Our recipe tester's grandmother Josephine Rege has been making her version of lemon angel pie for more than 60 years. We updated her recipe, and the result became an instant Martha (and test-kitchen) favorite.
This recipe is one of our Better Basics: 10 New Takes on Family Favorites, see the others.
It's hard to imagine a piecrust that scales
back on butter and shortening, but our retooled version does just that, using more modest amounts (tablespoons instead of sticks or cups)
each ingredient. Picking up the slack is nonfat buttermilk, whose acidity helps make the dough tender. A little toasted
wheat germ adds texture and a slight nuttiness to the crust. But the highlight is the ethereal filling, which bursts with lemon juice
and ginger and is topped by a swirly cloud of meringue. So help yourself to a slice of heaven -- or even a generous wedge.
Room-temperature egg whites will produce the most voluminous meringue. For just the right texture, whip the whites until they hold stiff, glossy peaks -- but keep the mixture still spreadable enough that you can make decorative swirls in it as you top the pie.
This petite pie-for-one is baked in a tender, crumbly pate sucree crust. Blood orange juice provides
the tart berries with a mild sweetness. The individual desserts can be assembled and baked a day ahead;
add the meringue just before serving for the freshest presentation.
This recipe comes courtesy of Diane Rasberry of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She says the chocolate filling of this pie is balanced out by the not-too-sweet meringue topping. Pick up a crust at the store, or bake Our Favorite Pie Crust. Spread the meringue to the crust's edge so that it seals and doesn't shrink.