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lemon meringue pieI guess that I am very, very spoiled.  I am 35 years old and until very recently, I had all of my grandparents still alive and well.  I am so lucky to have wonderful grandparents that I have such close relationships with.  My grandfather, Buddy, passed away on Sunday.  I know that it was his time, and that he is in a better place.  He is no longer suffering, but that does not make me miss him any less.  Buddy had a generous spirit, a kind heart, and a wicked sense of humor.  He was one of those people that could make fun of me and I would not get it until 3 minutes later.  He was too smart for his own good.  He lived his life fully and filled with joy and that is all that you can ask of someone.  He and my grandmother, were my favorite dinner dates.  Whenever I would visit, the three of us would go to dinner and catch up on life.  And laugh a lot.  He told great dirty jokes and knew everyone.  He loved his family more than anything and was always there for all of us.  He gave great advice and a swift kick in the ass if you needed it.  We need more people in this world like him.

I made this pie this morning to remember him by.  His funeral is today and I could not be there.  One of the of worst parts about living so far away from home.  My family is Jewish and tonight they will begin to sit shiva.  When you visit a home that is mourning or sitting shiva, you are supposed to bring food to the family.  I have been told (I am not sure how true this part is) that you are supposed to bring the family something sweet, like cookies or cake, to remember the sweetness in the person’s life.  I love that idea.  Lemon meringue pie was his favorite.  That is what I would have brought if I were there.

My message to you is this; if you have a grandparent still with you, do something nice for them and make them their favorite treat.  Our days on Earth are numbered and we need to spend them with the people that we love and making memories.  Take pictures.  Ask them the stories of their life.  In the end, those memories are what we have left to hold on to.

I love you Bud, and I will miss you.

Clay and Bud – June 2009

lemon meringue pie Lemon Meringue Pie

Single pie crust – baked and cooled

For the filling:

1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 egg yolks (save 3 for for the meringue)
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
3 Tablespoons butter cut into pieces

For the meringue:

1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

lemon fillingIn a saucepan whisk together the sugar, lemon juice, water, cornstarch, and salt.  Cook over medium heat until the mixtures starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.  The mixture will also become transparent.  Gradually whisk the eggs into the mixture.  Add the butter.  Cook until the mixture is thick and can coat the back of a spoon.  Strain it through a strainer and stir in the lemon zest.  Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the lemon filling and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

lemon meringue pieIn the bowl of a mixer, whisk the egg whites and salt until they form peaks.  Turn the machine off and start making the syrup.  Make the sugar syrup by combining the sugar, cream of tartar, and water in a saucepan and boiling over medium-high heat.  When the mixture reaches 245 degrees, turn the mixer back on and mix on a slow speed.  Slowly stream the sugar into the egg whites with the machine still running.  Let the machine whisk until the bowl cools off and is room temperature, about 7 minutes.  Add the vanilla. (This is exactly the same as fluffy boiled icing.)

lemon meringue pieLayer the lemon filling in the bottom of the baked pie crust.  Top with the meringue layer.  Spread evenly, but makes peaks with a spatula.  Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 4-6 minutes or until the top of the pie is a pale golden brown.

lemon meringue pieThis pie is best served the day that it is made.

Pie for Buddy – Lemon Meringue Pie

Ingredients

  • Single pie crust – baked and cooled
  • For the filling:
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 egg yolks (save 3 for for the meringue)
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 3 Tablespoons butter cut into pieces
  • For the meringue:
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan whisk together the sugar, lemon juice, water, cornstarch, and salt. Cook over medium heat until the mixtures starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. The mixture will also become transparent. Gradually whisk the eggs into the mixture. Add the butter. Cook until the mixture is thick and can coat the back of a spoon. Strain it through a strainer and stir in the lemon zest. Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the lemon filling and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, whisk the egg whites and salt until they form peaks. Turn the machine off and start making the syrup. Make the sugar syrup by combining the sugar, cream of tartar, and water in a saucepan and boiling over medium-high heat. When the mixture reaches 245 degrees, turn the mixer back on and mix on a slow speed. Slowly stream the sugar into the egg whites with the machine still running. Let the machine whisk until the bowl cools off and is room temperature, about 7 minutes. Add the vanilla. (This is exactly the same as fluffy boiled icing.)
  3. Layer the lemon filling in the bottom of the baked pie crust. Top with the meringue layer. Spread evenly, but makes peaks with a spatula. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 4-6 minutes or until the top of the pie is a pale golden brown.
  4. This pie is best served the day that it is made.
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82 Responses to Pie for Buddy – Lemon Meringue Pie

  1. Dorothy says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I can taste the pie just from your photos, and I’m sure he is watching you with love.

