Monday, April 18, 2011

REAL Lemon Meringue Pie

I love books.


I love to read books.

I also love the smell of books.

And the sound of books as you turn the pages, especially those in the Bible.

That would be why I will never have a Kindle. I have no desire for one or anything else like it for that matter. I want a book in my hand that I can smell and touch.

I have no idea when my fascination with books began. I just know it was a very long time ago. I always had my nose in a book. That's how I would spend my weekends . . . during middle school, high school, even college. Up until I had children, that's still how I would spend my weekends. I have a stack of books right now just waiting to be read, but I don't have very much uninterrupted time in which to read these days (unless I'm making that 9-hour trip to Georgia and my husband is driving!). And . . . just in case you're wondering . . . my current read is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp.

I really couldn't tell you my favorite book as a child . . . but I remember really enjoying Judy Blume's books, and I would always look for them in the school library. When Hannah Kate was born, my mom reminded me of another favorite. Amelia Bedelia! She included an Amelia Bedelia book in Hannah Kate's first Easter basket. Of course, that was probably more for me than it was for Hannah Kate.

And it seems like Hannah Kate is following close behind in my footsteps. She loves to read. Or, rather, she loves to be read to! We read a lot. I mean A LOT. But I don't mind. I love it! Her current favorites are Fancy Nancy, Pinkalicious and . . . Amelia Bedelia! She has two Amelia Bedelia books now. In the original book, Amelia Bedelia makes a lemon meringue pie for Mr. and Mrs. Rogers. That's about the only thing she does well.

I noticed several weeks ago that Hannah Kate was constantly making lemon meringue pie in her "kitchen." That sparked another childhood memory . . .

I remember my mom spent a lot of Saturdays in the kitchen. I have a sweet tooth, and there were two favorites that she made often: three layer cake with chocolate icing and LEMON MERINGUE PIE! She also makes my favorite chocolate chip cookies. But back to the lemon meringue pie. That's my favorite pie. Hands down. But. Not all lemon meringue pies are the real deal. As a matter of fact, it's my humble opinion that my mama's lemon meringue pie is the ONLY lemon meringue pie.

Let me elaborate. The way I see it, there are three criteria for lemon meringue pie:
1. REAL lemons / lemon juice
2. creamy, pale yellow in color
3. refrigerated!

The lemon meringue pie at Piccadilly . . . is NOT lemon meringue pie. And not that I frequent Piccadilly . . . because I don't . . . I can cook like that (or better - in my humble opinion) at home! . . . and I'm not a big fan of buffets or the like either. So anyway. I finally came up with a brillant idea. Sometimes it takes me awhile to be brillant. I asked my mom to send me a copy of her lemon meringue pie recipe so I could make it with Hannah Kate. And that's just what we did.

So . . . a la Pioneer Woman . . . here goes.

As I mentioned earlier . . . REAL lemons! You need 1/2 cup lemon juice so either 2 large lemons or 3-4 small lemons should do the trick. In a medium bowl, beat 3 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue). Stir in 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk (seriously . . . you KNOW this is going to be good!) and 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from the lemons, not the bottle!).
Stir in 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind.
Stir ingredients well and pour into a 6-oz graham cracker pie crust.Now for the meringue. In a small bowl, beat 3 egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry.Spread the meringue on top of the pie.And . . . now for the best part . . . lick the bowl and the spoon!While you're at it, be sure to share with your friends!I promise they'll just love it!Then the pie goes into a 350 degree oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown. My oven bakes fast so our pie was done in 12 minutes. I bake my pies on a cookie sheet. It's just much easier that way.After the pie comes out of the oven, allow it to cool and then chill before serving. Leftovers, if you have any, should be refrigerated. Eat and enjoy!


The Applings said...

Yummo! I will have to try making this recipe with Caroline. She is my lil' cook. Love the pictures of HK - she is really growing up quickly!

Mama said...

My sweet lemony-icious girls!
It's always best made together and enjoyed together. Love, Love, Love you!!