-inch circle and drape across a 9-inch pie plate. Dust off excess flour with a pastry brush. Gently press the dough into the bottom of the pie shell. With scissors or kitchen shears, trim the edge so that it overhangs by approximately 1 1/2 inches all around. Fold the overhang under itself to create a border that sits atop the rim of the pan. Crimp or shape crust as desired. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
To Blind-Baked Pie: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 400°F. Line chilled pie shell with a large sheet of aluminum foil, pressing so it conforms to the curves of the plate (a second sheet of aluminum may be needed for full coverage). Fill almost to the brim with pie weights or rice, transfer to a half-sheet pan, and bake until fully set and golden around the edges, 40-45 minutes. Fold long sides of foil toward the middle, gather short sides, and use both hands to carefully transfer pie weights to a heat-safe bowl.
Lower oven temperature to 350°F. Continue baking the crust a few minutes more to brown the bottom of the pie dough.
Pie Dough Tips
All ingredients should be cold.
Butter should only be worked until about the size of a pea or a smashed pea. YOU WANT TO SEE PIECES OF BUTTER
Once you add the water, you need at least ½ added, but you may not use all of it. It depends on how much you have worked in the butter.
When adding the water, do not overmix - it will make the dough tough and it will shrink back. This means DO NOT KNEAD the dough.
When you are finished, flatten the dough. If you are rolling the dough into a circle, make it a circle. If you are rolling the dough into a rectangle - shape it into a rectangle.
Allow the dough to rest for at least one hour in the refrigerator. This helps the flour hydrate, the butter resolidify, and the gluten relax.
When you roll the dough - lightly flour your surface and the top of the dough. Make sure every time you roll, you pick up the dough and rotate the dough to make sure it isnt sticking.
Refrigerate or freeze the dough before baking.
Lemon Pie Filling:
I don't know what recipe my grandmother used before I was born, and I’m not sure when she began using this one, but this is from a magazine clipping she kept in one of her cookbooks.
1 ½ cups sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
⅛ teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
1 ¾ cups water
½ cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325°F.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in egg yolks, water, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture thickens, about 9 minutes. Bring to a boil, and constantly whisk for one more minute. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla until smooth. Pour into pie crust.
6 egg whites
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer just until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 minutes). Add vanilla, beating well.
Spread meringue over hot filling, sealing the edges.
Bake at 325°F for 20 minutes or until meringue peaks are lightly browned. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Store in refrigerator.