Italian Lemon Meringue

This Lemon Meringue pie reminds me of a Lemon Chiffon, beautiful creamy lemon yellow. Yum. Easy in the sense you mix and  bake the lemon chiffon in the pie shell instead of the stovetop method used for Southern Style Lemon Meringue. 

If you like tart pie, use regular lemons, otherwise use Meyer’s lemons.

A more tart version is the Southern Style Lemon Meringue Pie, where the filling is cooked on the stovetop first, and then added to the pie. 

For presentation purposes, go big with the meringue.  Make it pretty!

To Make the Lemon Meringue Pie

Start with a Blind Baked Pie Crust (See other post on Pie Crust)

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Put the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice and zest in a glass bowl and mix gently with a balloon whisk until all the ingredients are very well incorporated. The mixture will thicken naturally.
  3. Pour into the partially blind-baked (10 minutes)  pie crust and bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes. The filling should be firm to the touch but still very slightly soft in the centre (not wobbly!). Leave to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight if possible.

To Make the Simpler Meringue Topping:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Put the egg whites in a freestanding electric mixer with a whisk attachment and whisk until frothy. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of the sugar at a time, whisking well after each addition. Once you have whisked in all the sugar, add the vanilla extract and whisk again until stiff peaks form.
  3. Spoon the meringue on top of the cold pie, making sure you completely cover the pie filling. Create peaks and swirls in the top of the meringue with the back of a tablespoon.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown and crisp to the touch.)
  5. Leave to cool completely before serving.

To Make the Italian Meringue Topping:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Put the sugar in a small saucepan and just cover with water. Set over medium heat and bring to the boil.
  3. While the sugar is on the tovetop, put the egg whites in a freestanding electric mixer with a whisk attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed. Whisk until the egg whites are light and foamy.
  4. When the sugar has been boiling for a short while, it should reach soft ball stage. (This is when the bubbles go more syrupy. To check, dip a spoon into the sugar, then drop it directly into a glass of cold water. The sugar will firm up on contact with the water. You should be able to form a soft ball out of the sugar. If it sets to hard to be able to form a ball, it has been boiled too long and has reached hard ball stage. Be careful, as the sugar goes from soft ball to hard ball stage very quickly. Don’t touch the hot syrup with your bare hand until you have dipped the spoon into the glass of cold water, otherwise you will burn your fingers.)
  5. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites. Once all the syrup is incorporated, turn the mixer up to maximum speed and whisk for about 10-15 minutes, or until the meringue has tripled in size and is very white and fluffy.
  6. Turn the mixer back down to medium speed and continue to whisk for a couple more minutes until the meringue has cooled down slightly.
  7. Spoon the meringue on top of the cold pie, making sure you completely cover the pie filling. Create peaks and swirls in the top of the meringue with the back of a tablespoon.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown and crisp to the touch. Leave to cool completely before serving. 

Note:  This is a great cupcake frosting!

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