This was another reader request. I shied away from it for a while because meringue has for years been my nemesis.
But the request came from my beloved cousin Deane Nichols so I gave it a shot. A little research on what to do and not to do and I got it. Winner Winner!
Make the pie filling. You’ll want to let it set while you make the crust.
In a sauce pan mix 2 cups water, 2 cups sugar, a teaspoon of salt, 6 tablespoons cornstarch, grated lemon rind from one large lemon, juice from 2 large fresh lemons and 4 whipped egg yolks.
Cook on medium high heat whisking continually. Bring to a boil and continue to whisk while it boils for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of real butter. Stir until butter is melted. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest while you make the crust.
Make the crust.
Cut 1/3 cup of vegetable shortening (I use Crisco) into 1 cup of flour. Add about 1/4 teaspoon salt. I like to use a fork to make sure that the shortening and the flour is finely mixed. Add 3 serving spoons of water to the flour and shortening. You’ll do this one spoonful at a time mixing it into the flour after each addition. I add the water to the edge of the bowl and blend toward the center.Continue mixing. Finish mixing using your hands to bring dough together into a ball. Place dough on a flour surface and roll into a 14 circle. Place rolled dough into a deep dish pie dish and bring edges to the rim of the dish. Trim the edges using a metal fork. Put tin foil into the center of the dish and fill with dried beans to act as a weight and preventing crust from bubbling. Bake for 15 minutes in a 425 degree pre-heated oven.
Remove from oven and discard beans and foil.
Pour filling into baked pie shell and set aside.
Make the Meringue.
Put three egg whites in a stand mixer and turn on medium high. Allow to whip while you prepare the following: In a sauce pan combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 cup water. Stir and heat on low heat until clear. When egg whites form peaks, slowly add syrup to egg whites while continuing to beat. Add a dash of salt and 6 tablespoons of sugar and continue to beat. When meringue is stiff, scoop on top of pie filling and spread to cover entire top of pie. Use a large spoon to form soft peaks in the meringue. Return to a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30-30 minutes depending on your oven. Meringue should be golden brown.
COOL COMPLETELY in the refrigerator before slicing.