Light, flaky, lemony with a soft pillowy meringue topping. A Classic Lemon Meringue Pie recipe just like my grandma used to make.
Preheat oven to 425 F.
In a large cup add cold water, vinegar and egg and beat lightly
In a large bowl add pastry flour, salt and lard. Use pastry cutter or two knifes held in one hand to break up lard into flour to form an coarse oatmeal like texture but with a few larger pieces of lard here and there.
Gradually add the egg mixture to flour and lard and gently mix with a fork until blended and flour is combined. You do not want flour mixture to be wet or pastry will turn out tough.
Press the dough together to form 6 even balls. The heat from your hands will help it all come together and become smoother and less crumbly.
On a flat surface scatter a little bit of flour and roll dough out to about a 1/2 inch thickness. The flour will help the pastry from sticking to the surface. Gently pick up rolled pastry and lay evenly across a 9" pie plate. Gently presspastry into pan so that it flat on the bottom and sides. Trim to about t 1/2 inch on all sides beyond edge of plate. Flute edges of crust.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned and firm to the touch.
Remove pie crust and reduce heat on oven to 350 F
In a large sauce pan combine 2 tablespoons of sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in the cold water to remove lumps. Cook over medium heat stirring gently until liquid is thickend and becomes clear.
Remove thickened liquid and transfer to small bowl. Cool completely. To do this quickly put it in the freezer for a few minutes.
In a large bowl beat egg white and vanilla on high until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar. Beat in cooled thickened cornstarch until stiff glossy peaks form and all sugar is dissolved.
While pie crust is baking in a large saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt. Gradually stir in the water until most of the lumps are gone from the cornstarch. Cook on medium-high stirring often until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat and cook for 2 more minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in a small amount of the hot filling into egg yolks first and then add all of the egg yolks to the pan with the thickened cornstarch and bring to gentle boil and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir int he butter and lemon zest. Gently stir in the lemon juice until just combined and then pour into warm pie crust.
Gently spoon or pour meringue over warm pie filling making sure that meringue is sealed around edge of pie crust.
Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until meringue is golden brown. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Do not refrigerate until cool. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.
For mini pies simply cut smaller circles of crust and allow 1/2 inch around on all sides just as you would with the larger pie tin.