I have never made a meringue pie before this one you guys……
I know, what is wrong with me? I’m so weird, I really haven’t made that many pies in my life, period. It’s not that my gang doesn’t like pie, actually we all love pie, it’s just me and my mixed up perspectives.
For some odd reason that science will never understand my subconscious brain usually thinks of pies as boring or too old-fashioned. I don’t know why but they seem to register in my head as obsolete or just not register at all. I told you I’m weird.
Another thing that might cause you to think of me as weird is the fact that I put basil in a dessert. I don’t know about you, but I never saw basil as anything more than the base flavor in a good spaghetti sauce or the makings of a great pesto until I tried it with fruit one day.
Ever since then I’ve wanted to put it in everything fruity that I make, from salsa to smoothies. Of course, I’ve had to refrain because the majority of humanoids that eat the stuff you guys see are not nearly as adventurous when it comes to food.
But this one time I thought I’d see if I could get away with it and no one notice and it worked. The basil doesn’t stand out a lot (Unless you want it to. In which case you can double the amount.). It just gives this extra fresh undertone that makes the flavor of the lemon shine.
Just trust me on this one, it works. If you are worried about freaking people out with the basil though, you can skip it and just make a killer lemon meringue pie that will still impress everyone. Your choice.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons lard, coconut oil, or organic vegetable shortening
- 6 tablespoons ice cold butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup ice cold water
- 4 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 medium lemons
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of food processor and pulse. Add butter and lard and pulse a few times more until crumbly. Add water and process until the dough comes together adding more water if necessary. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and flatten into disk. Roll out pastry dough on lightly floured surface into a circle that is roughly 13 inches in diameter. Gently wrap around rolling pin and lift over a 9-inch pie pan. Unroll over pan and press down gently; then crimp the edges into desired trim.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C) and place crust in the refrigerator until the oven is ready. When oven is hot remove crust from fridge, poke small holes in bottoem, and cover with a sheet of foil pressed down into shape of crust. Fill the top of foil with dry beans or pie weights and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until edges start to brown slightly. Remove from oven and take off foil and weights, then allow crust to cool completely.
- Chop basil finely then juice and zest the lemons (you should have about 1/3 cup juice and 3 tablespoons zest) Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil; then remove from heat.
- Wash the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Put whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and set aside and yolks into a medium mixing bowl. Take about 1/2 cup hot sugar mixture and whisk it gradually into the yolks until smooth then add it back to the saucepan along with basil,
- Return to heat and bring back to a boil stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter then stir until butter is fully melted and smooth. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.
- Now take the reserved egg whites and add cream of tartar then fit mixer with whisk attachment. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes, then gradually add in sugar while beating and whip until stiff. Add vanilla and salt and mix to combine.
- Scrape meringue out onto pie and spread to cover all the way to the edges, making sure all of the filling is covered. Use a spoon to make meringue peaks then place in oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until meringue is nice and toasty on top. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving cold.