Mom's Mile High Lemon Meringue Pie

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For the crust:
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco
3-4 Tablespoons cold water

For the filling:
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons flour
1 pinch of salt
1-1/2 cups water
6 egg yolks, slightly beaten
Zest of two lemons
6 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 Tablespoons butter.

For the meringue:
6 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Using the scoop and sweep method add 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour into a measuring cup and level.  Add flour and 1/2 teaspoon table salt into a medium bowl and mix well.  Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut 1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco into flour until all is blended, forming pea-size chunks.  Be sure to do this very well, leaving no large pieces.  Sprinkle with water, 1 Tablespoon at a time.  Press together lightly with your fingers and form a ball and press into a five-inch pancake.

Flour the dough very lightly and roll into a circle big enough to fit a 9-inch pie plate.  I think it is easier to roll the dough between two sheets of wax paper but that is up to you. 

Carefully fold the dough in half and place it in the pie pan, flipping the other half over to completely fill the edges of the pie plate.  Gently press the dough to fit into the bottom of the pie plate.  Fold the edge of the dough under it self on the rim.  My Mom uses her middle finger on one hand and thumb and middle finger on another hand to flute the pie edges.

Thoroughly prick bottom and sides of crust with fork to prevent shrinking.  Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

While the crust is cooking, make the filling.  In a medium-size sauce pan, mix 1-1/2 cups sugar, 3 Tablespoons cornstarch, 3 Tablespoons flour and one pinch of salt.  Slowly add 1-1/2 cups water until well blended.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; cook 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Slowly pour half of mixture into six, slightly beaten egg yolks, stirring constantly.  Slowly pour egg yolk mixture back into hot mixture, stirring constantly.  Return saucepan to heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, cooking two minutes more.  Add the zest of two lemons, 6 Tablespoons lemon juice and 3 Tablespoons butter.  Cook 2 minutes more, stirring with a rubber spatula.  Do not let the mixture stick to the bottom of the pan.  Once done it will be very thick.  Cover the pan and remove from heat; keep warm while you make the meringue.

I used my Kitchen Aid mixer but a hand held mixer will work fine too.  Beat six ROOM TEMPERATURE egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar until foamy.  Beat in 3/4 cup sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time.  Beat in 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract and continue beating until egg whites hold a soft peak.

Add warm filling into baked pie shell.  Dollop meringue all over the top of pie making sure the meringue touches the fluting on the pie shell.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until meringue is golden brown.

Cool pie over-night in the refrigerator before serving.


-Recipe courtesy of Cathy Pollak

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