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Pie shell, pierced all over with fork, baked in 425 degree oven until brown

1 scant cup sugar
3 tbls cornstarch, a bit more than level
1/4 cup cold water
Zest from one lemon
7 tbls fresh squeezed lemon juice (generous)

4 jumbo eggs, separated (be sure you don't get even a speck of yellow in the whites or they won't beat into a meringue. No shells either.)

2 cups boiling water, plus a bit more hot water if custard gets too thick

1/4 tsp cream of tarter
1-2 tbls sugar

Blend sugar and cornstarch well in heavy bottom cook pot. I use an old club aluminum one. Add cold water to sugar/cornstarch mix and make a smooth paste.
Add lemon juice, zest and beaten egg yokes. Blend well.
Boil water in teakettle. Place pot on medium burner and slowly pour water from teakettle into lemon mix, wisking without stopping, until custard comes to a full boil and clarifies. Mix should be slightly thin. If it is thick, add a bit more hot water and keep on beating until it is a bit more than rich gravy consistency.

Place in freezer compartment uncovered with a mixing spoon still in pot. Be careful to move everything hot pot might touch in freezer. Stir in freezer every 5 min or so until mix cools and thickens. When it's cool, pour into pie shell. At this point, you can refrigerate it overnight, or go on to meringue. I find meringue is best when made the same day you're going to serve it, so doing the pie the day before and covering it in the fridge overnight, then baking on the meringue the next day. Just store the egg whites in a mixer bowl, covered, in fridge, too.

To make meringue: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring whites to room temp. Then beat at high speed until they start to bubble. Add cream of tarter and sugar, then continue beating until you have good stiff peaks. Spread meringue over pie using a table knife. Let meringue have peaks, don't smooth it.
Place in oven and brown. This should take about 5 min, but you have to watch it closely. You don't want it burned, but you don't want it pale either.

Cool pie on rack, then refrigerate uncovered for several hours. Serve.





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