Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

Remember National Pie Day? How could you forget. It’s a day to celebrate eating all kinds of PIE! I found myself debating which kind of pie to make to commemorate such a wonderful holiday and fell upon an old recipe that my mother-in-law made quite frequently.

Now, I normally would make this from scratch, BUT her recipe was a short cut version using boxed lemon pie filling. But hang on….the pie crust is homemade so technically it’s partially scratch! I didn’t want to steer away too much from the original recipe, so I added some zing (because I love tart things) and threw some fresh Meyer lemon juice directly into the mix.

I also have the best husband on earth, who came home with these striped, pink lemons that were too cute for words, so of course I had to add them in as well.

And what about this meringue? Well, let’s just say I always have my issues and qualms about making a perfect meringue. Although I have gotten over my fear of meringues, I always hold my breath until I see the end result.

This time around, I doubled the egg whites because my goal was to have the most obnoxious amount of height on the pie ever. I think it worked, don’t you?

Now comes the truth about this meringue, and I know you will appreciate this because come on…….most of you are not pastry chefs, right?

I made the first batch and it was absolutely magnificent. Then of course, my patience factor went from zero to nothing in under 2 seconds and I put the pie filling into a crust that was still TOO warm. Don’t say anything yet. I’m not finished. Wait.

After I proceeded to mess up that step, I plunked on the meringue and attempted to make swirls. Attempted is the operative word here.

It wasn’t that it turned out ugly, but when I placed it into the oven to brown, my swirls didn’t look all that great to me anymore.

I let the pie cool, then started taking photos of my “creation”.

Once I saw the photos, I knew I was in trouble. My peaks were, how shall I say, more like plunks.

Is it just me, or is everyone this finicky? Here’s what I did. I whipped up another batch of meringue, topped the meringue with meringue and unleashed my trusty brûlée torch (which I love, by the way) and lit this pie on fire!

I ended up with a stupid amount of meringue and a very leaky pie because I can’t seem to wait for anything lately.

End result? Although it was a little wet, it was still delicious and I know you have learned a lesson today from all of this.

Patience is a virtue (that I don’t have).



-2½ cups all-purpose flour, divided -2 tablespoons sugar -1 teaspoon kosher salt -2½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces (MAKE SURE THEY ARE VERY COLD) -about 6 tablespoons ice-cold water (I use water with ice cubes floating around in it then measure out the 6 tablespoons)

FILLING -1 package of Lemon Pie Filling - cooked according to directions -2 lemons, juiced *see notes below

MILE HIGH MERINGUE -6 egg whites, room temperature -½ teaspoon cream of tartar -12 tablespoons sugar -½ teaspoon vanilla


1) Combine about ⅔rd's of the flour, all the sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times just to incorporate dry ingredients. Spread your cold butter chunks evenly over dry ingredients. Pulse until no dry flour remains and dough just begins to collect in clumps. Use a rubber spatula to spread the dough evenly around the bowl of the food processor. Sprinkle with remaining flour and pulse until dough is just barely broken up, about 5 or 6 more pulses. 2) Add in ice water slowly and pulse until a ball of dough forms. 3) Transfer dough onto floured board and knead a bit. 4) Divide ball in half. Form each half into a 4-inch disk. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling and baking.


1) Prepare your lemon pie boxed filling according to package directions. Here's what I did to make it tastier. When you measure the water, fill the cup with the juice of 2 lemons (I used one Meyer and one pink, then continue filling the measuring cup with the amount of water required to make your filling. 2) Preheat oven to 400F. 3) Roll dough to fit a 9 inch pie dish, prick with fork and place a piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. Use pie weights to make sure the crust doesn't puff up. Bake shell for 10 minutes and reduce oven temperature to 375F and bake another 15 minutes. (LET COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE FILLING, NOT LIKE WHAT I DID).

4) Place filling into cooled crust and make your meringue next.


1) In medium bowl or stand mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until foamy. 2) Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy.

3) Beat in vanilla. Spoon onto hot pie filling. Spread over filling, carefully sealing meringue to edge of crust to prevent shrinking or weeping. You can either bake your pie to brown it for 8-10 minutes in a 400F oven or use a brûlée torch to brown the meringue peaks.