Lemon Lime Meringue Pie: Fearless Friday

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Heather says:

What’s fearless about a lemon meringue pie? Well, I’m not a baker, I don’t have enough experience baking to feel comfortable experimenting with predictable results. Last night I grabbed a recipe from Alton Brown. Tell me, do you know a geek that doesn’t love a little Alton? I changed it up a little, just for fun. Rather than a butter / coconut oil crust, I went with straight coconut oil pre-baked crust. (The recipe is included below). And I thought it’d be nice to temper the tartness of the lemon with the slightly sweeter taste of lime.

What did you do for Fearless Friday?

As soon as I have the new code, I’ll add a Mr. Linky widget to this post. If you have a blog, feel free to share your link, otherwise just tell us about it in the comments.

(Pictures will be added in the morning).

Lemon Filling:
4 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie shell
1 recipe Meringue, recipe follows
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Whisk egg yolks in medium size mixing bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Turn heat on medium and, stirring frequently, bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually, 1 whisk-full at a time, add hot mixture to egg yolks and stir until you have added at least half of the mixture.

There are three parts to this recipe: the crust, the filling, and the meringue. Ready? Let’s go!

Lemon Lime Meringue Pie

Single Pie Crust with Coconut Oil


  • 1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated coconut oil
  • 4 TBSP cold water (if you live in a dry climate you may need 5 and with a food processor you’ll probably only need 3)

Whisk the flour and salt together. Use a pastry blender or two forks to to cut the oil into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

add water Add the water one tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork or the pastry blender until the mixture is evenly damp.

shape into a discPress the dough into a disc, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and chill for 15 – 20 minutes.

About halfway through the chill time, empty the oven and don’t feel bad, I use it for storage, too. If there are rugrats in the general vicinity it’s wise to make sure they haven’t been “cooking” anything when you weren’t paying attention. I’ve rescued a lot of my utensils from certain, smelly doom. Begin preheating the oven to 450F, adjust a rack to the center position.

roll out to 12 inches diameter On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to a diameter of about 12″ for a 9″ shell.  I find it easiest to roll a fairly even circle by rotating the dough approximately 1/8th of a turn after each roll.

wrap dough around pinRoll the dough around the rolling pin to transfer it to the pie plate.

Prick with fork Fold the excess dough under the edge and press or crimp the crust as you desire. Prick the bottom and sides of the dough with a fork.

Double layer of foil Cover with a double thickness of aluminum foil.

pie weight Weight the foil with pie weights  or dried beans (guess which I have) and bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Lemon Lime Meringue Pie Filling:

  • 4 egg yolks (Don’t worry, you use the whites for the meringue)
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if you use salted butter)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup lemon / lime juice ( I used 3 small lemons & 1 lime, had a little extra)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon and lime zest


safe eggsPull four eggs from the fridge and set in a safe place on the counter. (This part should take less than 30 minutes and allowing the eggs  to come to room temperature helps create more loft in the meringue)

Preheat oven to 375F.

Seperate the eggs, you’ll use the yolks for the filling, reserve the whites in a mixing bowl and set aside. Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside, but within reach of the stove. (Trust me on this)

cornstarch sugarIn a sauce pan over medium heat combine cornstarch, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk thoroughly, there shouldn’t be any clumps of cornstarch.

Stir occasionally, use this time to zest the citrus, squeeze the juice, set both aside. When the cornstarch mixture reaches a boil, keep stirring for one minute.

curdThis next step is VERY important. Add a spoonful of the hot cornstarch mixture to the egg yolks (this is why you needed it in reach). Stir well. Add another spoonful of the hot mixture and stir again. This tempers the eggs so they don’t scramble. Once half of the hot mixture has been mixed into the eggs, it’s time to pour what’s in the egg bowl back into the sauce pan. Stir well and bring back to a boil for one minute.

Turn the heat to the lowest setting, give it a very good stir, then make the meringue.

Meringue Recipe:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 pinch cream of tarter
  • 2 TBSP sugar

Place the egg whites and cream of tarter in a very clean and dry bowl. For best results use stainless steel or a glass mixing bowl. (Does anyone on a real budget use copper bowls any more? Not in Solos land is all I can say). Plastic bowls have tiny pores that can trap oil. If the egg whites come in contact with oil you won’t get nearly the volume needed for the pie.

Beat on medium to medium high  until peaks begin to form, add the sugar and continue beating on high for another 1 – 2 minutes until the peaks are stiff.  Turn off the mixer.

Once the meringue is ready head back to the stove and add the butter, zest, and juice to the sauce pan. Stir well.

pour the curdPour into the pie shell.

quickly spread the meringueQuickly spread the meringue over the mixture while it’s still hot. It’s very important to not waste time during this step. A hot mixture cooks the bottom on the meringue which helps prevent weeping (or that icky layer of moisture between the pie and the meringue).

seal the meringueUse the spatula to seal the merinuge to the crust or it will pull away in the oven. If you overbeat it like I did, it’ll be a little too stiff to make pretty peaks. Oh well. You’ll still like the pie.

Place the pie in the oven and bake until the meringue is a golden brown. The original recipe said 10 – 12 minutes, but mine only took seven, in other words, watch the pie carefully.

Place the pie on a rack to cool completely.

Don’t even think about cutting this pie until it’s cool. Cool for an hour on a rack at room temperature and then another 3 – 4 in the refrigerator before serving. If making this the night before place toothpicks in the meringue and cover with plastic wrap.

