Lemon Meringue Pie
Summers on the farm in Minnesota had three things in great quantities heat, humidity and eggs.
Each spring we would get baby chickens to be raised for meat and eggs. The small domed roof building where chicks were housed in was called a “brooder house.” There they grew from day old little bundles of fluff that could fit into the palm of your hand into the large fryers that would feed our family through the winter.
Roosters became fryers and hens egg layers.
The hen house where the eggs were laid was down to the west of the great red barn behind the several stories high large grey silo.
I have memories of picking eggs with my grandpa and of being so timid the first times I put my small hand into those straw filled nests. I also remember how much it smarts when an angry hen pecks you on the back of the hand.
Life has many learning experiences and avoiding hen pecks is a good lesson to master early in life. The best way to avoid a hand injury by an angry hen is to gently toss her out of the nest before you try to pick her egg.
After the eggs were gathered, they would be washed and stored in a cool place until they were sold, eaten or used in a favorite recipe.
This recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie is a cool way to help beat the heat and use up some of those extra eggs. This lemon filling is basically lemon curd and can be used in other recipes.
Lemon Meringue Pie
Pastry for 9-inch pie crust:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cold butter, cut into teaspoon-sized chunks
¼ cup ice water
In a medium-sized bowl mixing bowl add salt to flour and mix, cut in cold butter with fork or pastry cutter until the mixer is combined to the point where is slightly yellow, but there are still pea-sized butter pieces.
Add ice cold water one tablespoon at a time until dough forms and can be shaped into a ball.
Chill for at least 4 hours.
Roll out, place in pie pan and crimp edges. Prick bottom of pie with fork.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until lightly browned.
1 ½ cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 ½ cup water
3 eggs yolks, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
3 egg whites
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
In a large clean metal bowl with an electric mixer beat today the egg whites with the cream of tartar until frothy. With mixer running, slowly add in the sugar. Continue beating on high until the meringue makes stiff peaks and is glossy.
Spread meringue over the top of the pie, being sure to spread the meringue to the the edge of the pie crust sealing pie. Return to the oven for about 10 minutes until meringue is lightly browned.
Chill before serving.