Sweet and soft as air, meringue is what gives this show-stopper of a pie its fluffy, bouffant appearance. Looks aside, the meringue serves an important purpose in balancing the easy lemon curd filling. To take this pie to legendary status, we added a thin layer of cranberry gelée for extra pucker-up power and quickly kissed the peaks of the meringue with a kitchen torch. 

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Christopher Testani

Recipe Summary

prep:
50 mins
total:
2 hrs 30 mins
Yield:
Serves 10 to 12
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Ingredients

Crust
Lemon Filling
Cranberry Gelée
Meringue

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Crust: Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to an approximately 13-inch round. Transfer to a 9-by-2-inch fluted tart pan, or a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish. Trim dough to be flush with edges of pan.

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  • Line with parchment and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until crust is set and dry, about 25 minutes. Remove beans and parchment; continue baking until crust is golden on bottom, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

  • Lemon Filling: Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan. Whisk in egg yolks, lemon zest, and 1 1/3 cups water until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently; boil 1 minute.

  • Remove from heat; whisk in lemon juice and butter until smooth. Pour mixture into crust. Refrigerate until filling is cool and set, about 30 minutes.

  • Cranberry Gelée: Combine cranberries, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and 3/4 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally; boil 1 minute. Press through a fine-mesh sieve (discarding solids), then pour over chilled and set lemon pudding in crust, gently spreading to edges with an offset spatula. Refrigerate until cold and set, at least 30 minutes or, loosely covered, up to 1 day. If using tart pan, remove pie from pan and transfer to a serving plate or cake stand.

  • Meringue: In the bowl of a mixer set over (but not in) a bowl of simmering water, beat egg whites and sugar until sugar has dissolved and mixture is hot. Transfer to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and vanilla, increase speed to medium-high and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 8 minutes.

  • Spoon meringue onto center of pie, spreading slightly and leaving a 1-inch border between meringue and crust. Wave a kitchen torch over meringue until browned in places. Cut pie into wedges; serve. (Pie is best eaten the same day.)

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