Monday, June 9, 2014

Lemon Meringue Pie

My dearly beloved loves nothing more than a good pie.  His mother was a champion pie baker, and he holds her pies amongst his fondest memories.  I don't even pretend to be worthy of mention in pie world, but I do put forth effort now and again.

Hubby's favorite pie is most likely Lemon Meringue (although he does love apple pie, which I very rarely make, because I hate the apple preparation rigamarole).  So for a while now I've been striving to make a lemon filling worthy of my dearly beloved's attention, while not loaded with cholesterol and sugar (3 egg yolks in a pie make for a lot of cholesterol in every bite, after all).  And I've finally done it!  The menfolk raved!  And cheered!  And ate!  A lot!

LEMON MERINGUE PIE, GUILT FREE (Almost)

1 baked pie crust
1-1/2 cups sugar
6 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp lemon extract
2 tbsp egg beaters
4 drops yellow food coloring
6 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp margarine
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar

Use whatever kind of pie crust pleases you - store bought, your favorite, or my Best Pie Crust Ever.  I used that because, while it has butter, it is a relatively small amount of cholesterol, and I don't see the point of wasting my time on a crust no one wants to eat.  Use a 10" pie plate, and bake your pie crust at 350F for about 10 minutes, until it's just lightly browned.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, salt and sugar.  Stir in the water and lemon extract, and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove the hot sugar mixture from the heat, and drizzle in the egg beaters, stirring vigorously.  Return to the heat and cook for 2 more minutes.  Remove from the heat again, and drizzle in the lemon juice, stirring constantly.  Add the food coloring and margarine and stir until well combined.  Pour into the pie crust.

Put the egg whites in a mixing bowl with the cream of tartar, and beat until frothy.  Add the 1/8tsp lemon extract and vanilla extract, and beat until soft peaks form.  Beat in the sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form.   Spread over the top of the hot lemon filling.  Bake at 350F for 15 minutes, until the meringue is lightly browned.  Cool before serving.


I tried this lemon filling 3 or 4 times before I got it right.  Even when I had the flavor and consistency right, it was "not that good" without the yellow food coloring, because it was a rather tan color.  So you can eliminate the food coloring if you wish, but it won't look quite as good.  I'm afraid that appearance really does affect flavor, at least in my little corner of the world.  I also tried replacing some of the sugar with stevia, but the filling never set up right, so I was serving "pile" instead of "pie".

So there you have it!  15 mg of cholesterol per (pretty big) slice of pie, and all the flavor of the original 120-mg-per-slice goodness!  How's that for a great dessert, almost guilt free?  And my dearly beloved was fretting that he would never get anything good to eat again.  Ha.

Happy Monday, everyone!

10 comments:

Two French Bulldogs said...

Moms stomach is growling
Lily & Edward

~~louise~~ said...

Happy Monday Marjie!

Seriously, I hope you are keeping track of all these "guilt free" recipes. (there could be a book in your future:) First off, you know which is my favorite pie crust ever, right? Yours!!! And so easy peasy too:)

As for the pie itself, I beg to differ, I'm sure you could compete with the best of them although, we will leave hubby's mother in her own category:)

I have shied away from homemade lemon meringue pie because as you said, it is laden with cholesterol, darn! However, I have never tried to adapt a recipe. Now, I don't have to, I have YOU!

Thanks for sharing, Marjie, I'll be saving this one. Who knows, I may one day be able to say I have a recipe of yours before you became a celebrity. (cookbook authors sometimes reach celebrity staus you know:)

Big Dude said...

I'm not a big dessert guy but I do like pie, especially lemon meringue - looks great and now I want a slice.

Rhodesia said...

I have not had a lemon meringue pie in years, thanks fro reminding me I love them :) This looks a good recipe though 2 tblsp of egg beaters is something I have never heard of!
Keep well will catch up with next month. Diane

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Nichole Burke said...

I've never been a huge lemon fan, but that looks de-lish!

Pam said...

Nicely done! I love lemon meringue pie but have never made it. I must try this recipe!

Lady Lilith said...

Looks ready to eat. Thanks for sharing.

grace said...

gorgeous pie! i rarely make lemon meringue because i just don't like the taste and i HATE making meringue, but it's undeniably special. excellent work. :)

Sue said...

What do you do with your experiments that don't make the grade?