Dear Reader,

It’s hard to believe that September is already upon us and that cool temperatures will be here soon-ish. But I’m not quite ready to let go of summer, because for me, it flew by far too quickly.

Well, OK, it also dragged its feet and lasted about a decade (yes, I’m giving side-eye to COVID-19 to blame it for this contradictory feeling).

In any case, I’d like a few more weeks, if not months, of sunny warm weather please, in which to enjoy physically-distanced visits with friends on our outdoor screened back porch, and to make, share and savor this cool lemon meringue pie. That’s why… while you all may be thinking I should make a variation of apple or pear the pie of the month for September, I’m making Lemon Meringue the pie of the month!

Besides, you can always use the meringue part of the recipe on a more fall-like pie (I’m looking at you, butterscotch).

Yes, that’s a stock photo of lemon meringue! I swear I’ve made several this summer—but they’ve been gobbled before I could take a photo!

I found this recipe years ago—maybe from Dear Abby? It’s an old newspaper clipping, so I’m not sure. My additions to the recipe:

  • Use the lemon zest, for heaven’s sake. It’s not called for in the original.
  • The original says to bake for 10 minutes—in my oven, it takes 15.
  • Let the pie completely cool on your counter, so the meringue will ‘fuse’ to the filling.
  • Do the first step in the meringue recipe first, before anything else, so the cornstarch/cold water combo has time to cool properly.

 

Pie:

Ingredients

  • 1 baked 9-inch pie shell (cooled)
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (preferably fresh from juiced lemons)
  • Zest from lemons
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon extract
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Method

  • Mix sugar, lemon zest (if using) and cornstarch together in a heavy saucepan.
  • Add the water, stir until well-combined.
  • Combine egg yolks and lemon juice and beat with a fork or whisk until well mixed
  • Add to the sugar/cornstarch/water mixture.
  • Cook until thickened over medium heat, stirring often, and constantly as it heats.
  • Remove thickened mixture from heat.
  • Add lemon extract, butter and vinegar, and stir in thoroughly.
  • Pour into the pie shell.
  • Let cool.
  • Top with meringue.
  • Bake in 350-degree oven, about 15 minutes, until lightly browned.
  • Let cool on rack on countertop before covering and putting in refrigerator.

Never-fail Meringue

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 3 egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  • Blend cornstarch and cold water in a saucepan.
  • Add boiling water and cook, stirring until thickened.
  • Let stand until COMPLETELY cold.
  • With electric beater at high speed, beat egg whites until foamy.
  • Gradually add sugar, and keep beating until stiff but not dry.
  • Turn mixer to low, and add salt and vanilla.
  • Gradually beat in cold cornstarch mixture.
  • Turn mixer back to high and beat well until peaks form. (Test with back of spoon.)
  • Spread meringue over completely cooled pie filling.

Here’s to cool pies, warm days, and lovely friendships and relationships–