2 c. milk
2/3 c. sugar
4 medium lemons
1/4 c. cornstarch
4 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
2 T. unsalted butter, softened
4 egg whites
2/3 c. sugar
pinch of salt
- Combine milk and sugar in a non-reactive saucepan (i.e. enamel coated).
- Zest lemons (scrape off only the yellow part of the peel using a grater, the white part of the lemon tastes very bitter). Add zest to the milk and bring to a simmer over low heat.
- Remove from heat for 5 min and strain out the zest.
- Squeeze 1/2 c. of juice from the lemons and combine it with cornstarch and egg yolks.
- Reheat the milk to a simmer over low heat, and add about 1/3 of the lemon/egg mixture to the saucepan.
- Add some milk mixture to a cool bowl and mix the rest of the lemon/egg mixture in with a whisk. Combine mix from the bowl with the mix in the saucepan and bring it to a boil for 30 seconds.
- Remove from heat and mix in the butter.
- Pour the filling into a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap touching the top of the filling until the filling reaches about room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
- Poke holes in the crust with a fork at 1/2 inch intervals. Bake the crust for 20 minutes, until the crust is a light golden color. Cool crust on a rack.
- Spread cooled filling on cooled crust.
- Preheat oven to 400 deg F.
- Bring a small pan of water to a boil. Lower heat so that water simmers.
- Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in a heat proof bowl.
- Place bowl over pan with simmering water and whisk eggs until sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
- Remove egg whites from heat and beat them at medium speed with an electric mixer until the meringue has cooled and can hold stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted from it.
- Spread meringue over the cooled filling to cover the entire top surface of the pie and touches the edges of the crust.
- Place pie on a cookie sheet and bake for 5 to 10 min until the meringue is evenly covered.