This Classic Lemon Meringue Pie is a delicious combination of tart and sweet!
So my birthday was last week, and I had a real situation on my hands. It had absolutely nothing to do with turning a year older. Nope, instead it had everything to do with the age-old cake vs. pie debate. You see, I love birthday cake. Actually, love doesn’t quite describe my feelings about a classic yellow cake with white frosting. Lust is probably a better word. But as strong as those feelings are about cake, they might be even stronger for Lemon Meringue Pie. There’s something about the combination of the sweet meringue topping with the tart lemon filling. Add in the fact that chilled desserts always taste so good on a hot summer day, and you can see how this debate began!
Is anyone else out there afraid of making meringue? I mean actual meringue. Not a whipped cream topping. Well, I used to be afraid of meringue, too. I’d heard so many stories about how difficult it is to make meringue. And then one day I just got into the kitchen and started playing around. I wasn’t making a pie or meringue cookies. I just wanted to figure out how to make meringue. Well, guess what? It’s not as scary as you might think! I did use a bit of cream of tartar to help stabilize the egg whites, but aside from that, meringue is actually pretty easy to make.
The key to meringue is making sure you whip it long enough. (It always takes longer than I think it will…and that’s using an electric mixer. If you’re whipping it by hand, well at least you’ll get a good workout in!) As the picture above shows, you should be able to turn the whisk upside down and still have the meringue hold a peak. If it flops over, keep beating those egg whites some more…it’ll get there, trust me! (I’ve found The Kitchn’s visual guide to beating egg whites particularly helpful. I keep it bookmarked and then take a quick peek whenever I need to whip egg whites to a specific stage.)
Summer is the perfect time for bright, lemon-y desserts, and this Classic Lemon Meringue Pie is one of my favorites! Oh, and in case you were wondering, I chose both the pie and cake. It was my birthday, and you just can’t tell someone no on their birthday. Go ahead…I dare you.