Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 25 min
One 9-inch baked pie crust
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water, divided
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
2/3 cup egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
1. Prepare the custard: In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, salt, 1 cup of water and butter. Heat and stir until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.
2. Blend the cornstarch with 1/2 cup of cold water and stir it in slowly to the hot mixture. Cook on low heat (stirring often) until the custard is clear, about 8 minutes.
3. Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk in a tablespoon of the hot mixture with the egg yolks and to begin to temper the eggs. Add another tablespoon, whisk, then add another tablespoon. Begin to add the tempered egg yolks to the pan slowly, cook over low heat for 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest. Set the pan aside and let the custard cool. When cool, pour into the baked pie crust and set aside.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
5. Prepare the meringue: In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until foamy, and then add the salt and cream of tartar. Continue beating and add sugar gradually until stiff peaks form. Pile the meringue on top of the lemon filling, spreading it all the way to the edge of the crust.
6. Brown the meringue in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it and pull it out when you've got a nice toasty (not burnt) look to the meringue.
7. Keep the pie refrigerated until ready to slice and serve.