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Lemon Meringue Pie

December 16, 2007

For pie crust:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup butter-flavored shortening

4 to 6 tablespoons cold water

For filling:

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup cornstarch

2 cups water

4 egg yolks

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1/4 cup butter

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2/3 cup lemon juice

2 drops of yellow food coloring

For meringue:

4 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Start with pie crust ingredients. In a large bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in the shortening. Make a hole in the center of the dough and add the water. Mix by hand.

Flour surface and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough for a 10-inch pie plate. After laying the dough over the pie plate, trim the overhang. Fold dough around the rim of the pie pan. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork.

Bake at 475 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Then start working on the filling. Put the egg yolks in a bowl.

In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in water and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and boils. Stir another minute while mixture boils. Add a couple tablespoons of the mixture to the egg yolks to gradually warm the eggs so they don't curdle. Then add the egg mixture slowly to the saucepan and continue to boil for approximately 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in butter, lemon zest, juice and coloring. Pour filling into cooled pie shell.

Next, work on the meringue. In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. In another bowl, mix the cornstarch and sugar. One tablespoon at a time, beat in the sugar mixture. Continue beating until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Do not under beat. Beat in vanilla extract.

Heap meringue onto hot pie filling, spreading meringue over the filling to seal meringue to edge of crust to prevent shrinking or weeping.

Adjust the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake about 10 minutes or until the meringue is a delicate brown.

- Courtesy of Linda Mahone, who lives west of Hagerstown

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