Lemon Angel Pie
As a young girl growing up in Salinas, Calif., one of my favorite things to do was visit the John Steinbeck House. Not only is it the residence (and birthplace – yes, he was born in the house) of one of our country’s greatest writers, but it’s also a delightful restaurant as well.
Open Tuesday through Saturday, this volunteer-run establishment serves a prix-fixe lunch menu that includes quiches, sandwiches, soups and other comforting treats. One of my favorite dishes from the Steinbeck House is their Lemon Angel Pie and this past Christmas I received “The Steinbeck House Cookbook” which features both the Lemon Angel Pie and its delicious cousin, the Chocolate Angel Pie.
This just might be my dream pie to prepare because you don’t have to labor over the crust, which I find to be the most critical and difficult part of pie making. The light, sweet meringue shell is simple to prepare and is a real crowd pleaser. While both the lemon and chocolate pies are…well, heavenly… I bet you could make other creamy fillings using coconut, vanilla custard or salted caramel.
Lemon Angel Pie
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 egg whites (room temperature)
Beat egg whites until frothy. Sift together the sugar and cream of tartar and gradually add to egg whites, beating until stiff, but not dry. Spread mixture into a well-greased 9-inch pie pan. Bake at 300°F for 45 minutes. Leave in oven to cool slowly.
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
Beat egg yolks slightly. Stir in sugar, lemon and salt and cook in top of double boiler until thickened. Cool. Fold in the whipped cream and pour into shell and chill 24 hours.
Makes 8 servings
Recipe courtesy of the “The Steinbeck House Cookbook”