My mother’s side of the family comes from Birmingham, Alabama. Her parents were born and raised there. They got married in 1949 and moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where my grandfather’s uncle lived and there were better opportunities for African-Americans. They did not bring many items with them, but the gift of cooking did follow along. My family’s recipe for lemon meringue pie is a tradition and a gift to go on for generations.
My family’s lemon meringue pie recipe is one that my grandmother used, that her grandmother used, and so forth. The delectable treat calls for 1 cup of sugar and ¼ cup of cornstarch combined in a saucepan over medium heat with 1-1/2 cups of water and 3 egg yolks slowly added to it. Stirring constantly, once the water reaches a boil, you add one grated lemon peel, ¼ cup of lemon juice plus a few tablespoons more for added tanginess, and 1 tablespoon of butter. Once the mixture reaches a thick consistency, you add the hot lemon filling to a piecrust. To create the meringue, you beat 3 egg whites in a bowl with ½ cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, and a few drops of vanilla for added deliciousness. Once stiff peaks formed, the meringue is plopped onto the lemon filling like creamy clouds and placed in the over for 15-20 minutes. The lemon filling bowl and meringue whip is then promptly and thoroughly licked by the chef and the assistant. Once baked and cooled, you have a mouth-watering lemony treat with an airy, sweet finish.
– Miranda A.