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This recipe is a result of combining recipes and tips from Random Lady on the Internet, Farmer’s Journal cookbook and my Momma.

My favorite trick is to mix a couple Tablespoons of meringue into the filling.  This makes the filling more creamy and less gummy.  Also, doubling the number of egg whites in the meringue is what gives you the “mile high” meringues that mom talks about.

For filling
1 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
4 large egg yolks + 4 additional egg whites
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, about 4 lemons
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest ( I just use all the zest from the lemons)

For meringue:
4 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch or two of salt
1/2 cup sugar, either granulated or bar sugar

Make filling:
In a heavy saucepan whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt and gradually whisk in water and milk, whisking until cornstarch is dissolved. In a bowl whisk together egg yolks. Cook milk mixture over moderate heat, whisking, until it comes to a boil. Temper in (gradually whisk) about 1 cup milk mixture into yolks and whisk yolk mixture into milk mixture. Simmer mixture, whisking, 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter, lemon juice, and zest until butter is melted. Cover surface of filling with plastic wrap. Keep warm.

Make meringue:
In another bowl with an electric mixer beat egg whites with cream of tartar and a pinch of salt until they hold soft peaks. Beat in sugar in a slow stream, beating until meringue just holds stiff peaks.  Stir 2 rounded Tablespoonfuls of meringue into lukewarm filling.

Pour filling into pre-baked cooled pie shell and spread meringue on top, covering filling completely, sealing it to pastry edge (important to keep meringue from slipping; the warm filling will help the meringue adhere.) Draw meringue up into peaks and bake pie in middle of 350° oven until meringue is golden, about 15 minutes.

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