  2. Lea says:

    So sorry to hear about your loss, but what a sweet thought. I have a friend who recently went through a loss and I’m sending them this link – I think they’ll really appreciate it. Sending good thoughts your way.

  3. Ann says:

    I am sorry for your loss.

  4. alison says:

    I am sorry for your loss. Losing a grandparent is so bittersweet. Everything you said is true, they are in a better place, but it doesn’t help the sadness and knowing you’ll miss them like crazy. Thank goodness for pictures and recipes that can bring comfort in memories.

  5. Michelle says:

    So sorry for your loss. Loosing a loved one is never easy, what a sweet way to honor your grandfather.

  6. Christina says:

    My heart goes out to you. Your memories will carry you through the sarrow.

  7. Kristen says:

    Deeply sorry for your loss. Love those pictures of Buddy and Clay – too cute!

  8. JP says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. The pie is gorgeous, I can see why it would be Buddy’s favorite. Very nice tribute, Bree.

  9. Dianna says:

    What a sweet, wonderful way to honor your grandfather. Sending prayers of comfort and peace for you & your family during this difficult time.

  10. Kaitlin says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Seems like he was a wonderful man-grandparents are truly special.

  11. Megan says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I only have 2 grandparents, on my Dad’s side. I don’t know what thier favorite desserts are. Perhaps I’ll make them a super moist cake when I go up there next.

  12. Cathy says:

    Bree, love this bittersweet post. And the pics of Buddy are priceless – love the sock feet. I know you’ll cherish these pics and memories. Prayers for your and your family today!

  13. Marie says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of the lose of your grandfather! I am lucky enough to still have 2 left (although one is quite ill) and I know what you mean about cherishing them. I try my hardest to do something a little special for them; even if it’s just a visit with my kids.

  14. Barbara says:

    So sorry about your grandfather and that you were unable to go to the funeral. He sounds like he was a really neat guy and I love the photos.
    My grandparents AND parents are all gone and I often think about them and the things we did together. The memories are wonderful and that’s important.

    • bakedbree says:

      I have been so lucky to have my grandparents for so long. They have always been such a huge part of my life.

  15. i’m sorry for your loss. i’m sure he’s tickled to see that you remembered his favorite sweet :-)

  16. Christina says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa. I recently lost my own grandpa, and it has been difficult. There are so many of his life stories I know I missed out on hearing, and I regret that.

    I think making his favorite typ of pie is a great way to honor his memory.

    • bakedbree says:

      I am sorry for your loss also Christina. It is really hard. You think that you are ready for it, but when is said and done, you never really are.

  17. Debbie says:

    I am so sorry for your loss! Be blessed and comforted with many wonderful memories of a wonderful man!

  18. Monique says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I recently lost my grandfather, as well – it has been a very tough experience. I wish you all the best as you heal and honor his memory. Thank you for sharing such a lovely post and recipe.

  19. Judith says:

    I absolutely LOVE your website. I especially love the recipes with photos. I plan to make your Grandfather’s favorite pie this weekend. It looks wonderful. Please remember that he is in a place of unconditional love and joy right now and it sounds like Mr Bud fit right in from the first second. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your love of cooking. I have never met you but I know that I like you. My best wishes to you and your family – Judith Estrada

  20. Aliza says:

    I’m so sorry about your grandfather. I was also very close with my zeidy, and even though he was 89, it was like losing a friend. I was also living in another country and missed his funeral and shiva, so I truly understand how rough it is.

    Another thing about symbolic foods during shiva is that the family is meant to eat round foods, like eggs or bagels, to symbolize that life is a cycle, constantly going around, and that death is the closure of the natural way of things. So not only is your pie a way to bring something sweet to a difficult time, it’s also the perfect shape!

  21. Suzy says:

    I’m so sorry about your grandfather-it’s never easy to lose a loved one, but especially painful when you can’t be there to share the grief and laugh through the tears with others in the family.

  22. Molly says:

    Sounds delicious! What an inspirational piece, I will go call my grandparents! Thank you!

