The Very Best Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

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Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie. If your lemon meringue pie comes from powder in a box, STOP! A fantastic homemade lemon meringue pie, made completely from scratch, tastes much better and is actually just as easy to prepare.
Here’s one for the lemon lovers. Made completely from scratch, just like Grandma used to make. No artificial anything here! So much better than those artificial powder pretenders. Reminds me of Sunday suppers while growing up.

Ingredients
FOR THE PASTRY. SUFFICIENT FOR TWO 10 INCH PIE SHELLS.
1 cup very cold butter cut into small cubes
2 ½ cups flour
½ tsp salt
1/4 cup ice water, or a little more. Only enough to make a dough form.
FOR THE FILLING
1/3 cup corn starch
1/3 cup cake flour
pinch salt
1 ½ cups sugar
5 egg yolk slightly beaten
Zest of 2 lemons, very finely chopped
Juice of 2 lemons, about 1/4 cup.
2 cups water
3 tbsp butter
FOR THE MERINGUE
5 egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
¼ tsp cream of tarter
Pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
TO MAKE THE PASTRY
Using a food processor or a pastry blender cut cold butter into flour and salt until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Small pieces of butter should still be visible.
Pour cold water over the mixture and work in by tossing with a fork until dough begins to form. Use your hands as little as possible and work the dough as little as possible.
Divide dough into 2 balls, flatten into 2 rounds, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes. You can freeze the second round for another time.
You can make your dough the previous day but make sure you take it out of the fridge for 10 minutes to warm slightly before rolling out.
Roll the dough into a 12 inch round and place in the bottom of a 10 inch pie plate.
Trim and flute the edges as desired. Poke a few holes in the bottom of the pastry shell, rest in the refrigerator for an additional 20 minutes before baking at 400 degrees F for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool completely before adding the filling.

TO MAKE THE FILLING
In a medium saucepan, combine corn starch, cake flour, sugar and salt. Pour in water and stir constantly over medium low heat until mixture comes to a slow boil.
Remove the pan from the heat and reduce the flame to low.
Pour about a cup of this mixture onto the slightly beaten egg yolks while whisking constantly.
Pour the egg mixture back into the rest of the other mixture in the pot, whisking constantly.
Return to the stove and cook for an additional 3 minutes stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and lemon rind.
Finally whisk in your butter one tbsp at a time.
Pour the filling into the baked and cooled shell. Let stand for a few minutes while preparing the meringue.

TO PREPARE THE MERINGUE
Whip egg whites, vanilla, salt and cream of tarter to soft peaks.
Very gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat the egg whites.
Dollop in heaping tablespoonfuls onto pie. Gently spread over the filling, making sure that the meringue touches the crust all the way around the pie. This will help to prevent the meringue from shrinking.
Bake in a 325 degree F oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the meringue is well browned. Cool pie thoroughly in the refrigerator before serving.
Keep refrigerated.
Dip a sharp knife in cold water to help with cutting the pie into slices and clean the knife with paper towel between cuts.

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