Recipes from the Grapevine Cottage

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Erma’s Lemon Meringue Pie

Linda & I were reminiscing the other day about favorite desserts made by our Mothers, and she kept going on about what a delicious “homemade” Lemon Meringue Pie that Erma had indulged them with. So, a phone call later, and here is the recipe, enjoy!


1 cup sugar
1-1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup corn starch
3 tablespoons cold water
6 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons milk
1 8-inch baked puff pastry pie crust (you can make your own or just do what we do which is buy the pastry already rolled out, and then bake it ourselves)


3 egg whites
6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Filling: Combine sugar, butter & water and heat until dissolved. Add corn starch which has been blended with cold water. Cook slowly over medium heat until clear about 8 minutes. Add lemon juice and rind, and cook 2 minutes over medium heat. Slowly add the egg yolks, which have been beaten with milk. Bring to boil, and then cool. Pour into baked crust.

Meringue: I think Erma’s recipe said to”beat the egg whites.” But in case you haven’t done that before, there are a few tricks to the trade that will insure success (these come from Julia, and Linda follows them every time). First, make sure that the mixing bowl and beaters are spotlessly clean, and the egg whites should be at room temperature. Then, pour a tablespoon of vinegar into the bowl along with a teaspoon of salt. Rub the bowl clean with paper towels, but do not wash it – the traces of vinegar and salt help stabilize the egg whites. Turn the egg whites into the bowl, and start beating with an electric mixer at low speed until they are foaming. Add 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar (another stabilizer), and gradually increase the speed to fast. Continue until stiff shining peaks are formed. Gently spread over the filling.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or just until meringue is lightly browned.