Random header image... Refresh for more!

as American as…pie

Way back in March when I started the limoncello process, I knew I wanted to make this pie. It will be the end of our Memorial Day dinner. Apple pie may be America’s pie, but this can’t be beaten in the summer. It’s pretty, cool, delicious, and refreshing… all-American for sure!

I learned an awesome technique for “applying” the meringue to the top of the pie from one of my favorite and most inspirational blogs, Zoe Bakes. Click here to see Zoe’s original step-by-step instructions with amazing photos. It actually made my mouth drop open when I first saw this gorgeous cake back in January.

I’ve found another fantastic recipe using the sweet Italian liqueur – a cheesecake square recipe from the ever-beautiful and talented Giada De Laurentiis.  Feel free to go to www.foodnetwork.com and make it yourself, or wait until I post the recipe here, which will be soon because I am already craving another limoncello masterpiece.

Lemon-Limoncello Meringue Pie

Pine Nut Crust
2/3 cup toasted pine nuts
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup flour
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons limoncello
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 eggs
4 egg yolks (reserve the whites for meringue)
1 cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup limoncello
Pinch of salt

Brown Sugar Meringue
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
4 egg whites (reserved from filling)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Crust: Place the pine nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the sugar and flour and continue to pulse until the nuts are finely ground.

In the bowl of a standing mixer combine the butter, limoncello, and vanilla until the mixture is creamy. Mix the dry ingredients in slowly until just combined. Do not overmix.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

This “cookie dough-like” crust is impossible to roll out and transfer to a pie pan, so use your fingertips to press the crust mixture into a 9-inch pie pan.  Bring the dough up above the side of the pan just a little and crimp the edges.  Place the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove and place the pie pan on a baking sheet.  Put the baking sheet on a rack in the middle of the preheated oven.  Cook the crust for 12 to 15 minutes, or until it is a very light brown all over. Remove from oven but leave on pie pan on baking sheet. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Filling: Whisk the 4 eggs, 4 egg yolks, and sugar together in a bowl until smooth. Stir in zest, juice, cream, limoncello, and salt until well combined and smooth. Pour filling into pre-baked pie crust.

Carefully transfer the pie (still on the baking sheet) to the oven and bake just until the filling is set in the center, 45 to 50 minutes. Allow pie to cool then cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Meringue: Stir both sugars and water together in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until sugars melt, swirling pan often, but do not stir.

Increase heat to medium-high and boil, swirling frequently until it reaches 250 degrees on a candy thermometer, remove from heat and set aside.

While the sugar syrup is boiling, beat the 4 egg whites and cream of tartar at medium speed in a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to soft peaks. Slowly drizzle the hot sugar syrup into the egg white mixture with the mixer on low speed.

Once the syrup is blended turn the mixer to high speed and beat until the meringue is stiff and glossy.

Dollop a large spoonful of meringue on the pie and use a pallet knife to spread the meringue up to the edges of the crust to seal. Next, you have several options to create decorated peaks and curls in the meringue.  You can use a spatula, a dull knife, or the back of a spoon to create the peaks. Or use the “hands-on” method I recently learned.

Just dollop on a large amount of meringue and use your hand to grab a glob of the meringue and press it against the surface.

and then pull it away from the pie. It will break off in a peak or curl. Continue to do this, adding more meringue as needed, until you get the effect you want. Be sure and go to this LINK to see more (and much better) pictures of the process.

If you have a kitchen blowtorch, it is the easiest and really the most fun to use to toast the meringue. To do so, hold the blowtorch a ways from the pie and touch the flame down between the curls. They will be set aflame, don’t worry – this is what you want – just blow them out as you go.

If you don’t have a torch, instead preheat your oven to 400 degrees and bake the pie until the meringue is golden brown, about 12 minutes.

If using the oven, transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.  No need to cool if using the torch.

Serves 8 to 10

Print pagePDF pageEmail page
Related Posts with Thumbnails


1 Sloane { 06.01.10 at 10:14 AM }

That was soooooo yummy! Thank you for letting me be part of your Memorial Day!

2 Hilary { 03.20.21 at 7:49 PM }

I’m so glad I found this recipe. My dad wanted a lemon meringue pie for his birthday and my mom is not a huge fan of “regular” lemon meringue pies. The whole family, even my mom, was raving about it. This is definitely a keeper!!!

3 Linda Hopkins { 04.15.21 at 1:33 PM }

Hilary, I’m so glad, I’m making it this weekend for my dad’s birthday too!

Leave a Comment