When I received an amazing gift of Meyer lemons from my friend Kim at Rustic Garden Bistro a couple of months ago, they were waylaid. Somewhere that we will never be privy to. All I know is that two shipments from California made at the same time saw one get to Indiana a week earlier than the one that was shipped to Colorado, i.e. to me. Boohoo. By the time they arrived in my mailbox, there had been jokes about Pony Express and more and as beautiful and sun-kissed as they looked, my lemons were frozen solid. I let them thaw out on a plate I placed on my desk which not only let me enjoy their amazing aroma for a couple of days but also meant I could keep close watch on them; I had no idea what was going to happen to a whole frozen lemon.
Once they thawed I used them to make Lemon Bars with Rosemary which were fabulous but I did notice that they definitely had a different, softer texture so I decided, instead of having anything devastating happen to them, that I would juice the lemons, grate some rind and freeze the results so that I didn’t lose everything from this little batch of pure heaven! Out of curiosity I left one small one out for a couple of days and let’s just say I’m very glad I took that route. Frostbite and lemons are not a perfect marriage! I sort of forgot I had that cache in my freezer until last weekend when I was invited to friends for dinner and offered to bring a dessert. It was fortuitous that I had a box of Ginger Lemon cookies in the pantry. I had planned to make a lemon meringue pie with a graham cracker crust but I decided to try a crust with those cookies and seriously…so perfect. If you can’t locate Carr’s Ginger Lemon cookies, do try this with a graham cracker crust with a bit of ginger and lemon zest in it; the flavors are divine together. One way or the other though…make this Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie with Ginger Lemon Cookie Crust!
Lemon Meringue Pie with Ginger Lemon Cookie Crust
For the Ginger Lemon Crust:
- 1 ½ cups crushed Carr Lemon Ginger Cookies
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter melted and cooled
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
For the Lemon Filling:
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice from 3 to 4 lemons
- 1 ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons 1/4 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest from 3 to 4 lemons
For the Meringue:
- 5 large egg whites at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
To Make the Graham Cracker Crust:
- Place oven rack in the center of oven and heat to 375°F.
- Put cookies in a processor and process finely. Add melted butter and salt and mix well. Press mixture evenly into a 9-inch pie plate and bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
To Make the Lemon Filling:
- Combine cornstarch, sugar, egg yolks, and lemon juice in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Add water and whisk until blended; use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan to make sure mixture is well combined.
- Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add butter and lemon zest, and stir vigorously until butter is completely melted and ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Pour mixture into cooled graham-cracker crust, cover with a round of waxed paper and let it cool to room temperature.
To Make the Meringue:
- Combine egg whites and salt in a large, clean bowl and whip with a mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form.
- Remove the waxed paper from the pie and spoon meringue over lemon filling. Spread meringue with a spatula so that it covers the entire surface of the pie, sealing in filling. Be sure meringue meets the crust, otherwise it will shrink inward, exposing filling.
- Bake until meringue is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack, then refrigerate until filling is cold, at least 4 hours. Slice, and serve chilled.