Mamere's Country-Style Lemon Pie

Mamere Zeringue was my grandmother on Mom's side of the family. She was not only a fabulous cook, but would have been considered a top pastry chef for her day and time. Although most country-style lemon pies are made with a similar recipe, this one has a bit less lemon juice so it's not quite as "citrusy" as a tart lemon pie. If you like a tart flavor just add 2 additional tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.


  • 3 tbsps fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 tbsps butter
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 (9-inch) baked pie shell

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a saucepan, dissolve cornstarch in water. Using a wire whisk, blend until smooth. Add lemon juice, 1 3/4 cups sugar and beaten egg yolks. Stir mixture over medium heat until sauce has thickened and resembles a pie filling. Remove saucepan from heat and add lemon zest and butter. Stir constantly until butter is incorporated. Pour pie filling into pie shell. Set aside to cool slightly. In the bowl of an electric mixer, place egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip mixture on high speed until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue to whip egg whites constantly until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. NOTE: It is important to whip the meringue until there are no visible signs of granulated sugar, otherwise the meringue will weep after sitting for a few hours. Using a tablespoon, drop dollops of the meringue on top of the pie beginning at the outer edge of the pie and working toward the center. Continue this process until pie is completely covered. If meringue is allowed to adhere to the pie crust, it will not shrink during baking. Place pie on the center shelf of the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until peaks are lightly browned. Remove from oven, allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to serve. This pie is best when refrigerated overnight.


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