Flaky butter crust, marshmallowy meringue and a perfectly tart filling made with fresh lemons are what make this traditional pie a perennial favorite.
Story Behind the Recipe
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1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold Land O Lakes® Butter
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups water
4 large Land O Lakes® Eggs (yolks only), whites reserved, yolks beaten
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Butter
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
4 large Land O Lakes® Eggs (whites only)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
Heat oven to 475°F.
Combine flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt in bowl; cut in 6 tablespoons butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in enough cold water with fork just until flour is moistened. Shape into ball; flatten slightly.
Roll out ball of dough on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle. Fold into quarters. Place dough into 9-inch pie pan; unfold, pressing firmly against bottom and sides. Trim crust to 1/2 inch from edge of pan; crimp or flute edge. Prick bottom and sides of crust with fork. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool; set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
Combine 1 1/4 cups sugar, cornstarch and 1/4 teaspoon salt in 2-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 7-9 minutes or until mixture comes to a full boil. Boil 1 minute. Gradually stir 1/2 cup sugar mixture into beaten egg yolks with whisk. Gradually stir egg mixture into remaining hot mixture. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, 2-3 minutes or until mixture reaches 160°F and is thickened. Whisk in lemon juice, 3 tablespoons butter and lemon zest. Remove from heat; set aside.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in bowl at low speed until foamy. Beat at high speed, gradually adding 1/2 cup sugar, 3-4 minutes or until stiff peaks form and mixture is glossy. Pour hot filling into baked pie shell. Spread meringue over hot filling, completely sealing to edge of crust and mounding slightly in center.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until meringue reaches 160°F and is lightly browned. Cool at room temperature 1-2 hours. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Store refrigerated.
Read the Story Behind the Recipe
Overcooking the filling can result in a pie that is runny and won't set up. After stirring egg yolk and filling mixture back into saucepan, check temperature immediately. If it has reached 160°F, immediately whisk in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter and remove from heat.
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