It will take some time, but your efforts will be rewarded with a show-stopping centerpiece dessert to be proud of: a cloud of toasted meringue atop a pool of buttery, bright lemon curd in a light and flaky crust. If you don’t have Meyer lemons on hand, regular supermarket lemons will suffice.
Store-bought pie crust
2 Meyer lemons
3 egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Fit the pastry into the pan gently by rolling it into a 12-inch circle that is 1/8-inch thick. To make a decorative edge, trim the edge a half-inch beyond the rim, fold under, and crimp or pinch. Using a fork, prick the bottom. Place the shell in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Into a small bowl, grate the lemon zest. In a strainer, combine the lemon juice and as much lemon pulp as possible.
Beat the eggs, yolks, and sugar together in a heavy saucepan until just combined. The lemon juice and pulp are added last, followed by the six tablespoons of butter.
Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes together and thickens enough to coat a spoon over low to medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside for five minutes before whisking briefly to smooth.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Bake for 20 minutes, or until set and dry looking, after lining the frozen shell with aluminum foil and weighting it with beans or pie weights. Remove the weights and foil, reduce the heat to 160°C, and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes, or until the shell is golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the oven.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the filling is just set, after spreading the prepared filling in the shell. Remove the pie from the oven and reduce the temperature to 180°C.
Make the meringue by whisking together the egg whites and the sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy, then add the cream of tartar and beat until rounded peaks form. Mix in the sugar and vanilla extract.
Spread the meringue on top of the filling, making sure it reaches the crust’s edges to form a seal. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the meringue is lightly browned, swirling in a design with a knife or spatula. Allow to cool for one to two hours before serving, but do not refrigerate.