My Aunt Irene was not my aunt; she was my mom’s best friend. She and my Uncle Ray introduced my mother to my dad about three years after my biological dad passed away. We went to church with them and that is where they were introduced. Aunt Irene and Uncle Ray had been friends with my dad and his first wife before her death several years earlier. They believe mom and dad would make a great couple and that dad would make a great step-dad, and they were correct. They both cared deeply for my biological dad and I have many pictures of my parents holding me as an infant at their large antebellum-style home.
Each year on Christmas eve they had the huge Christmas party for all the people they knew who had nowhere else to go – we always went to this party even though we had plenty of places to be. This is my favorite picture of my parents on one of those Christmas eves.
This is me, mom and Aunt Irene. Mom never looks at the camera on purpose.
This is Uncle Ray and me in front of the Christmas tree one year.
This is Aunt Irene with her beloved roses. She grew what seemed to be hundreds of different big beautiful sweet smelling roses. She taught me that the lighter the color of flower, the stronger the scent.
Aunt Irene made at least a dozen different pies and cakes for this feast but my favorite was always the lemon meringue. It was homemade, not too sweet, not too tart, and not bitter……don’t you just hate a bitter lemon pie? It was also served at Easter. She also had this wonderful cake that I ate a piece of every year until I found out it was a prune cake……….yuk! Never had another bite. I hope someday I will find that recipe too because I’m not repulsed by prunes anymore.
I found this recipe in my Nana’s cookbook written in my Aunt Irene’s handwriting. I was so thrilled that when I bought all those expensive Meyer lemons I knew this was one recipe I HAD to make. Everyone enjoyed it including Rocket who ate one entire piece by himself. Let’s get crackin’ on this recipe so you can make it too.
Aunt Irene’s Old Fashioned Lemon Meringue Pie
¼ Cup fresh squeezed lemon juice and “some” zest – 2 lemons should do it and about a Tablespoon of zest.
1 Cup plus 6 Tablespoons Sugar divided
2 level Tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 level Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 ½ Cups water
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small cubes
4 eggs separated into 4 yolks and 4 egg whites
1 nine inch pie crust, baked.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a saucepan whisk together 1 Cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt.
Stir in water, lemon juice, zest and butter stirring until all comes to a boil.
Beat eggs and set aside in a glass bowl (no metal for some reason).
Whisk about ½ cup of heated lemon filling into eggs allowing the eggs to come to temperature.
Add eggs and lemon filling back into saucepan.
Continue stirring, bring to a boil again and allow to thicken.
Pour filling into baked pie shells.
Beat egg whites until foamy adding 6 Tablespoons of sugar slowly.
Continue beating until stiff white peaks form.
Spread meringue over top of pie, sealing edges of pie with meringue.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes or until meringue is golden brown.
You will love this pie just like we do!