When Life Gives You Lemons….

My father grew up devouring homemade lemon meringue pies for his birthdays. When he turned 6, his mother decided to bake him and his twin brother a pie – and that was it. No more cakes for them!

Then he got married, and my mother continued the tradition, spending two full days creating his beloved tart treats. Each February 22nd I’d leave for school, lemons scattered amongst flour, glass bowls and extra coffee cups. But by God, somehow she’d get it done by the 24th.

She lovingly baked pies for her husband of 40+ years *every year until she died in 2012. I adored her meringue best; many times she’d open the fridge door to see smooshed plateaus. “What?” I’d innocently ask mouth full of her hard work.

Now it’s my turn to step up. Since I don’t bake, I’m forced to improvise. I give him “homemade” Campfire-brand lemon meringue marshmallows!

Lemon Meringue Pie
7 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup hot water
3 egg yolks – save whites
½ cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon peel
2 tablespoons butter
1 9” cooled baked pie shell

Meringue
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon lemon juice
6 tablespoons sugar

Blend cornstarch, sugar and salt in saucepan. Gradually stir in hot water, bring to a boil over direct heat and cook medium heat, stirring constantly until filling is clear and thick – about 8-10 minutes.

Beat egg yolks and stir several spoonfuls of hot filling into egg yolk, mixing well.

Stir egg yolks into hot mixture. Bring to a boil, turn heat low and cook 4-5minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat, gradually stir in lemon juice, peel, butter.

Cool filling, turn into cooled pie shell.

Top with meringue.

Place egg whites in a deep medium-sized bowl and warm to room temperature. Add lemon juice and beat until egg whites stand in soft peaks. Add sugar gradually beating well.

After each addition, continue to beat until mixture stands in firm, glossy peaks. Spread meringue over pie filling, sealing edges of crust.

Bake at 350-degrees 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.

Note: up to 6 egg whites with sugar increased in proportion can be used for a higher meringue on pie.

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