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Lemon Meringue Pie

Don’t you sometimes wish you had been given a magic box with answers to all of life’s worries and concerns tucked inside?  That’s almost entirely what happened when Suzan Colon lost her job.  Somewhere between worrying about how she’d survive without her next paycheck and likewise realizing her biological clock was ticking away and with it her hopes for having children of her own, Suzan found a box of her grandmother’s recipes.  Inside, were folded, torn, beloved pieces of paper that contained favorite family recipes.  Each recipe sparked a story, which Suzan learned one by one as she baked the recipes and listened to her mother’s retelling of her grandmother’s simple successes, thrift and resourcefulness, devotion to food and family.  In her book, Cherries in Winter, Suzan shares her recollections and realizations as she baked her way through her grandmother’s recipe box.  You can read a chapter of the book here, and below you’ll find her family’s recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie.  Simple, bright, and perfect, this is one recipe you’ll want to make a tradition in your own recipe box.


Nana’s Lemon Meringue Pie
from Cherries in Winter, by Suzan Colon
5 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp. grated lemon rind
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 tbsp butter
10 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
small pinch salt
1 nine inch baked pie shell

Put yolks into bowl and add the 1 1/2 cups sugar, lemon rind, juice and cornstarch. Mix well. Add a little boiling water, combine mixture with remaining water in top of double boiler. Cook and stir until thickened. Add butter. Cool. Put into pie shell. Beat whites stiff but not dry. Add slowly, while beating, the 10 tbsp sugar, cream of tartar, and salt. Cover lemon custard with this and brown for 10 mins in very hot oven.

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