If you need to know if it tastes OK, sample the filling from your sauce pan.

Told you. It’s delicious.

*Mental Note* Put a pie server on the next supply run. I tend to mangle the slices as I transfer them to a plate. (This is why there’s no photo).


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22 thoughts on “Lemon Lime Meringue Pie: Fearless Friday”

  1. Heather, your pie sounds divine! How about I just triple the recipe for the lemon-lime curd then make an angel food cake? 😉

    Nothing fearless in our kitchen this week, I’m afraid – I’ve been sick and it’s all I can do to get to work and back without doing something horrifically brain-dead.

    I look forward to seeing what others are doing, though!

  2. Oooo I have never tried making a meringue pie but that looks so yummy. I really need to get some coconut oil. (Although, I think I will use it on my skin. Maybe some in baking.)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I agree with the all giveaways thing. That’s annoying. Especially because I never win any giveaways ever!

    I promise to help in the round-ups one of these days! Have a great weekend.

  3. I made edible cold cucumber soup, after several bouts of feeding my creations to the garbage disposal. Here’s a link to the winning recipe: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1948,154187-243207,00.html

    I recommend doing the following things differently: add one more cuke and puree the cucumbers separately and stir them in at the end. Otherwise, the soup ends up being very runny. I like it thicker/chunkier, and doing it this way gets you there.

    BTW, trying to make anything edible is fearless for me…..

  4. Just a general question about these recipes – from an Aussie who gets a bit flummoxed with some of the terms and descriptions used! For starters, can someone explain “all purpose” flour to me please? We have two flours available here – plain flour (which I would use for things like sauces, coatings etc or some biscuits) and Self Raising flour which I would use for such things as cakes, sponges. Would I be right in thinking that “all purpose” flour is wheat flour without any raising agent?

    • All purpose is what you would call plain flour. In the states we also have bread flour, whole wheat, and cake flour. Those can even vary by region of the country.

      It’s funny how big our world is sometimes. 🙂

      • Thank you for that clarification. I am new to this site but no doubt there will be more seemingly dumb questions/requests for clarifications. Someone (who?) described us as two nations separated by a common language – often true! I am glad though that the oven temps etc are in imperial. Forty years after they were introduced here I still haven’t got my head around metric measures or Celsius.

        • Klara – There are no dumb questions! And you are welcome to help some of us trying to figure out English cookbooks. Like, what is “caster sugar”?

          • Well I am an Aussie but of Pommie origins and what I would call caster sugar is very fine grain sugar such as you would use for meringues etc because it dissolves more quickly and also for jams. Also used for rolling doughnuts and similar. I think you may call it confectioner’s sugar? (actually I don’t usually bother unless I happen to have some handy and THAT is usually only because I have bought it by mistake, my eyesight being none too clever with advancing years!)

  5. This week I’ve been adding things to my water to make me want to drink more. Chunks of lemon, slices of cucumber, some sliced strawberries. Some bruised peppermint, even combos of 2 or 3 of those. Lemon/Cuke is good. So is strawberry/mint.

    Lemon meringue is my favorite pie, but I’ve never made one. DH hates lemon everythings so I’ve just never bothered.

    BTW, Heather, have you tried that non-hydrogentated shortening yet?

    • No, I was reading about it recently and no one seemed too impressed. Our usual diet doesn’t include much in the way of pastries or cookies, so these two pies are definitely the exception. 🙂 Sometimes I get on weird little kicks as illustrated by this month. Usually they don’t last long. (OK I do plan a tomato pie (or six for the freezer) as soon as my mom’s garden starts to come in.

  6. BobbieGirl,
    If you mean the Smart Balance shortening, I used it with success…but the company tells me they’ve discontinued it b/c of not enough interest. I was starting to distrust it anyway, because it was still liquid oils becoming solid…so it probably had trans fat of some sort, just not labeled as such. I’ll stick with butter, coconut oil and lard as my solid fats from now on!

    • Smart Balance Shortening?
      No, actually I’ve never heard of that, but I don’t get out much!

      I’m talking about Spectrum Naturals Organic.
      It’s 100% expeller pressed palm oil, which is an oil that is solid at room temp, like coconut oil. (Except if it’s VERY warm room temp)

      No trans fat in it, not a drop, plus it’s organic.
      We don’t use it often, just in recipes that work best with shortening rather than butter.

  7. Awww, no blow torch with the meringue? That’s sad. That’s how I learned to do it in culinary school.

    I think I am going to be making foccacia on my day off. It’s soooo good.

  8. Fearless for me was making strawberry freezer jam. I had no idea how easy it was. Recently my daughter has been living off of strawberry jam sandwiches, and I wanted to get away from jam made with corn syrup. She also does not like the big chunks associated with store bought strawberry jam. So I cleaned the strawberries and pulsed them in my small food chopper. Very easy, and now that strawberries are on sale, pretty cheap, too.

  9. I’m so lame. A stick of butter, cup and quarter flour, pinch of salt and a tbsp or two of water gets buzzed around my processor and pushed into a pie form, chilled and baked.

    I make pie crust all of the time and I don’t even own a rolling pin.

    It’s not as tender and flaky but you can do it quickly and without fear or fuss. And most are just impressed that you didn’t buy it frozen. Although I have one of those in the box just in case anyway.


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