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Mile-High Lemon Pie

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This whimsical pie sets the bar high for taste and appearance: It has a zesty lemon filling -- Martha's favorite -- a flaky pate brisee base, and a glossy Swiss meringue crown.

  • Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1994/1995

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • Pate Brisee (Pie Dough) Pate Brisee for Plum Crumb Pie
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon rind
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 7 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch, and use to line a 9-inch pie tin. Crimp the edges decoratively. Chill until firm. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and cream to make a glaze. Prick the bottom of the shell with a fork, brush the top edges with the glaze, and line with parchment paper. Weight the shell with pie weights or dried beans, and bake until the edges begin to brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove paper and weights; continue baking until golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes more. Let cool.

  2. To make filling, combine cornstarch, cake flour, salt, and sugar in a medium nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add 2 cups cold water. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, about 4 minutes.

  3. Remove the pan from heat. Temper egg yolks by beating a small amount of hot mixture into the yolks before adding them to pan. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes.

  4. Remove the pan from heat, and whisk in the lemon juice and rind. Add the butter one piece at a time. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, and let cool.

  5. Pour the filling into the cooled shell and refrigerate, covered with aluminum foil, until firm, about 1 hour.

  6. To make the meringue, combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in a heat-proof bowl. Set over a pan of simmering water; beat until warm and sugar is dissolved. Remove bowl from heat; whip into stiff peaks.

  7. Spread the meringue over pie so that it touches crust all around. Broil until brown, about 2 minutes, watching constantly. Serve at room temperature.

Reviews Add a comment

  • beach_girl007h
    27 MAY, 2017
    In this recipe it states to refrigerate lemon pie. But in the hint section for meringue it says to pour hot filling into pie shell and top the meringue on hot filling. This contradicts - this is confusing.
    Reply
  • jenniferamorales
    14 MAY, 2017
    This was perfect! My filling set perfectly and the flavor was amazing. A new favorite, Just whipped this up for Mother's day.
    Reply
  • ptg366926
    27 MAR, 2016
    This recipe was a disaster, the filling never set along with meringue. I followed the recipe and I am an excellent baker. Find a different recipe for lemon meringue.
    Reply
    • beach_girl007h
      27 MAY, 2017
      In the hint section for meringue it says to pour the hot pie filling into pie shell, then pile meringue on hot filling and bake.
  • esimmonssteiner
    27 AUG, 2015
    Would not recommend this recipe. This was a disaster. Twice! The filling never set.
    Reply
  • MS11665884
    14 MAR, 2015
    This is a wonderful recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie. It is our absolute favorite pie.
    Reply
    • MS12098312
      14 APR, 2017
      Did you use any cream of tartar for the meringue? I don't see it in the Ingredients ?
  • Courtney D
    28 NOV, 2013
    I followed this recipe to the letter & the filling did not set at all. I did some research to figure out what I did wrong & it appears that I didn't cook it long enough to reach the correct filling consistency. Because I'm a home baker, I rely on detailed instructions & instead of having only cook time listed, more comments on what the consistency of the filling should have been when cooking would have been helpful. Unfortunately I cannot serve this today at Thanksgiving, very disappointing.
    Reply
  • Gilberto Rocha
    12 NOV, 2013
    Ingredients: 1 cup salted cod fish (boiled, cleaned, and flaked) 1 cup water 1 cup flour 1 egg 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 3 stalks celery 4 fresh seasoning peppers 1 small hot pepper 1 sprig of parsley 1 whole onion Salt and black pepper (add only if required when tasted) Dash of hot pepper Hot vegetable oil for frying Garlic Mayonnaise 12 garlic cloves 1 cup mayonnaise 2 Tablespoons ketchup Directions: Soak about four pieces of salted cod fish in cold water for about an hour. Drain, add fresh water, and boil gently for another hour or until salt fish can be flaked. Clean by removing all skin and bones, and flake out. Pour salt fish, flour, water, egg, baking powder, whole peeled onion, celery stalks, de-seeded peppers, and parsley in a mini food processor. Chop for a couple of minutes. Parts of mixture should be identifiable, not pulverized. Heat 1 inch of oil in frying pan. Drop fish cake batter by teaspoon into the hot oil, being careful that they do not touch. Fish cakes should puff up nicely with no holes in the batter. (Holes mean the batter is too thin and probably needs a little more flour.) Turn carefully when brown without poking holes in the fish cake. Drain on a paper towel. Serve with garlic mayonnaise sauce. Garlic Mayonnaise: Peel the garlic cloves and put in a mini food processor with mayonnaise and ketchup. Blend a couple of minutes to form a grainy texture. Serve fish cakes with the garlic mayonnaise dip.
    Reply
  • ontariobaker2
    4 NOV, 2013
    i followed the recipe to the letter. it turned out perfect! The lemony filling set ,no weeping. the meringue was creamy and mile high. the crust was flaky and crisp. we all loved the flavour. a definite make again !
    Reply
    • MS12098312
      14 APR, 2017
      Did you use any cream of tartar for the meringue? I don't see it in the Ingredients ?
  • inlovewithmcfloat
    2 AUG, 2013
    You can see how simple it is, but once you'll taste it, I'm sure you might even forget your name. buy facebook like
    Reply
  • maryleaw72
    29 AUG, 2011
    I just had my first piece of this pie, and I thought it was EXCELLENT! I was a little apprehensive because this is the first lemon meringue pie I have ever attempted -- my husband is more of a lemon pie person than I am. I had no problem with the filling being solid, boiled it until it was the right consistency, and the meringue was spectacular (I did use a teaspoon of cream of tartar). Thank you Martha, you have made my husband very happy. :)
    Reply