Pie for Buddy – Lemon Meringue Pie

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.


lemon meringue pie

Pie for Buddy – Lemon Meringue Pie

Yield: serves 8

Lemon Meringue Pie for my grandfather. This meringue is pre-cooked, so it will not wilt or get soggy like meringues can do.

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.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0g

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Oh hey there!

Well, hello there! I’m Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

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This Post Has 83 Comments

  1. Dorothy

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Dorothy.

  2. Lea

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Lea. I appreciate it.

  3. Ann

    I am sorry for your loss.

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Ann.

  4. alison

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Alison.

  5. Michelle

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

    1. bakedbree

      thanks Michelle.

  6. Christina

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

    1. bakedbree

      yes they will Christina, thank you.

  7. Kristen

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

    1. bakedbree

      thanks Kristen. I love those pictures too.

  8. JP

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      thank you JP. It tastes pretty amazing too.

  9. Dianna

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

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Dianna.

  10. Kaitlin

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

    1. bakedbree

      he was a wonderful man, thank you Kaitlin.

  11. Megan

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      Ask them! Ask them everything you can.

  12. Kira Palmer

    YUmmy YUm Yum!

    1. bakedbree

      thanks Kira.

  13. Cathy

    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!

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Cathy, those pictures are some of my favorites. Clay looks so little next to him.

  14. Marie

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      please do. It will mean a lot to you after they are gone.

  15. Barbara

    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.

    1. bakedbree

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

  16. emily @ the happy home

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

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Emily. He made sure everyone knew that he loved lemon meringue pie!

  17. Christina

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      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.

  18. Debbie

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

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Debbie. I appreciate it.

  19. Monique

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      I am sorry for you as well Monique.

  20. Judith

    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

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you Judith, I hope that you like this pie as much as we do.

  21. Aliza

    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!

    1. bakedbree

      I am sorry for you too Aliza. I had no idea about the round shaped food. I love Jewish symbolism.

  22. Suzy

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Suzy.

  23. Molly

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

    1. bakedbree

      you are welcome Molly.

  24. michell

    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 🙂

    1. bakedbree

      thank you MIchelle. Losing grandparents is no fun.

  25. lindsay

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

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Lindsay.

  26. Lindsay

    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!

    1. bakedbree

      Food is magical. Thank you Lindsay..

  27. Becks

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

    1. bakedbree

      thanks Becks.

  28. Tara

    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!

    1. bakedbree

      I hope that you do also. Thanks Tara.

  29. Karin van D.

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you Karin. It means a lot.

  30. Leslie

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you Leslie. I am sorry for your loss as well.

  31. Marilyn Legiehn

    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!

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Marilyn

  32. Alie

    Looks delicious and lovely light, as all your photos!

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Alie!

  33. Erin

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      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

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      Grandparents are the best. Cherish them while you have them.

  35. Nicole

    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

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Nicole. That is nice of you to say.

  36. Florence

    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….

      1. Florence

        thanks: I’ll look into it!:)

  37. Roni Jones

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      It does! Exactly the same.

  38. Jennifer

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      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.

  39. Jennifer

    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.

    1. bakedbree

      Sorry, I love the super tartness.

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