Cooking | Citron Meringue Pie
Ah, the lemon. That wonderful canary-yellow fruit that rarely sees uses beyond flavoring water, creating ‘ades, or spritzing seafood.
Did you know that Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds to the New World? In the tropical heat of Hispaniola, lemon trees quickly blossomed. Before long, lemons were traveling the continent, taking root in plantations throughout balmy Florida and California.
There are over ten varieties of this lip-puckering citrus, such as Meyer’s and Ponderosa. Each type has its own distinctive and tangy flavor. A slice of lemon can not only save lives, but also rescue a potentially boring pasta dish (scurvy and shrimp linguine, respectfully).
So just imagine what a slice of lemon pie could do on a hot summer’s day?! My Citron Meringue Pie is not your typical lemon meringue. It’s more like a sweet curd crossed with fluffy egg whites and a lot of “oh my gosh, this is gooood!” Lucky for you, this recipe is a breeze to make, because friends and family will be begging you for more!
Note: You can always make your own graham cracker crust. But to save time, I prefer the ready-made kind. These shells don’t need any pre-baking either, unlike pastry crusts.
3 large eggs
1 ½ cans sweetened condensed milk (21 oz.)
½ cup fresh lemon juice
3 tbs sugar
1 9-inch graham cracker crust
1. Separate the eggs, placing the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another.
2. Whisk the egg yolks, then add the condensed milk and lemon juice. Whisk to combine and set aside.
3. Beat the egg whites until stiff, adding 1 tablespoon of sugar at a time. Scrape down the bowl as needed and beat for about 3 minutes. (Although hand mixers are easy to use, I found that my electric mixer did a better job.)
4. Pour the egg yolk and milk mixture into the crust. Then carefully spread the meringue over the top.
5. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes (or until the top is nicely browned).
6. Allow to cool at room temperature, then place in the refrigerator for 3 hours before serving. Serve cold.
Making the pie for a hoard of hungry kiddoes? Add some whimsy by topping with small graham cracker shapes, like teddy bears or circus animals. Baking it for Bunco night with the girls? Serve a slice alongside a glass of sparkling limóncello (homemade, of course!).
You’ll have some leftover sweetened condensed milk. If you don’t want to eat it right away, add a spoonful or two into your tea or coffee. Too warm for a hot drink? Go Thai by tossing ice into your coffee, adding a dash of regular milk, then a heaping spoonful of the condensed milk. Bliss!
Of course, you can always just simmer the leftover milk in a small pan and make dulce de leche – perfect to add on to…well, almost everything!