These days, my sous chef friend Lia and I find that running is the best way to discover new places, enjoy the weather, and makes an excellent excuse to treat ourselves to something sugary and delicious afterward.
On an extra-sunny day we stumbled across a local farmers market. The wonderful smells and bright colors were bursting from the stands of cucumbers, watermelons, oranges and bell peppers. Inspiration struck us when we saw a grand pyramid of lemons. What’s the old adage? When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right?
Nope, we were going to make Lemon Meringue Pie.
This recipe comes from Lia’s personal collection. She is constantly developing and baking various recipes. I, of course, am always on hand to assist and to taste. Her version of this classic uses a shortbread crust instead of the usual pie crust. I find that the sandy texture of the shortbread is less overwhelming with the lemon curd than a traditional crust.
Lemon Meringue Pie
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp lemon zest
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 butter, cubed
In a 2 quart saucepan, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, and butter. Cook over medium-low heat until thick enough to hold marks from whisk, and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 minutes.
Shortbread Pie Crust
1 cup butter
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly mix in flour and baking powder. Press dough evenly into a 9 inch pie pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until light golden brown.
6 egg whites
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
a pinch of cream of tartar
Whip whites and cream of tartar until frothy, and slowly stream in sugar. Whip until glossy, soft-peaks form.
When pie shell is fully cooled, add lemon curd and top with meringue. Divide and enjoy!