A no-fail recipe for a classic lemon meringue pie that’s easy to make, especially if you use store bought, ready maid graham cracker crusts.
Good Housekeeping sent me The Little Book of Baking to review. It only has 55 recipes, but it’s filled with the basics that every baker should know how to bake. It’s also loaded with tips every baker should know: how to measure flour, how to make a pie crust, volumes of pans, and so much more, all in a cute little spiral bound book. Details on how you can win a copy of The Little Book of Baking are at the bottom of this post.
I chose to make the classic lemon meringue pie recipe. Lemon meringue is an easy pie to make, you just cook the filling on the stove and brown the merinuge in the oven. If you’re intimidated by making pie crust, you can buy a crust. Since I had mini graham cracker crusts in the pantry, I decided to make tarts.
If you struggle with separating the egg whites from the egg yolks, the easiest way to separate them is with your hands. Just crack the egg and gently cradle the yolk, letting the whites fall into a bowl beneath your hand.
Although lemon meringue is an easy pie to make, the recipe you use is important. I liked this recipe because they did everything right. You mix the cornstarch with the sugar so the filling doesn’t get clumpy; you temper the eggs so they don’t cook before they’re incorporated; you add the lemon juice after cooking the filling so it keeps the fresh, tart flavor; and they topped the filling while it’s hot, which helps the meringue from getting too watery.
This is a wonderful little book for the beginning baker, or someone just looking for a quick, easy baking guide book. It would make a nice gift if you’re still shopping.
Lemon Meringue Tarts
- 10 mini graham cracker crusts
- 5 to 6 medium lemons
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups water
- 3 large eggs yolks
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch salt
- ½ cup sugar
- Prepare lemon filling
- From lemons, grate 1 tablespoon lemon peel and squeeze ¾ cup juice.
- In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt; stir in water until blended. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat.
- In small bowl, with wire whisk, whisk egg yolks. Stir in ½ cup hot cornstarch mixture until blended; slowly pour yolk mixture back into cornstarch mixture in saucepan, stirring rapidly to prevent curdling.
- Place saucepan over medium-low heat and cook until mixture comes to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring until filling is very thick 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter until melted. Stir in lemon juice and peel; mixture will thin out. Pour into pie shells.
- Preheat oven to 400º F.
- Prepare meringue topping
- In medium bowl, with mixer on high speed, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt until frothy. Gradually sprinkle in sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until sugar completely dissolves and egg whites stand in stiff, glossy peaks when beaters are lifted.
- Spread meringue over warm filling. To keep meringue from shrinking during baking, make sure it touches edge of crust all around. Use back of wooden spoon to make attractive swirl patterns on top of meringue.
- Bake until meringue is golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool pie complete on wire rack away from drafts. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
The Giveaway is now closed. Thanks for entering.
The Little Book of Baking Cookbook Giveaway
Good Housekeeping has graciously offered to give away to one lucky Barbara Bakes reader one copy of The Little Book of Baking Cookbook.
To Enter the Sweepstakes Giveaway: Leave a comment on this post before Sunday, December 23rd, 2012 at 10:00 am, MST.
The giveaway is only open to residents of the US. Be sure your email address is included with your comment. Winner will be chosen randomly, notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.
I would love to win this little book.i have just discovered the joys of cooking and baking!! I need all the help I can get!!! ;.))
As a beginner baker, this book sound great!
I like lemon meringue pie, but have never tried making it myself. This book sounds very handy, I like learning new tips and tricks for the kitchen.
Thanks for the giveaway. Absolutely love the tarts.
Have been enjoying holiday baking….and would love to own this cookbook!
These look delicious, and wow you make it look so easy! Question, if you don’t mind–I sub tapioca starch and/or mochi flour for corn starch, due to issues with corn in the family, which works fine as far as thickening but then the curd part seems to ooze into the meringue when it goes in the oven, any suggestions?
Thanks so much for posting these!
Thanks! I don’t have any experience using other starches in this recipe. David Lebovitz has a recipe that just uses more eggs and no cornstarch. http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2009/08/lime-meringue-tart/ Hope that helps.
Ever since I was a little girl, lemon meringue has been my favorite pie, but I never make it myself! These little tarts look so easy to put together and are tempting me to try my hand at making them.
Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie
Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting a lemon meringue recipe for tarts! I didn’t want to make a whole pie cuz I’d eat it all by myself…lol!! This gives me the opportunity (or not) to give some of these babies to my friends and family and probably save me a few pounds…or not!! Thanks so much for this recipe.
Look soooo good. My brother loves lemon meringue pie, so I must make these for him.
Lemon Meringue – my favorite kind of pie!
They’re perfect! Look at you whipping up a dessert I would never attempt like it’s so easy 🙂
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
Hehe mum that’s the way I separate yolks too although a pastry chef that I met was horrified as he would cradle the egg from shell to shell but really, if you’ve got clean hands, the hands are much quicker and easier! 😀 xxx
You are an absolute genius! I never would have thought of making tarts with
the little graham cracker crusts. Thank you for the inspiration.
I love lemon desserts and your tarts are so cute!!
I love that I can hear your voice perfectly when I read your posts. That’s a big deal that your personality and love of baking shine through even a web post. These look amazingly delicious
Thanks Carrian. What a sweet comment.
As a child I couldn’t stomach lemon meringue, thankfully I’m all grown up now!
These look amazing. I can’t wait to try them.
Those look delicious! And you get built-in portion control! 🙂
I heart lemon pie. I heart tiny ones even more. This is what my middle son asks for on his birthday every year. 🙂