  23. michell says:

    I am sorry that you lost your grandfather, I miss my grandparents almost everyday although I know that eventually we all pass away. This post is eloquent and touching, thank you for sharing. Oh, and the pie too :)

  24. lindsay says:

    i am so sorry about your grandfather…i will be praying for you.
    on a happier note, this pie looks fabulous!

  25. Lindsay says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about the lost of your grandfather. I love how this pie reconnects you with your grandfather. It makes me believe how truly magical food is. It can make us feel so many emotions in ways that nothing else can. You and yours are in my thoughts!

  26. Becks says:

    I’m so sorry to hear you’ve lost someone so loved. I think the pie was a beautiful choice. It also sounds delicious. :)

  27. Tara says:

    It is tough to say goodbye to a loved one, but nice to have a something little to commemorate him – one that you can make over and over again… and I hope to too!

  28. Karin van D. says:

    The pie looks absolutely delicious. What a lovely tribute to your grandfather. I think the thought of bringing something sweet to remember a person’s sweetness is very beautiful.

    I wish you lots of strength and love.

  29. Leslie says:

    It’s amazing how the language of the heart speaks loudly to any human. I don’t even know you or your grandpa and reading your post brought a tear to my eye. My husband and I both lost a grandmother within a month of each other this year, and it is so difficult and bittersweet to say goodbye. A truly beautiful and poignant post. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Marilyn Legiehn says:

    So sorry for your loss. It’s so true what you said about our days being numbered, and we don’t remember that often enough. Thanks for the pie recipe. It looks delicious!

  31. [...] to me.  I love the people that read my blogs and have shared themselves with me.  A week ago, my grandfather passed away.  I wrote a post about making his favorite dessert and the love and support that I got from [...]

  32. Alie says:

    Looks delicious and lovely light, as all your photos!

  33. Erin says:

    Bree,

    First of all, I really like this post, it’s beautiful. My grandmother used to make Lemon Meringue pie for every holiday, and it was my favorite. After she died, my aunts made every sort of pie imaginable for holidays, but never lemon meringue. I think it reminds everyone in the family of her.
    So, I tried your recipe tonight, because I’ve always wanted to learn how to make it, and it’s something I wish I would have asked my grandmother to teach me.

    I did something wrong though, and the filling became a little soupy after the baking…. it’s my first attempt working with meringue so I’m sure I did something wrong for that to happen.

    • bakedbree says:

      Thank you Erin, I am sorry for your loss also.

      My only thought is that maybe the meringue was not covering the entire surface of the pie. It acts as an insulator, so it needs to cover the whole top.

  34. patti morfeld says:

    such a lovely post-I never had grandmothers either and when I married I got two and my sons got greatgrandmothers-I think about both of these women every single day and miss them terribly.

  35. Nicole says:

    Your story made my day, its nice to know there are great people out there and wonderful people who appreciate them. Thank you for the smile

  36. 7 Links says:

    [...] 7. Post I am most proud of – Pie for Buddy – Lemon Meringue Pie [...]

  37. Florence says:

    Hello Bree,

    I was wondering: I live in Switzerland and can’t find the cream of tartar as such; is it important for the meringue? Can I replace it with something else?

    Thanks for your help and I am very sorry fr your loss….

  38. Roni Jones says:

    I love the pictures. I haven’t been in that house since 2000 and it still looks the same as the day they moved there! Your son is so cute and looks so small next to Buddy.

  39. Jennifer says:

    Tried this recipe for Christmas. Sorry Bree it was a miss. Because I do not like lemon meringue pie, I had to follow the recipe to your exact instructions without adjustments by tasting. My family, even the children (10 in all) said it was too tart. My sister critiqued that it was supposed to be a little tangy not super tart. So next time I will use less lemon, maybe 1/4 of a cup rather than a cup. Loved the meringue and the texture of the lemon filling. P.S. My father says you can flavor a 5 gallon container of lemonade with 1/4 of a cup of lemon juice, why did you put so much in the pie. LOL- I thought that was funny.

    • bakedbree says:

      Because it is a Cooks COuntry recipe that is tested and tested all over again. Sorry that you didn’t like it, seems to be a personal preference.

  40. Jennifer says:

    Loved the texture of the filling and the meringue, however there was just too much lemon. It was too tart. Everyone at my Xmas party agreed. It was a miss. Next time I will use 1/4 cup of lemon.

  41. […] but you can’t go wrong with the pie that started it all for me - Peanut Butter Pie. Or Lemon Meringue. Maybe Coconut Cream? I know, Apple and […]

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