I love Lemon Meringue Pie but sometimes I just want the filling and to not have to go through the whole process of making a low carb crust. I get a hankering and I need the fastest possible route to getting the good stuff into my mouth. Just me? Other times, I just don’t have room in my macros for the few extra carbs the crust would require (about 3). This is my shortcut for that Lemon Meringue craving without the extra crust-making step. This lemon filling is tart and sweet and just right if you ask me. You will love opening your refrigerator and seeing these little cuties speaking to you, “Don’t eat me because I’m beautiful…although I would be really yummy after dinner…”
Gelatin can be used as a healthier and zero carb alternative to cornstarch (see also: 10 Health Benefits of Gelatin), however if you use too much your lemon pie will be more like lemon jello, too little and it will ooze all over the plate when you cut into the pie…not pretty. There’s also the issue of the acid in the lemon counteracting the thickening process. It’s a delicate balance, which is why it has taken several attempts to perfect this recipe. Don’t get me wrong, we happily gobbled up each “failed” attempt, so they weren’t terrible…just not quite right. A few months ago, my cousin Patty was visiting and she helped us eat an overly tart version. She waited so impatiently as I beat the meringue for what seemed like forever with my hand mixer. (I now have a stand mixer and it makes the job much quicker and easier!) Our eyes squinted, our cheeks puckered, and every bite was followed by “ooh wee” as we ate that one down to the the last crumb. Unlike that one, this recipe strikes the perfect balance between sweetness and tartness and gets an A+ for consistency. My mom gave it her stamp of approval and that’s really saying something because she’s a Lemon Meringue Pie snob…it’s not her fault, my grandmother spoiled her.
NOTES: Before zesting your lemons, make sure you wash the outside of them very well to get rid of any dirt, wax, germs and chemicals. This Fruit and Veggie Scrub Cloth does a great job and the scrubby side helps cut through any wax and get into the tiny divots, while the microfiber with silver imbedded really cleans and removes the dirt and germs. The silver is inseparable from the fibers and has natural antibacterial properties.
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 TBSP (level) gelatin
- 4 TBSP Pyure
- zest of 2 lemons
- 3/4 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 3 TBSP butter
- 4 egg yolks, beaten
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
- 1 TBSP Pyure
- Mix gelatin and water in a pot with a whisk over low-medium heat.
- Add Gentle Sweet, butter, zest and lemon juice.
- Temper the egg yolks by adding the hot lemon mixture to them 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking between tablespoons. I did about 5-6 tablespoons.
- Slowly add the tempered egg yolks to the pot of lemon mixture while whisking.
- Keep over low heat for 4-5 minutes, do not boil.
- Allow to cool in the refrigerator for a few hours before pouring it into the pie shell to fully cool.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F on broil.
- In large bowl, beat egg whites, Geltle Sweet, and cream of tartar with electric mixer until foamy. Beating until mixture forms stiff peaks.
- Top the pie filling with the meringue. Do this gently if the pie filling is not fully set to avoid mixing the layers together.
- Place pie on a center oven rack and set to broil on high or at 400 degrees F with the door cracked open to watch.
- Remove pie when you see brown peaks and overall golden color on the meringue. This only takes a few minutes so don't walk away while the pie is in the oven.
- Allow pie to cool to room temperature before putting it into the refrigerator for a few hours to set.
- It is set when it stops jiggling when nudged. (I usually have to refrigerate it overnight.)
- If you would like to sub the Pyure for Gentle Sweet or Truvia or similar Stevia Blend, use the same amount as indicated in the recipe. If you are using sugar, Erythritol, or Xylitol, you'll use 1 cup for each 6 TBSP of Pyure indicated on the recipe.