Lemon Meringue Pie
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cold water
6 large egg yolks (save whites for meringue)
1 tablespoon lemon zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup lemon juice from 2 to 3 lemons
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg whites (room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling:
Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and water in a large, nonreactive saucepan. Bring mixture to simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally at beginning of the process and then more frequently as mixture begins to thicken. When mixture starts to simmer and turn translucent, whisk in egg yolks, two at a time. Whisk in zest, then lemon juice, and finally butter. Bring mixture to a brisk simmer, whisking constantly. Remove from heat, place plastic wrap directly on surface of filling to keep hot and prevent skin from forming.
For the meringue:
Mix cornstarch with 1/3 cup water in small saucepan; bring to simmer, whisking occasionally at beginning and more frequently as mixture thickens. When mixture starts to simmer and turn translucent, remove from heat. Let cool while beating egg whites.
Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix cream of tartar and sugar together. Beat egg whites and vanilla until frothy. Beat in sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time; until sugar is incorporated and mixture forms soft peaks. Add cornstarch mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue to beat meringue to stiff peaks. Remove plastic from filling and return to very low heat during last minute or so of beating meringue (to ensure filling is hot).
Pour filling into pie shell. Using a rubber spatula, immediately distribute meringue evenly around edge then center of pie to keep it from sinking into filling. Make sure meringue attaches to pie crust to prevent shrinking. Use spoon to create peaks all over meringue. Bake pie until meringue is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature before refrigerating. (At least an hour) Chill at least 4-6 hours before slicing.