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Lemon-Lime Meringue Pie

Spring 2010
201002033.jpg
food and drink

BY: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley

This pie is refreshingly old-fashioned, except this meringue is special. It’s called an Italian meringue, and hot syrup is beaten into the whites, stabilizing the foam and keeping it tender. Feel free to use your favourite single crust pastry, baked blind, however, the one below is quite flaky and sturdily stands up to the moist filling. And while vodka is unusual in pie crust, it adds moisture without causing toughening wheat gluten to develop.

Pastry
1¼ cups (300 mL) all-purpose flour
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
¼ cup (50 mL) cold unsalted butter
¼ cup (50 mL) frozen or cold vegetable shortening
or lard
4 tbsp (60 mL) ice-cold water
1 tbsp (15 mL) vodka (optional)

Filling
1 large lime
1 large lemon
1½ cups (375 mL) granulated sugar
3 tbsp (45 mL) cornstarch
3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
1½ cups (375 mL) water
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp (25 mL) unsalted butter

Meringue
⅓ cup (75 mL) water
⅔ cup (150 mL) granulated sugar
3 egg whites
½ tsp (2 mL) pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp (1 mL) cream of tartar
Pinch of salt

1. For crust, stir flour with salt. Coarsely grate cold butter and frozen shortening into flour mixture or cut in with pastry cutter to pea-sized bits; toss with fingers to distribute evenly. Stir in water, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, stirring after every addition. Firmly use hands to form into a ball. If too dry, add vodka; then form into ball. Flatten, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to a day.

2. Roll out chilled pastry on a floured surface until about 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. Linea 9-inch (23-cm) tempered glass or ceramic pie dish. Fold back edges towards interior as needed and decoratively flute pastry well above edge pan. Refrigerate for half an hour or covered for up to a day.

3. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

4. Line shell with foil folding up over flutededge to outside of pie plate. Generously addpie weights or coins to shell to prevent buckling.Bake 25 minutes; remove foil and weights.Prick shell bottom with fork in several places.Continue baking another 15 to 20 minutesor until deeply golden. Cool completely on arack. (Shell can be baked a day ahead, lightlycovered and left at room temperature.)

5. Zest lime and lemon, preferably with a rasp;set zest aside. Juice lime; pour into a measuringcup. Juice lemon; pour just enough lemonjuice into lime juice to bring level up to ⅓ cup(75 mL). Set aside while making filling.

6. Stir sugar with cornstarch, flour and saltuntil combined in a large saucepan. Using awhisk, stir in water. Cook over medium heat,stirring frequently and then constantly asmixture begins to steam and boils. Let bubble2 minutes. Meanwhile, stir egg yolks in a smallbowl. Add a small amount of hot cooked fillingwhile stirring constantly; then slowly stir withwhisk into hot mixture. Let bubble 2 minutes,stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir inbutter; then slowly stir in juice. Use a siliconespatula to mix in zest. Turn into crust; useback of a fork to slightly roughen top of filling.

7. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

8. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepanover medium-high heat. Bring to a boil;boil briskly for 4 minutes or until somewhatsyrupy. Remove from heat. Using an electricmixer, slowly beat whites until frothy; whip invanilla, cream of tartar and salt. Then, whippingon high speed, very gradually pour in hotsyrup (avoid pouring on beaters); beat untilvery thick and shiny with stiff peaks, about3 to 4 minutes in a stand mixer or longer witha hand mixer.

9. Start with dollops of meringue around outsideof pie before filling centre. Make sure thatmeringue is completely covering top of flutedsides (but not touching pie plate itself; thiskeeps meringue from shrinking or sliding).Leave meringue top rough for best looks, addingswirls or peaks as desired. Bake in centreof oven for 4 to 6 minutes or until meringueis golden tipped. Cool on a rack. Best servedday it is made. Cut cooled pie with a wet knife,rinsing and re-wetting as needed. For neatslices, first cut pie into quarters, fully throughpastry; then cut each quarter in half to yield8 pieces in total.

Makes 8 wedges


Lemoncello Martini
If you prefer a liqueur, try this Italian favourite. Served over ice or in a cocktail, it has intense fresh lemon flavours that will complement those in the meringue.

For a simple Lemoncello Martini add 2 to 3 parts of your favourite vodka to 1 part Lemoncello; shake over ice, then strain into a well chilled glass and garnish with a lemon slice.

