Meringue bakes 20 minutes at 325 F.
If this pie was any better than it is I would have to kill myself. You have to pay attention making this pie. Take the phone off the hook.
The key to a heaped meringue with a vaulted dome is that the filling be hot right out of the oven when the Meringue top is assembled. The meringue then cooks from the top oven heat, and from the bottom, from the heat of the filling. I start the filling 10 -15 minutes before the crust shell is due from the oven. When the filling is in preparation, all the ingredients for the meringue need be pre-measured; the cornstarch for stabilization of the meringue is also already prepared. You will need a small pastry brush to anchor the meringue to the crust.
Prepare and measure out ingredients for meringue topping. Separate eggs and allow them to come to room temperature. Prepare and pre-bake a bottom piecrust first. Prepare stabilization mixture (see meringue below.) 15-20 Minutes into the baking of the crust, start the filling.
Prepare and pre-bake a 9 inch bottom piecrust, in a 325 F oven. Prick the crust with a fork all over. Cover the crust with tin foil, shinny side down. Fill pie with uncooked dry beans, rice or pie weights, especially the sides. Bake 20 minutes, carefully remove weights and foil, bake 5-10 minutes more until golden brown.
Whisk thoroughly in a medium saucepan
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter below)
Whisk and blend with:
1 1/2 cups water
Start with 1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
4 teaspoons of finely chopped or grated lemon zest
Taste and add additional lemon until just quite tart.
Whisk in the yolks of 5 eggs until creamy. ((Keep the egg whites for the Meringue)) Add room temperature sweet butter (1/2 stick); cut up in small bits to aid blending.
Whisk continuously over medium heat to a simmer then cook 1 additional minute until the filling is thick. Pour the filling into the hot shell. If the meringue is not immediately available, cover with plastic wrap to prevent a crust layer from forming. The plastic wrap may later be removed when ready for meringue topping.
Starch Stabilized Meringue
Prepare this first, allowing ample time for this to cool.
In a small saucepan, mix one tablespoon each of cornstarch and sugar. Stir in 1/3 cup of water. Heat on medium, stirring continuously; allow thickening into a clear paste by allowing it to boil 15 seconds. Cover, cool, and set aside.
Combine 5 egg white, 1-teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon of Cream of tartar
Beat until soft peaks. Gradually add 1/2 cup of super fine sugar. Beat until stiff peaks but not until dry. Reduce speed to slow, adding a tablespoon at a time of Cornstarch mixture until all incorporated. Beat on high for ten seconds. With a brush, brush some meringue all around edge of hot pie crust. Use a spatula; wipe some meringue all around edge of hot pie, the heap on balance of meringue, spoon with a large cake knife to a dome. Center in middle of oven. Bake 20 minutes at 325 or until golden peaks are done.
- This pie can me made as a Key lime pie using Key Lime juice. The Key lime is an Asian citrus species generally smaller in diameter and has more seeds than the common lime. The Key lime is yellow when ripe but usually available green commercially. It is more tart and and has a slightly bitter flavor. A true adult plant can be successfully propagated from wet seeds taken from its fruit.
- Meyer lemons are sweeter and much less acidic tasting than regular lemons.