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My dad loved this pie. It takes a little time to make, but it is an old American favorite without any gussying up.


  • 1 1/4 cups Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Fresh lemon juice
  • 3 lg Egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • One 8-inch pie shell; baked
  • 3 lg Egg whites; at room temp.
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup Plus 2 tablespoons sugar


  • For the filling, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a nonreactive saucepan.
  • Gradually add the water and lemon juice, stirring to make a smooth mixture.
  • Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • Boil 1 minute, still stirring, as it turns thick and clear, then remove from the heat.
  • Pour half the hot- mixture into the yolks, stirring constantly, then pour the mixture back into the pan, stirring to keep the eggs from scrambling.
  • Cook over low heat, stirring, a few minutes more. Stir in the butter and lemon zest.
  • Pour the lemon mixture into the baked pie shell and smooth with a spatula.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • To make the meringue, beat the egg whites in a large clean glass bowl with the cream of tartar.
  • When they make soft peaks, gradually add the sugar and continue until the meringue becomes stiff and glossy and the sugar crystals are dissolved (rub a little between your fingers to feel).
  • Spoon the meringue over the lemon filling, making sure the edges are covered and sealed (otherwise the filling will bubble out).
  • Smooth the meringue, then make peaks (or whatever design you wish) with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake until the surface is lightly browned, about 12 minutes.
  • Cool before serving; refrigerate if not serving right away.

Categories: Dessert  Pie  Tart 
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