201002033.jpg
food and drink

Lemon-Lime Meringue Pie

Spring 2010

BY: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley

This pie is refreshingly old-fashioned, except this meringue is special. It’s called an Italian meringue, and hot syrup is beaten into the whites, stabilizing the foam and keeping it tender. Feel free to use your favourite single crust pastry, baked blind, however, the one below is quite flaky and sturdily stands up to the moist filling. And while vodka is unusual in pie crust, it adds moisture without causing toughening wheat gluten to develop.

Pastry
1¼ cups (300 mL) all-purpose flour
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
¼ cup (50 mL) cold unsalted butter
¼ cup (50 mL) frozen or cold vegetable shortening
or lard
4 tbsp (60 mL) ice-cold water
1 tbsp (15 mL) vodka (optional)

Filling
1 large lime
1 large lemon
1½ cups (375 mL) granulated sugar
3 tbsp (45 mL) cornstarch
3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
1½ cups (375 mL) water
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp (25 mL) unsalted butter

Meringue
⅓ cup (75 mL) water
⅔ cup (150 mL) granulated sugar
3 egg whites
½ tsp (2 mL) pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp (1 mL) cream of tartar
Pinch of salt

1. For crust, stir flour with salt. Coarsely grate cold butter and frozen shortening into flour mixture or cut in with pastry cutter to pea-sized bits; toss with fingers to distribute evenly. Stir in water, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, stirring after every addition. Firmly use hands to form into a ball. If too dry, add vodka; then form into ball. Flatten, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to a day.

2. Roll out chilled pastry on a floured surface until about 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. Linea 9-inch (23-cm) tempered glass or ceramic pie dish. Fold back edges towards interior as needed and decoratively flute pastry well above edge pan. Refrigerate for half an hour or covered for up to a day.

3. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

4. Line shell with foil folding up over flutededge to outside of pie plate. Generously addpie weights or coins to shell to prevent buckling.Bake 25 minutes; remove foil and weights.Prick shell bottom with fork in several places.Continue baking another 15 to 20 minutesor until deeply golden. Cool completely on arack. (Shell can be baked a day ahead, lightlycovered and left at room temperature.)

5. Zest lime and lemon, preferably with a rasp;set zest aside. Juice lime; pour into a measuringcup. Juice lemon; pour just enough lemonjuice into lime juice to bring level up to ⅓ cup(75 mL). Set aside while making filling.

6. Stir sugar with cornstarch, flour and saltuntil combined in a large saucepan. Using awhisk, stir in water. Cook over medium heat,stirring frequently and then constantly asmixture begins to steam and boils. Let bubble2 minutes. Meanwhile, stir egg yolks in a smallbowl. Add a small amount of hot cooked fillingwhile stirring constantly; then slowly stir withwhisk into hot mixture. Let bubble 2 minutes,stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir inbutter; then slowly stir in juice. Use a siliconespatula to mix in zest. Turn into crust; useback of a fork to slightly roughen top of filling.

7. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

8. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepanover medium-high heat. Bring to a boil;boil briskly for 4 minutes or until somewhatsyrupy. Remove from heat. Using an electricmixer, slowly beat whites until frothy; whip invanilla, cream of tartar and salt. Then, whippingon high speed, very gradually pour in hotsyrup (avoid pouring on beaters); beat untilvery thick and shiny with stiff peaks, about3 to 4 minutes in a stand mixer or longer witha hand mixer.

9. Start with dollops of meringue around outsideof pie before filling centre. Make sure thatmeringue is completely covering top of flutedsides (but not touching pie plate itself; thiskeeps meringue from shrinking or sliding).Leave meringue top rough for best looks, addingswirls or peaks as desired. Bake in centreof oven for 4 to 6 minutes or until meringueis golden tipped. Cool on a rack. Best servedday it is made. Cut cooled pie with a wet knife,rinsing and re-wetting as needed. For neatslices, first cut pie into quarters, fully throughpastry; then cut each quarter in half to yield8 pieces in total.

Makes 8 wedges


Lemoncello Martini
If you prefer a liqueur, try this Italian favourite. Served over ice or in a cocktail, it has intense fresh lemon flavours that will complement those in the meringue.

For a simple Lemoncello Martini add 2 to 3 parts of your favourite vodka to 1 part Lemoncello; shake over ice, then strain into a well chilled glass and garnish with a lemon slice.

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