Prior to college I’d dread the return of back-to-school ads, signifying the last bit of freedom before the deadlines and lack of sleep of the impending school year. Unfortunately, these ads have already begun to infiltrate our television sets, and put us in an end of summer mindset. In order to fill as many seasonally-appropriate desserts into this last month of summer as possible, I delved into my family’s recipe archives for my grandma’s lemon meringue pie (later heavily revised by my mom), and enclosed it with a graham cracker crust for an added texture and a departure from the typical pie crust. Here’s to a great end of summer! Recipe below the pictures.
Graham Cracker Crust
- 12 graham crackers
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 9 inch pie pan
1. Crush graham crackers in food processor or by rolling pin (optional: place in gallon Ziploc).
2. Add sugar and melted butter. You should be able to compact the mixture to form a ball. If not, add a bit more butter. Place in 9 inch pie pan, pressing crust in slightly to the edges, making sure to distribute evenly.
3. Bake for 8-10 minutes until outer crust is golden. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (this is where I went wrong my first attempt!)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cup cold water
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and water in large nonreactive pan. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Whisk occasionally and beginning more frequently as it begins to thicken. When mix starts to simmer and turn translucent, whisk in egg yolks, two at a time. Whisk in zest, then lemon juice, and butter. Bring to a good simmer, whisking constantly. Remove from heat, place plastic wrap directly on surface of filling to keep hot and to prevent skin from forming.
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
1. Mix cornstarch and water. Bring to simmer. Whisk occasionally at beginning and more frequently as thickens. When mixture starts to simmer and turn translucent, remove from heat. Let cool while beating egg whites.
2. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix cream of tartar and sugar together.
3. Beat egg whites and vanilla until frothy. Beat in sugar mixture, one tablespoon at a time, and gradually add in cornstarch and water mixture. Continuing to beat until stiff peaks form.
4. Remove plastic from lemon filling and return to very low heat during last minute or so of beating meringue. Place filling in graham cracker crust and top with meringue, using a spoon to gently press and lift small sections of meringue to form dollops.